Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Called to Account (Matthew 25:1-32)

“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming” (Matt. 25:13).

A day will come when all of humanity will give an account. Each of us will stand before the judgment seat of God, and the book of our lives will be spread open for all to see. God will then make a judgment according to what each person has done. God’s judgment will not be questioned. He shows no partiality, and His judgments are righteous. The standard by which all people will be judged is the perfect law of God.

Against the skeptics and the secularists who assert that mankind will not be held accountable for its actions, Jesus told His disciples that one day “All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats” (Matt. 25:32).

God has promised that the Day of Judgment will come. It might be tomorrow or it might be in a thousand years. No one knows. The exact time of Christ’s return to judge the world is a mystery to everyone except the Father. We might not know the time, but one thing we can be sure of is that how we live in the here and now will determine God’s judgment of us on that fearful day.

Jesus tells us to keep watch over our lives, to be ready when the Lord appears again. He expounds on this warning through two parables (Matt. 25). He tells a story of ten virgins—five whose lamps are filled when the bridegroom arrives, and five whose lamps are empty. The first five join the bridegroom at the wedding feast while the last five are locked outside. Next He describes three servants whose master entrusted talents to each of them. Two put their talents to good use. The third hides his away. Upon his return, the master is sorely displeased with the third servant, and he orders him to be cast outside into the darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Those who are not covered by Christ will be condemned on the Day of Judgment. They will be cast out like weeds among the wheat. They will be gathered by the angels and engulfed in the flames of perdition. But those covered by the righteousness of Christ will be blessed by God, they will dine at the wedding feast of the Lamb, and they will dwell in the kingdom of heaven forever.

How should God’s coming judgment affect your behavior (your righteousness)? Consider often today God’s judgment. Examine your thoughts and actions to see if they are not, indeed, worthy of judgment. If you are a Christian, thank God that you have an Advocate to speak in your defense.