Speaking the Truth in Love

The Judgment Seat of Christ

Suppose that you search for a job at LinkUp.com. A publishing company is offering a position with extraordinary status, salary, and benefits. You submit a résumé and get an offer. You report for work first thing Monday morning. Someone from human resources shows you to the most splendid and spacious office in Dallas.

And then the work begins. It is your job to read and evaluate books submitted for publication by would-be novelists. Reading and critiquing is fun. As a college graduate with a degree in English, you have strong opinions about what constitutes good writing. But the phone never stops ringing. You are expected to take every call and still evaluate the books stacked on your glossy desk. After four hours you are ready for a break. Then you learn that no breaks are permitted. You must stay at your desk 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Sounds like a nightmare, doesn’t it? No promise of power or money would entice a sane person to accept such an all-consuming task. The human constitution isn’t equipped for it.

Why, then, are some disciples tempted to usurp Christ’s place? The Bible says, “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body” (2 Cor. 5:10). Paul doesn’t say that the world mus appear before the judgment seat of Bob or Brenda. Christ is judge. No human being is spiritually equipped to make up a definitive list of everyone to be saved or destroyed.

Plainly, if we don’t know anything about the lifestyles and attitudes condemned by Jesus, evangelism is impossible. True disciples recognize that we are living in a lost and dying world. Everyone needs Jesus—even good citizens, hard workers, kind neighbors, and loving relatives. However, playing eternal judge is distressing, distracting, and overwhelming. I’m not spiritually equipped to judge the world in righteousness. God is. So let’s focus on our task—sharing the good news of Christ with everyone we meet—and let God be God.

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