Today's Foundations Devotional: Christians will be judged first
You shall not bow down to them nor serve them.
For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the
iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and
fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing
mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep
The New Testament reveals three main, successive scenes upon which eternal judgement will be carried out. Each of these scenes is marked out from the others by one distinctive feature: the type of seat upon which the Judge will sit while carrying out the judgement.
In the first scene the seat upon which the Judge will sit is called “the judgement seat of Christ.” Those to be judged here will be Christ’s own followers and servants, the true Christians.
In the second scene the seat of judgement is called “the throne of [Christ’s] glory.” Those to be judged here will be the Gentile nations remaining upon earth at the close of the great tribulation, prior to the setting up of Christ’s millennial kingdom upon earth.
In the third scene the seat of judgement is called “a great white throne.” Those to be judged here will be all the remaining dead who will be resurrected at the close of the millennium.
We shall begin by considering the picture given in the New Testament of the first of these three judgement scenes – that which is to be carried out before the judgement seat of Christ. As we have said, those to be judged here will be the true Christians. To some it may perhaps appear surprising that Christians are to be judged at all – even more so that they will be the first to be judged. However, this principle is based on Scripture.
For the time has come for judgement to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?” (1 Pet. 4:17-18).
Here Peter, writing as a Christian, says that judgement must begin with “us” – the house of God. It is obvious that by these two phrases he is referring to Christians. This is confirmed by the fact that those thus described are contrasted with “those who do not obey the gospel of God”; that is, with the unbelievers. Peter makes it clear, therefore, that the first judgement will be that of the true Christians.
Heavenly Father, thank You for ensuring in Your Word
that we do not have to remain ignorant of what is going to
happen at the end of time. Make me able, Lord, to speak
about these things with brothers and sisters, so that I may
help Your Body to grow in understanding, so that they will
be ready. Amen.