God, who created all things and upholds all things by the word of His power, will one day come in judgement upon this world. In that great and dreadful day He will bring to light all the things that were done upon the earth. This judgment of God will not be according to notions of human morality. Neither can it be turned away by bribery or deceit. Rather, it will be carried out by Jesus Christ, with absolute accuracy, according to the unchanging standard of God's Righteousness, and according to the deeds of men in light of that righteousness.
What, You may ask, is this standard of righteousness?
It is a standard of perfect holiness. When Jesus Christ walked upon the earth, He made clear the standards of God's perfection. See for yourself an example of what Jesus taught regarding God's righteousness:
"You have heard that the ancients were told, 'you shall not commit murder' and 'whoever murders shall be liable to the court.' But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever shall say, 'you fool' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whosoever shall say, 'damn you,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell." Matthew 5:21-22 and again:
"You have heard that it was said, 'you shall not commit adultery'; but I say to you that everyone who looks on a woman, to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.
As you can see, God's righteousness goes much deeper than the surface of our actions. In fact, God's righteousness has less to do with our actions, although we will be held accountable for them, and more to do with our lack of respect for the person and glory of God.
In a startling summation of the human race, the apostle Paul has this to say of our condition before God.
"There is none righteous, not even one;
There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks for God;
All have turned aside, together the have become useless;
There is none who does good;
There is not even one."
In the final account of all these things he declares:
"There is no fear of God before their eyes"
Imagine for a moment the immeasurable wisdom and power that the creator of the universe must possess. And yet we deny His greatness and power every time we choose to worship and serve the creation rather than the creator. When we love or serve anything or anyone more than God, we become guilty of idolatry and will be held accountable to our creator and judge, Jesus Christ.
"For all things were created by Him (Jesus Christ), and for Him, and He is before all things and in Him all things hold together." Colossians 1:16-17
Who or what are the idols of your life? What is it that you live for? Do you live for houses, money, or land? Do you live for your family or your friends? Perhaps it is a lust for power or respect that has taken the place of God in your life. What ever it is, what ever you pursue, these are the idols of your heart!
If each of these idols could be likened to planets in orbit, who would be their center? Their sun? Is it not you? Have you not ordered you life in such a way that all things revolve around you and the pleasure that you may derive from them.
Selfishness, pride, these are the very definitions of sin according to God.
Remember, You were created by Jesus Christ. Your life is not your own. He is the true center of the universe and He is to be honored.
Let me also be clear when I say that any understanding of God that originates from the human mind amounts to idolatry. God will not be conformed to our image and likeness. He will not be shaped by the desires of our hearts. Rather, He is alive and actively shaping human history towards His great purpose.
In our idolatry,
we rob the true God of the glory and honor that is His.
In replacing the standard of God's righteousness with our own ideas of morality,
we spit upon His holiness and purity
In rebelling against His sovereign authority over our lives,
we challenge His wisdom and call Him a fool
But God Wouldn't really punish people...would He?
Quite to the contrary of popular thought, the Bible says that God does and will punish all sin.
In the Fifth Psalm, God's hatred of sin and the sinner is made very clear.
"You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness;
No evil dwells with You.
The boastful will not be able to stand before Your eyes;
You hate all who do iniquity.
You will destroy all who speak lies;
The Lord abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit."
From this, it is clear that God will not only judge people, He will judge you. He must! The fact of the matter is that even if you never sinned against God for the rest of your life, you would still have to answer for the sins of your past.
"For the wages of sin is death"
There are no words to communicate the horror that a man, woman, or child will experience upon hearing these dreadful words of Jesus:
"Depart from me you accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the Devil and his angels...and these will go away into eternal punishment" Matthew 25:41,46
In bringing these thoughts to you, I hope to see several things accomplished:
That Jesus Christ would display to you the greatness of His power and glory.
That you would know of the certainty of the coming judgement.
That you would understand the basis of that judgement. And,
That you would see the hopelessness of your condition before God.
But why would I want you to see your hopelessness?
Because, it is only after you see yourself as you really are, cold, rebellious, indifferent, miserable, enslaved to your lusts, darkened in your understanding, without resource to change from within, that you will see how your great your sin against Jesus Christ is and has been. Do not be deceived, the excellency of Jesus Christ is beyond comprehension. The problem is not in His worth, but in your refusal to acknowledge His person. What you are in need of, is repentance.
Just as the world recoiled when Copernicus discovered that the earth was not the center of the universe, so you now recoil at the idea of God in the center of His creation.
I hope that you are beginning to see the seriousness of your condition. If Jesus Christ is truly God, and your sin against Him is so great, what hope do you have of making peace with God on your own merit? My friend, Apart from His forgiveness and mercy you will remain in your sin. God's wrath will abide on you. His character demands it!
The Good News is that Jesus Christ came into the world reconcile sinners to God!
But, How is it possible for God to forgive our sins and still be good?
As strange as this question may sound to you, it is the greatest mystery in all of creation. The Bible says that
"God is light, in Him there is no darkness at all."
If God were to simply overlook our darkness, He would have to share in it, He would have to accept it, He would have to condone it. THIS COULD NEVER BE.
So how can God forgive sins and still be good? The answer to that question could only be answered in Jesus Christ.
I'm sure you've heard the expression, "if you want to do something right you have to do it yourself." In this case that's exactly what it took. Jesus Christ came in to the world to save His people from their sins.
He abandoned His rightful place of glory in order to save hopeless sinners.
Jesus Christ, who was the very creator of the universe
"Emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." Philippians 2:6-8
He lived a sinless life, fulfilling every aspect of His own Law while He walked the earth. Even His enemies could not make an honest accusation against Him. He never had a selfish motive or action, but lived to the glory of the Father. When He had fulfilled His earthly ministry, He laid down His life at the hands of wicked men. That is He took upon Himself the full punishment of His people so that they would not have to suffer it themselves in hell.
" Christ redeemed us (that is, those who believe) from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us."
"...He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed." Isaiah 53:5
Not only did Jesus live His life for sinners, and die their death upon the cross, but He rose victoriously from the grave. In rising from the grave, He has displayed His power over death and hell. Because He has paid the penalty for the sins of His people, and because He has conquered death, he may now freely grant eternal life to all who entrust themselves to Him.
It is really very simple.
You will live your life and then face the judgement of God. The standard of that judgement can be nothing less than very perfection of Jesus Christ. And when Jesus renders the payment due you for your sins, you will have nothing to reply in your own defense. Unless of course your sins had already been paid for by the blood Jesus Christ Himself, and that by faith in His work on your behalf you had entered into His life.
Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life, no man can come to the father but through me."
In perfect righteousness, God has planned for, provided and secured the salvation of many sinners from out of every tribe, tongue, and nation of men. This salvation is found in the person of Jesus Christ, who laid down His very life to reconcile them to God. In fact, the whole of human history revolves around this great work. For this reason, I urge you on behalf of Christ, Be reconciled to God.
Repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.