When you think about the word ‘justice’ what comes to your mind? In just about every society, there is some form of a system in place which is meant to provide judgment for those who participate in criminal activity. Justice which has now become a universal goal for humanity is a concept that has not always yielded the appropriate results.
Throughout our world system, there have been countless times in which individuals who were guilty of a crime were exonerated of all wrongdoing. On the other hand, there were individuals who were innocent and yet they were mistakenly charged for a crime that they did not commit. The machine of justice has proven to be both a success and a failure in the eyes of humanity. However, there is one judge who surpasses all others in the delivery of justice and that is the Lord God Almighty.
In the book of Romans chapter 14, the Apostle Paul is admonishing Christians not to judge one another. Throughout this chapter, Paul encourages believers in the faith not to quarrel over what seems to be trivial in nature. For example, in verses 1-3, Paul uses the example of disagreeing on what type of food one should eat and that it is unnecessary to get into disputes regarding the choice of food. Even in verse 5, the Apostle Paul mentions the issue of honoring a certain day as ‘holy’ over another and that Christians should not argue over such things.
In the time that Romans chapter 14 was written, Paul was addressing issues of those who were still torn between keeping the ceremonial Jewish laws and those who were breaking away from such tradition. However, Paul wanted to encourage unity among those in Christ which meant to refrain from judging one another. Here is what Paul says in verses 10-12:
(NLT) “So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For the Scriptures say, “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will declare allegiance to God.’ Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God.”
The key portions of the scripture to focus on for the purposes of this blog post are the words “we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.” Paul also says, “Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God.” Paul wasn’t just referring to those who are in Christ, but this applies to every person. It is God who will judge and He shall do so righteously.
When most think of a judge it is usually appropriate to assume that the concept of a fair or just ruler is what many expect. The reason why many expect a fair ruling from a judge is because the judge as a figure represents justice or the delivery of fairness. God is the one who we will stand before at the end of our lives. It is His judgment that is final but how He judges is based upon how we live.
For example, there are those who are currently living in their sin and believe that they will avoid the due penalties that come with living in sin. The truth of the matter is that God sees your current actions and you just like I will be judged when life on this Earth is complete. God judges righteously which means he judges with fairness in addition to ensuring that every deed is either rewarded or punished accordingly.
Even those of us who are in Christ, we are going to be judged for what we do. A person who has given their life to Jesus Christ will be judged according to the profession of faith and also whether or not what is professed lines up with what is done. It will be our connectivity to God through Christ that will be examined. This means that if our life is not anchored or secured in Christ that God will remove us from His presence which is according to Matthew 7:23.
So, it is incumbent upon each individual (Christian or non-Christian) to understand that everyone will be judged according to what is done and based on every word that is said. Often times, humanity has shown a level of pride that caters towards assuming the role of ‘being the ultimate judge.’ Basically, the secular humanist does not feel an obligation towards anyone else as it relates to accountability especially an entity that is invisible.
However, even those who choose not to adhere to godly principles will be judged in the end. God who is the righteous judge will ensure that all verdicts and decisions will be handed down justly. You and I will give an account for what we have done in our life. The first thing that will be examined is whether or not a relationship with Jesus Christ was cultivated. If the answer to such a question is yes, then your eternity is certain and it will be spent in Heaven with the presence of God.
If the answer is no, then you can expect to be met with the isolation and fiery result of Hell. The interesting thing about God being a righteous judge is that while His verdicts are always just there are also moments in life when He grants us clemency. This means, that grace and mercy are extended toward us.
How often can you say that you received favorable treatment or were given an opportunity that you didn’t deserve? Such an experience is known as ‘grace.’ It is the offering of what is undeserving or in spite of what was done. Here on Earth, God offers grace even to those of us who do not deserve it. Jesus Christ dying on the cross to save us from our sins was not only an act of love but an act of grace.
You and I are sinful in our nature which means by default, we were meant to be destined for Hell. However, grace is the element that gives us an opportunity to avoid the death sentence that we deserve. God’s grace is available, but the key is understanding that when a decision is made to to accept Christ’s sacrifice, His grace is then extended to us. Those who are in sin can also experience God’s grace but such grace is limited because of one’s allegiance to a sinful lifestyle. It is also important to note that even with the grace of God, His grace is not given with the expectation that we would continue to sin.
Mercy which is also what God gives unto us is essentially the act of not giving what is deserved. To have mercy is to withhold a harsh judgment even when the person deserves what should be given. God has shown you and I mercy because He did not allow the judgment of destruction to override His great love for us. Instead, God’s mercy is what gave us the way of escape which was and is Jesus Christ. In fact, every day that you and I live is a gift of mercy because, in our imperfections, God is still merciful.
The fact is, however, both ‘grace’ and ‘mercy’ have their limitations toward those who are in constant rebellion. Since God is the righteous judge, He will always ensure that every judgment is given soundly and also finally. He decides what the ultimate punishment or reward will be for each person. However, the determination of which we will receive is based upon whether or not we are obedient unto God through Christ.
Do you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? If your answer is no, then the judgment that God would hand down if you were to die today would be one of separation and destruction in Hell. Don’t wait until it is too late to decide who you will serve. Jesus Christ died and rose again so that you could be reconciled back to God through Christ. The judge who is God will rule in fairness, but He wants you to choose Him today. Once the judgment of God is given, it is final. Today is the day to have a new life in Christ and in doing so, your life, and even your eternal life will be secure in God.