Verses of the Week: I Peter 4:17-18 “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”
Encouraging Thought: Why must judgment begin with us? We have the Truth. And God has commanded us to get it out to all nations. One day, each and every person will stand before God. Believers will stand before Him at the Judgment Seat of Christ and we will be judged for our works. What have we done for Christ? The lost (or unbelievers) will stand before God at the White Throne Judgment, and they also will be judged for their works.
No one will be judged for sin, because Jesus paid the penalty for our sin. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death…” Jesus died in our place. “…but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” All we have to do is accept God’s gift of eternal life. And until we do, we can’t do anything for Christ. We can only do for ourselves.
On Judgment Day, everyone is judged according to their works, but your works doesn’t save you. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” We don’t have to do anything for our salvation except to believe. And that should encourage everybody.
Words of Wisdom: Judgment Day is a time of rewards. But it will also be a fearful time for those who don’t know Christ as Savior. Rev 20:12 says, “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 I Corinthians 3:8 says, “…every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.” What kind of eternal reward are you working toward? Will it lead you into everlasting life or into everlasting damnation? What you do now determines where you spend eternity.
In Revelation 20:13-15, John wrote, “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. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
Has your name been written in the Book of Life? We know that our Creator is a God of love. That’s why He sent His Son to pay the penalty for our sin. He made a way for us to escape the horrors of hell. John 3:15 says, “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” All we have to do is accept His gift of eternal life. (Romans 6:23) But although God made a way, He’s given us the freewill whether or not to take His way or refuse His gift and go our own way.
Just remember what I Peter 4:18 says, “And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”