But God is the judge:
he putteth down one,
and setteth up another.
One of the main reasons people reject Jesus Christ is that they do not want to be judged (or give up some money to a church full of hypocrites). They think they are innately good and will receive the rewards given to all good people. Unfortunately, they are unaware of:
…… there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
I know someone that thinks he is a "good person" and that God will think he is good, at least good enough to put him in the top half of all mankind. God will grant admission to heaven to the top half and decline admission to the bottom half. As crazy as this is, it still recognizes a judgment. Would God judge you without telling you he was going to judge you? Of course not! And yes, I have unsaved friends and loved ones. We all do. They are everywhere, maybe in your own house.
And as it is appointed unto men once to die,
but after this the judgment:
It’s comin’ brother/sister, it’s comin’! Unless the rapture takes you out, you are going to die and you are going to be judged.
If the rapture takes you out, you have escaped this general rule of death by accepting Christ, but you are still going to be judged by Him at the judgment seat of Christ.
..... for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
Either way, you are going to be judged. I know a few people died, were miraculously raised back to life, and then died again; that’s two deaths (like Lazarus in John 11).
There is strong evidence of person's souls separating from their bodies temporarily and being able to witness things that happen in places apart from their bodily location, called near-death experiences. Whether their soul actually visits heaven or hell is questionable, but the body and the soul are definitely two different things.
Now, all the saved get judged at the judgment seat of Christ after the rapture and all the unsaved get judged at the white throne judgment about 1,007 years later.
W H A T ' S T H E D I F F E R E N C E ?
This is two different judgments - many years apart!
This is two different judgments for two different kinds of people for two different reasons.
"the judgment seat of Christ" is not "the great white throne judgment of God", period. They have a different name, they are for different people, and they are not at the same time.
11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
And the standard of judgment for the unsaved will be the Lord himself. As a Christian, the Lord has already paid for your sins. As a non-believer, you must be perfect like Christ or pay for your sins. Care to predict the outcomes? Details later!
because he hath appointed a day,
in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained;
whereof he hath given assurance unto all men,
in that he hath raised him from the dead.
Many people are turned off by a preacher that preaches judgment, especially on special days like Mother’s Day, Easter, and Christmas. “Oh my goodness, he is so loud. I go to church to feel good about myself, not get put down. Why does he have to do that? I don’t like that church. There must be a better place for me on these special days.”
Open your heart, friend, and realize that truth will prevail whether you like it or not. Go to church because you know enough to love God and know that He has a message for you there. And take the message if you discern the preacher to be truthful.
A smart preacher preaches judgment on these days because there are people there on special days that are never there at any other time. He’s doing them a favor!
A preacher of judgment is not popular (Noah only had his family and Jeremiah had no converts). He is being truthful and can guide you to the position you need to be in so you can accept what God has decided to deliver to you through him on that day.
Don't wait for the final judgment, take it now!
photos courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net