When we meet with Christ at our Judgement
In judicial trials the accused has an opportunity to be defended and sometimes the result will depend on the lawyer(s) pleading the case. Some years ago I was hired as an expert witness for the prosecution regarding a serious injury that occurred at an asphalt plant. There were no doubts that the inexperienced electricians caused a severe injury by incompetent workmanship in an electrical wiring trough. One person was seriously burned when a connection shorted out causing an explosion. When I asked the attorney about the evidence prepared he said it isn’t so much who is right but on the best argument that determines the verdict. We’ve seen that in too many nationally viewed trials. O. J. Simpson was one.
What about the day we breath our last and stand before the judgement seat of Christ? Where will our advocate be standing, the one who may make the best presentation? Will the prosecutor be impressed as the judge listens to both sides? In this court only the judge will make a determination.
The first trial; the judgement of Satan and the fallen angels was held when Satan and the other angels were cast down from heaven’s realm and condemned to the Lake of Fire. The final sentencing will not take place until after the millennial reign of Christ. “The Devil who had led them astray was thrown into the pool of fire and sulphur, where the beast and the false prophet were. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” (Rev. 20: 10).
Let’s look at the judgement of humanity and the do’s and don’ts of critical factors. All people will stand before Christ as judge. “For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each one may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.” (2 Cor. 5: 10).
From Ephesians it says, “By grace are you saved through faith, and not of yourselves, it is the gift of God - not of works lest anyone should boast,” (Eph. 2: 8 - 9).
There are more than a few parables from Jesus where the one principal was sharing the talents given to individuals. We have heard that Catholics were noted for performing works in order to be saved. But, that was never true. Catholics always were told to use the faith they’ve received in order to do good works. St. James clarified that when he said, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well, but do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (Js. 2: 14 -17).
This alone is enough to cement the scenario of deeds that we shall be judged upon. Our deeds will reveal the measure of any reward judged as enough for our trial. The parable of the three servants to whom the master left in charge of his money in varying degrees to each. When returning he discovered that two took their amount and reinvested it, earning double for the master. However, the third buried his portion and was severely punished for not showing concern for the talents he had received as a steward. (Mt. 25: 14 ff).
Our judgement will parallel this servant’s punishment for holding onto the very gifts God has handed to each of us. Wealth belongs to God, not us. The works that we do are essential to treat the kingdom with respect and show the generosity of God to his creatures. A tune that is so easy and familiar to most Catholics; “We are the light of the world may our light shine before all, that they may see the good that we do and give glory to God.” By Jean Anthony Greif. There is wisdom here!
There will be no appeal to the verdict, no chance of a light sentence. The decision is final and some may have an eternity to think about the selfishness or unconcern for their brethren who needed a helping hand, and were refused.
It’s never too late to answer the call of God when becoming good stewards is a mandate. When you walk into court and stand before Christ at your death, the only document you’ll be required to carry is the past sign of doing good works for others. The results will follow you.
Ralph B. Hathaway, Works through Faith