Pastor Speaks: Prepare for the final judgment

By Pastor Stephen Howard - Contributing Columnist

Preparation is important. We try to prepare for college and retirement. We must also prepare for the final judgment. Everyone is accountable to God. We read a sobering preview of the final judgment in Revelation 20:11-15.

Many today are focused on material things. But just before the final judgment, this world and everything in it will pass away. The Bible describes the scene this way: “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them” (Rev. 20:11).

Then it won’t matter if you have the latest smart phone, or the largest bank account. This world as we know it will be gone. Then there will be judgment.

This world may be gone, but you won’t be. People will not miss their appointment for judgment. God will resurrect the dead and bring them, body and soul, to stand before the Great White Throne.

“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.” (Rev. 20:12-13).

These people that are judged will come from all walks of life, “small and great.” There will be some of the world’s most important people there and the most unimportant.

But by that point, their status and position will not make any difference. Each individual will stand before God. No one will be lost in the crowd and escape God’s attention.

No one escapes God’s attention today either. God knows and records every human thought and action.

The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 12:14, “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” And Jesus said, “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Matthew 12:36).

God’s perfect records will be opened. Some may be glad God will look at their works. They think their good works will outweigh their bad and they will be allowed to enter heaven. No such thing will happen at the final judgment. God’s record books will verify that people deserve the penalty about to be given out at the Great White Throne.

God will also refer to another record, the book of life. “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:15).

The names of believers in Jesus Christ are permanently recorded in the book of life. Jesus promised, “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” (Rev. 3:5).

This is the escape from the penalty to be given out at the final judgment. Trust personally in Jesus Christ for salvation. Through Him you have forgiveness and hope. God will let your name stand in the book of life.

But if you reject Jesus Christ and His offer of salvation, God will cast you, body and soul, into the lake of fire. There you will suffer torment for all eternity. Don’t ignore the warnings in God’s Word.

You are accountable to God. Prepare yourself now for the judgment of God.

By Pastor Stephen Howard

Contributing Columnist

Pastor Stephen Howard is from Morrow Bible Church.

Pastor Stephen Howard is from Morrow Bible Church.