The Christian Four-letter Word
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”—Jesus
Judgment is not a four-letter word. But if you use it in some Christian circles, people are going to act like you're swearing right there in front of God and everybody. Sure, we all prefer words like love, forgiveness, and acceptance. Does judgment have a place in the Gospel of grace? Yes! Because it’s a real, future event. According to 2 Corinthians 5:10, we will stand before the judgment seat of Christ, and 2 Corinthians 4:13-15 says that the Father Himself is going to take us there:
It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
We will be raised with Jesus. We will be presented to God. That is a remarkable element of our destiny—and it's worth pondering; it's worth imagining; it’s worth planning. But most importantly, it's worth putting it into a biblical perspective, because the Bible has a lot to say about it.
One of the things the Bible says—and this probably goes against everything we are inclined to feel—is that this judgment seat of Christ is good for us. It's for our “benefit” and it causes “thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.” My guess is that those are facets of God’s judgment that you never really considered before. But there they are, in black and white in the Bible. Our judgment will be good for us, our judgment will glorify God.
But how can this be? Is it because of our successful performance and religious duties? Is it because we somehow purify ourselves and make ourselves worthy? Is it because we somehow avoided the big “no-no” sins successfully through our life?
Not a chance. Check out the verse again. What will make your judgment beneficial and glorifying? It is “the grace that is reaching more and more people.”Jesus, I need You to break some of my preconceived ideas right now. In the world, the judgment we receive from other people is never beneficial nor glorifying. Touch my heart right now, so that I might be able to consider Your judgment through the power of Your grace. Amen.