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Theology

Judging. Judges. Judgement. The Judge.

Many shows on TV these days seem to share a common element: The X Factor, American Idol, Battle of the Blades, Dancing with the Stars, Cover Me Canada, The Dragon’s Den (and maybe others).  They all have a panel of judges and people willing to submit themselves to their judgements.  In a culture where judging anyone or anything seems taboo it’s…surprising.

In each of these shows, experts are called upon to scrutinize a vocal performance, a physical ability, an invention, or a business plan.  Usually something significant is on the line: a reputation, a recording contract, or 5 million dollars (The X Factor).  As these shows progress stakes become higher, stress increases, and emotions intensify.

For brief moments in time the judges on these shows hold in their hands the outcome of people’s lives.  Whether or not someone will have the opportunity to compete for 5 million dollars has the potential to drastically alter that individual’s life.  At least from an earthly perspective.

Every contestant recognizes that to some degree or another, their fate in the competition lies in the hands of the judges.  People hang in the balance, believing those moments to be some of the most significant they will ever experience.  They couldn’t be more wrong.

If they have successfully impressed the judges, a favourable judgement delivers both exhilaration and excitement.  An unfavourable judgement leaves them dejected and utterly devastated.  Often everything in their entire lives rides on that single decision (some have no jobs or even homes to return to should they lose).

However, there is another judgement which humans will undergo, for we are answerable to The Judge of the universe.  Those intense emotions expressed in moments of exhilaration or devastation are noting compared to what individuals will experience when standing before God when He renders a perfect judgement.  My heart skips a beat to see individuals crumble under the weight of a human judge’s decision because I cannot imagine their horror at being found unacceptable in the sight of God.

Revelation 20:11-13 reads:

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it.  From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.  And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened.  Then another book was opened, which is the book of life.  And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.  And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in the, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done.

This is the one true judgement that matters – that of Almighty God.  And we cannot earn for ourselves favour in His eyes.  Our names are not written in the book of life because of our abilities, or talents, or church attendance, or good deeds.  The book of life belongs to the Lamb (Revelation 21:27) and our names are only written there through faith in His name (John 20:31).

The alternative to finding refuge in Christ comes a few verses later in Revelation 20:15:

And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Is your name written there?

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Equipping the saints for the work of the ministry.

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