In the seminary, there was a brilliant priest/professor who had the talent of reducing the most difficult concepts to simple terms. He said when we die, either of two things occurs. First, the lights go off. One option is they stay off. For those leading an exemplary, Christian life well, it may have been for naught. But the second option is….the light turns back on and we have our Lord standing there ready to greet us!
If, as we believe, the second option happens, then we will be judged on the life we lead. I for one do not want to stand there and say oh, oh! Then start stuttering and trying to explain to the Lord why I did what I did……. What I want is to hear from Him, well done my good and faithful servant, come and enjoy everlasting life!
In the book of Revelation, John narrates this great contest between Good and evil. He paints a magnificent, surreal depiction of what will happen in the afterlife. He says in Revelation chapter 20:
“I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and 3 cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more. 11 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. 12 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.”
13 and they were judged, every man according to their works.
There is no sugar coating this my brothers and sisters in Christ. We will be judged according to the life we lead.
This brings up another issue involving judgment. In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 7, verses 1-6 he says: ” 7 Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
So when judgment day comes, we will be judged as we judged others during our life…….. If that is not a sobering thought, I do not know what is!
John concludes the book of Revelation: Chapter 21, “4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.”
We are called to live as we wish to be judged at the end of time.
Judgment day. Are we ready?!