Years ago, with three painful, degenerating disks in my lower back, I took a bad fall which made it much worse. Subsequently, I had the flu, which developed into pneumonia. Then I was diagnosed with a progressive cornea disease that caused a considerable reduction in vision. Finally, in frustration, I exclaimed to my wife, “What’s going to happen next?”
In God’s timetable of human events two things are absolutely certain. Hebrews 9:27 tells us: “…It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Every human soul will experience death. The only exception may be those taken in the Rapture. Believers and unbelievers who die prior to the Rapture will all experience the usual painful departure of death. Then, for every soul, their judgment before God will follow. Chronologically, believers in the Body of Christ will be the first to experience judgment by the Lord Jesus Christ. “…We shall all stand [in respect and soberness] before the judgment seat of Christ,” where every believer will “give account…to God” (Romans 14:10,12). There will be no punishment here, but there will be accountability, resulting in reward and loss of reward. The next in sequence will be kingdom saints who will be resurrected at the close of the seven years of Tribulation. They will come before Christ, after His second coming to rule on earth, “When the Son of Man shall…sit upon the throne of His glory” (Matthew 25:31). These saints with an earthly hope (from Abraham through mid-Acts and the Tribulation) will be resurrected and ushered into the Millennial Kingdom. However, they will first be judged to determine their rewarded positions. Finally, after the final rebellion of man at the close of the Millennial reign of Christ, all lost souls of all time will be assembled at the Great White Throne of Judgment. There, Christ as Judge will sentence these lost souls to the unending torment of the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:10-15). Their persistence in sin and refusal to receive the righteousness by faith in Christ will result in eternal punishment.
Those who are wise will prepare for a time of future judgment. If you have never placed your trust in the payment Christ made for your sins, apart from all works, we urge you to trust in Christ today. If you already know Christ as Savior, we urge you to live each day with the Judgment Seat of Christ in view: in faithfulness, purity, sincerity, and service for the cause of Christ. Be prepared.
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