Written by Mark Cares
C.S. Lewis once stated that believers should view Judgment Day as defendants with airtight cases. If you had absolute proof of your innocence, you would look forward to the day you could publicly put the charges against you to rest.
Because Jesus completely paid our debt to God’s justice, we have an airtight case. His declaration from the cross, “It is finished” is absolute proof of our innocence. (“It is finished” is one word in Greek – a word which was used to mark bills “paid in full”.) Jesus’ resurrection is our receipt proving that God accepted his death as payment for our sins. Jesus “was raised to life for our justification” (Romans 4:25).
The word “justification” illustrates just how airtight our case is. It refers to a judge’s verdict of “not guilty”. God loves us so much that he doesn’t make us wait until Judgment Day to hear his verdict. He has already announced it! He has already justified us. Judgment Day is nothing but the worldwide proclamation of the verdict he has already pronounced to each one of us individually.
Keeping all this in mind, it becomes easier and easier to look forward confidently and eagerly to Judgment Day.
And it’s important to do this. Being eager to have our day in court can greatly impact how we live. The more positively we view Judgment Day, the brighter each day will be. Removing the great burden of fear that many people have in regard to it lightens our steps and makes our journey through life so much easier.
Eagerly waiting for Judgment Day not only greatly impacts our life, it also impacts our witness. Our confidence in meeting our Maker will startle quite a few people. They will be puzzled by it. Some will even ask how we can be so confident. Our confidence often serves as a magnet drawing people to our witness.
This is especially true when witnessing to Mormons. Because their final destiny depends so much on what they do – on their faithfulness and their keeping the commandments – very few Mormons face Judgment Day with any kind of confidence. In fact, many have told us how they view it with dread. You can just imagine how they become intrigued by our sure confidence.
I, however, have found that many Christians aren’t very confident. The problem is they look too much at themselves and not enough at Jesus. They fail to see the full significance of “It is finished”. They have trouble picturing themselves as being totally washed clean by Jesus’ blood. They haven’t fully grasped the tremendous fact that God has already announced the “not guilty” verdict.
In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus used the parable of the sheep and the goats to describe Judgment Day. I read this parable frequently. I love that the judgment, seen in the separation of the goats and sheep, is done first thing, before Jesus even speaks. Then when he speaks to the sheep, he doesn’t mention any sins. He only praises them for what they have done. Furthermore, I love how the sheep aren’t even aware of what they had done. Their focus wasn’t on their works, but on Jesus. This shows that, on Judgment Day, believers will not only be publicly acquitted, they will be publicly praised! This only adds to the greatness of that Day.
I encourage you to think often of Judgment Day. Not with dread but with eager anticipation. See that, because of Jesus, you have an airtight case. See that it will be, along with all believers, the best day of your life.