Be a witness before the judgment
Crimes occur every day. Some crimes are minor while others are major, with major cases sometimes resulting in lawyers fighting for life or death. In such cases, the jury listens and witnesses testify. Frequently, witnesses’ words carry much weight in a final verdict. If only a witness could prevent a wrongdoing before it ever happened. Truth is, every born-again believer can do exactly that! Oh, I’m not talking about foiling present day offences, but being a witness to and for the unsaved, telling others about the Gospel (Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection), and sharing God’s plan of eternal salvation in fervent hope of saving people from a judgment like no other, with a Judge like no other! This event, called the White Throne Judgment, will occur after God’s plan for all mankind has been completed, and EVERY person who, from the beginning of time, has chosen to deny Jesus Christ as their savior will stand before Judge Jesus Christ (John 5:22, 27-29)!
This is what awaits. “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 words. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them; and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:11-15) This judgment is a terrifying and heart-wrenching consequence of unbelief.
At this tragic and inescapable judgment there will be no need for a lawyer or a jury, and it will be too late for a witness. At the White Throne Judgment, the verdict will already be in; the unbeliever stands condemned already! (John 8:24) Judge Jesus will have before Him the only witnesses necessary, the opened books offering unchallengeable proof of guilt against every unbeliever. (Re-read verses in above paragraph.) These books will reveal the unbeliever’s every thought, every word, and every deed…the damning ‘whys’ of a person’s rejection. Each unbeliever will stand before Jesus Christ as the undeniable evidence of their guilt is exposed. Then… the Book of Life will be opened to reveal that each unbeliever has had his or her name blotted from that book, justifying their eternal punishment.
Imagine an incalculable number of people of every age past the age of accountability, of every skin color, of every ethnicity, of fame, rich or poor trembling before the very One they CHOSE to reject. Many of those standing before the White Throne will have spent eons in Hell, but there will be no opportunity for pardons or paroles because when one crosses death’s threshold there is NO ‘time-out’ before entering Heaven or Hell. “And these (unsaved) shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous (believers) into life eternal.” (Matthew 25:46)
Neither will the unbeliever have the option to plead for leniency or offer excuses. Jesus doesn’t want to hear that one’s religion deceived them; one performed many good works; one believed in some type of higher being; one wrongly thought God’s Word was untrue, or that one had been deceived by evolution. Remember the books? The Mighty Judge is fully aware of the unbelievers’ huge arsenal of excuses, but “…..they are without excuse”. (Romans 1:20).
For those who say, “God is Love”, thereby dismissing thought of eternal punishment, indeed, God IS love (John 3:16/Romans 5:8), but consider the following verse. “For the wages (penalty) of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23) Sin unmistakably requires a price to be paid, and that price is death! Since ALL of us have sinned and come short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23) and fallen short of His holiness, our sin debt MUST be paid, and ONLY Jesus Christ being sinless could pay that debt, AND HE DID! He was viciously nailed to a criminal’s cross, and died for us…!. (Romans 4:25) He paid our sin debt so that no one would have to stand before Him to be cast into the second death – the Lake of Fire – forever separated from God! (Revelation 21:8)
Tragically, many refuse to put their faith and trust in Lord Jesus. This is rebellion against God, and this is sin. Thus, unbelievers are in violation of God’s law because “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” (I John 3:4) They are guilty in the eyes of God.
Believers, let’s witness to the lost about our faith and trust in Jesus, and how we were once unbelievers, guilty of sinning against God. Let’s explain how Jesus’ shed blood washed away our guilt in the eyes of God, thereby eliminating our appearance at the White Throne judgment. Let’s give witness to God’s mercy and grace, and be dedicated to witnessing before it’s too late in an effort to keep another from trembling before the White Throne Judgment!
Nancy Hamilton is an author of Christian books and a member of Souls Harbor Baptist Church. She can be reached at website wordsontheword.com and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thoughts of Faith is a weekly column written by various ministers and lay people. Those interested in scheduling a date for writing a Thoughts of Faith should contact Jennifer Houtman at 740-373-2121, ext. 500, or jhoutman@mariettatimes.-com