“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done.” (ESV – Read the chapter)
Friday morning I started a conversation with you about two important things that we’ve got to understand in what Jesus says here. The first thing is that we are going to be judged someday and so need to be living like it now.
The second idea here is that this judgment, when it happens, will be based entirely on what we have done. In other words, salvation may be based on grace, but judgment will be based on works. When God in Christ makes the final judgment of us before granting us the proper end, this judgment will be entirely concerned with what we have spent our life doing.
So then, have you lived in such a way that you will pass God’s works-based judgment? The standard will be His perfect holiness. How do you measure up?
Well, if you’re at all like me, not very well. In fact, I don’t measure up at all. If the final judgment is based on works–and it is–I am entirely without hope. So are you. We are without hope but for this one thing: Grace. Specifically this grace: When judgment comes it will be based on works, but if we have placed our trust in Jesus, we will be judged on the basis of His works, not ours. Jesus puts His arms around us like a blanket and when God looks at us, He sees His perfect Son, and pronounces us clean. Without the grace, though, we will not measure up. Judgment will leave us condemned.
One little verse. Two enormous truths. Jesus is going to return to judge the world and without the grace He freely offers those who are willing to receive it, we will not pass the test. Accept His grace and live ready for His return.