Original Post Date: June 13, 2014
There exists a paradox among our generation. It is the paradox of proclaiming God as judge as a means to reinforce rebellion. The purpose of the judgment seat of Christ is to acknowledge the authority that God gave Jesus in John 5, verses 22 and 27: “The Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son…And He has given Him authority to judge because He is the Son of Man.” Very rarely does anyone associate judgment with a positive connotation. It is typically linked with God’s wrath and promise to repay everyone according to what they have done (Psalms 62:12, Proverbs 24:12, Romans 2:6); but God entrusted Jesus authority over judgment for a reason. Mankind broke fellowship with God by way of disobedience. Thus, God sent Jesus to restore what was broken. Of all the ways God could have spoken to man a message of reconciliation, He chose to interact face to face with us here on Earth. Why? Because it was His way of choosing to relate to us and meet us in our sin without taking on a sinful nature Himself. Thus, we are not being judged by who we perceive to be a wrathful God of vengeance, but rather a God who has shared in our sufferings and understands our shortcomings.
The judgment of Christ operates under mercy, grace, righteousness, and justice. Jesus exercises mercy when He does not punish us with the harshness that our sins truly deserve. He extends His kindness through grace by blessing us despite the fact that we do not deserve it. Righteousness refers to those who are in right relationship with God. Thus, His mercy and grace is what delivers the righteous from judgment. This is certainly a reason worth celebrating! However, it is crucial to recognize that we serve a God of justice; He does not let any unjust act go unnoticed. There is no hierarchy when it comes to mercy, grace, righteousness, and justice; they all work together. Thus, justice is not the exception, but rather the completion to His judgment.
Our generation is correct in saying only God can judge because God’s judgment is the only judgment that matters, especially in comparison to the judgment of man. However, the judgment of God should neither be used as a scapegoat to justify unwise behavior nor a passive aggressive substitute for telling people to mind their own business. The judgment seat of Christ is to be honored and approached with a heart of gratitude for the mercy, grace, righteousness, and justice of the One who extends fellowship with Him to those who willingly accept it.
Christ as my anchor