We conclude our sermon series entitled ‘Opening Times’. Preaching from Nathan Gordon.
As we conclude our sermon series “Opening Times” our final sermon is based on the opened book of Judgment, in John’s apocalyptic vision of the end times. Judgment a topic that has become increasingly controversial and offensive in postmodernity and even amongst Christianity. Can a loving God cast people into the lake of fire? Can a loving God send people to Hell?
You may have heard or even uttered these words to someone in the past “What gives you the right to judge my actions?” “Who are you to judge me?” Although the Bible does warn against casting judgment or damnation on each other, scriptures do teach about the righteous judge (Jesus Christ) who is well within his divine right to judge both believers and non-believers at his appointed time.
There are different interpretations about the timings and meanings behind John’s vision but what is clear and undisputed, Is the main message of the vision is undeniable that Jesus Christ will return. John confirms this in his closing prayer “He who testifies to these things says Yes, I am coming soon, Amen. Come, Lord Jesus”
Scholars, theologians and Christians may differ on the timings of his return, the 7-year tribulation, when will the Church be raptured? Pre-trib?, mid-trib? or post-trib?, what will the millennial reign of Christ look like? Is it a literal reign or figurative? All of these questions and views are important, but the most important truth of all is – Jesus is coming back and therefore we should be ready for his return.
This morning we are going to look at two separate judgments recorded in scripture and look at the similarities and differences.
1) The Great White Throne Judgment (Non-Believers) – Revelation 20:11-15
- a) The greatness and terror of His presence (v11)
- b) Great and small standing before the throne (v12)
- c) Books opened and the Book of Life (v12)
- d) Death, Hades and anyone not written in the book of life thrown into the lake of fire (v13)
2) The Judgment Seat of Christ (Believers) – 2 Cor 5:7-10
- a) Only believers will appear before the judgment seat of Christ, as opposed to the Great white throne judgment of unbelievers (Rev 20:11-15)
- b) At Christ’s judgment seat, He will determine a believer’s faithfulness to Him and reward each person appropriately. (1 Cor 3:11-15)
- c) The believer’s preparation for Christ’s judgment
- Walk by faith and not by sight (v7)
- Develop a longing for heaven (v8)
- Make it our chief aim to please the Lord (v9)
- Keep the judgment seat of Christ in view (v10)
Challenge – Knowing that in the future we will stand before the judgment seat of Christ and face a review of our lives, should motivate us to live righteously and faithfully in the present. Looking unto Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2)
- Throughout history, the deeds of billions have been recorded in Heaven. What does that fact indicate about the greatness of our God?
- How should the church in 2020 engage and speak to people about the judgments according to the Bible?
- In light of the judgment seat of Christ, what renewed perspective do you have on your worries, goals and frustrations?
Title: Judgment Day
Reading: Revelation 20 v 11 – 15
Preacher: Nathan Gordon