Today's Foundations Devotional: First the resurrection, then judgement

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Memory verse:

Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men

everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge

the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given

assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.

(Acts 17:30-31)

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Yesterday we concluded that for every human being who dies, there are two certain destinations: resurrection and judgment. Even those Christians who will be caught up, still alive, to meet Christ at His return must still appear before the judgement appointed for all Christians.

For we shall all stand before the judgement seat of Christ (Rom. 14:10).

Almost exactly the same words occur again in 2 Corinthians.

For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ (5:10).

In each of these two passages the phrase “we ... all” denotes all Christians, without any exceptions. Resurrection and judgement are inseparably connected by the logic of Scripture.

Resurrection always precedes judgement. In no case will anyone appear before God for judgement as a disembodied soul; but in every case it will be the complete human personality, consisting of spirit, soul and body, that will appear before the judgement of God. For this reason, the resurrection of the body must necessarily precede the final judgement. It is in this order that these two things are always presented to us in Scripture: first resurrection, then eternal judgement.

Paul indicates the underlying principle which determines this order.

For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad (2 Cor. 5:10).

Judgement concerns the things done in the body while on earth. Since it is for the things done in the body that man must answer, God has ordained that man shall appear in his body before Him to answer for those things.

Therefore resurrection of the body must precede eternal judgement. In this, as in all points, the programme of God is logical and consistent.

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Prayer:

Father, thank You for allowing me to fully function in my body, to

honour Your name and to help build Your Kingdom. Lead me through

your Spirit so that I may walk in the works that You have prepared for

me in advance. In Your Name Lord Jesus. Amen.

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