By Andrew V. Ste. Marie
Have you ever received one of those “Judgment Day” e-mails? In various versions, some type of a “Judgment Day” scene depiction is sent around on e-mail and even used in tracts for evangelism. Below is a summary of what most of these scenes try to portray:
“I died and went to judgment. The Judge sat at the bench and listened as I explained that I had lived a good life and had not done anything really bad, so I should go to Heaven. The Prosecuting Attorney, Satan, came to the witness stand and began to read off my sins. I felt worse and worse as he read from the enormous book in front of him. The Judge looked at me and said, ‘Are these charges true?’ ‘Yes,’ I replied.
“Then up came the Defense Attorney. He said He had died to pay for my sins and so I could not go to Hell, since I had trusted in Him. ‘Innocent of all charges,’ the Judge said. ‘Case closed.’”
I have no problem with arousing people to think of the Judgment, but this type of story only lightens the seriousness of Judgment Day rather than promoting serious reflection. (This is particularly so in versions which have Jesus saying “Hi Dad!” to the Father.) Moreover, it contains Scriptural errors as well.
Did you know that the Father will NOT be the Judge on Judgment Day? In John 5:22-23, Jesus said,
“For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.”
Jesus is going to be the Judge on Judgment Day! When you die and face God, you will not be hiding behind Jesus; He will be the Judge. Another fact worthy of consideration is the basis on which men will be judged. Many ideas have been proposed over the years: faithful church attendance, obedience to the church, doing good things for others, being a “good person,” or – as this story proposes – simply trusting in Christ. But what does Jesus say about what basis men will be judged on?
“And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:47-48).
Men will be judged on the basis of Jesus’ Words. It is wise to be thoroughly acquainted with what Jesus Himself said while He was on Earth so that we can live by His teachings and not be condemned on Judgment Day.
Originally published in The Witness, May 2012.