"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad." 2 Corinthians 5:10.
For most Christians, the judgment is confusing and misunderstood. To begin this second section of "Change Your Life - Biblically", we will attempt to encapsulate every topic with the concept of judgment. Once we understand judgment, we will have a better understanding of our salvation and our role in it.
When is the judgment?
How many judgments are there?
Must I fear the judgment?
What is it all about?
First, we need to understand what a "judgment" is.Simply put, it is a statement of right or wrong. It is somebody's decision that makes a determination on some topic or activity. If an officer pulls you over and gives you a ticket for speeding, he has judged you as a law breaker. You then go to court and ask the judge to make a judgment (decision) in your favor. You want the judge to rule that you were not speeding and to take that ticket off your record.
If you are accused of a felony, you go to court and attempt to prove your innocence. You want the judge or jury to pronounce judgment in your favor. You want them to pronounce you innocent.
Lucifer has leveled the charge against all of us as "Law Breakers" and deserving of death just like him. We are to look forward to the "Judgment Day" when we can stand in the presence of Christ, not in our worth, but because we have accepted the worth and works of Christ as our own. This is done through obedience to His commands. He will then judge us innocent. Praise the Lord.
There are television programs that show court proceedings. The prosecution and the defendant stand before the judge and each gives their side of the story. Based on records, photographs and testimony, each side attempts to persuade the judge that what they are saying is the truth.
After hearing all the arguments which are presented, the judge must make a decision. The judge must weigh the evidence and decide what is the right judgment to make. If the U.S. Supreme Court hands down that judgment, the decision is final. There is no higher court to make an appeal. Each side must live with the consequences of that decision.
But let's back up a bit and put this all in perspective. There are three phases to a judicial matter. By looking at each one we will begin to see the justice of God and His love in not wanting anyone to perish. Let us look at the system of justice here in America and see if we can make some comparisons between what we can see and what we cannot see.
The first thing that must happen for an investigation to begin, is a pointing finger. Somebody must make an accusation against you.
After the accusation, the authorities must begin writing down and investigating everything about you that relates to the accusation. This is called the "Investigative Judgment". Someone has made a judgment against you, and now the authorities must investigate the matter.
This investigation can take days, weeks, months or even years. There are many drug investigations that have been and are on-going over a period of many years. Time is not important. Getting the evidence is. Evidence that will either prove the accusations true or false.
All the information that is investigated is then compiled and placed in a record and cataloged so that it can be easily referred to and cataloged for future use. At this point the investigation is basically finished.
By this time the accused may be sitting in a county jail awaiting trial. He must go before a jury of his peers to answer the charges and accusations against him.
The information can be presented to a jury in two ways:
1. the accused to be present at the time of the trial and the other
2. for the evidence to be presented before a Grand Jury without the accused present.
At the trial the evidence is presented by the accuser, the prosecution, in the most heinous light. The prosecution wants everyone to know what a slime-ball the defendant is. The prosecution takes facts and presents them in such a way as to get the jury to believe in the guilt of the defendant. The prosecution wants the jury to find the defendant guilty.
The defense team takes the same facts and presents them to the jury in such a way that the jury will see that the actions were not so bad. The defense also tries to present facts to negate the evidence presented by the prosecution.
After all the evidence has been presented to the judge or jury, the judge or jury must then make a decision of guilt or innocence. They deliberate on the facts and return a verdict. If the verdict is innocent, the defendant does not have to stand before the judge to be sentenced. He is free to go his way.
If, however, the jury or judge finds the defendant guilty, a time is set for sentencing. At the appropriate time the defendant stands before the judge and the judge passes sentence.
The judge now hands down his sentence.
If it is a felony, the accused will probably go to prison. If it warrants death, the judge will sentence the defendant to death.
The officer will then take the prisoner away and he will be handed over to the state for proper execution of the sentence which was handed down by the judge. Case closed!