READ : 1 Peter 4:1-6
The phrase of the Apostles’ Creed which says that “He shall come again to judge the living and the dead” is based on this verse, as well as other Scripture. Christ is coming again. The first time He came as Savior; when He comes again it will be in judgment on every person who has ever lived. God is a God of love, but because He takes us seriously, He is also a God of judgment. He judges both individuals and groups of people within history. But there will also be a final judgment at the end of the world.
He will judge unbelievers, and give them perfect justice, exactly what they deserve. But He will also judge believers. The question will not be one of salvation. For those who put sincere trust in Christ, “there is therefore now no condemnation.” All of our sins have been forgiven because of Christ’s atoning death.
Many passages of Scripture teach that we will be judged according to our works. How we live for all eternity will depend on how we have lived on this earth. There will be no punishment for our evil deeds, for “Jesus paid it all.” But we will be rewarded for the good we have done, as God sees our motivation was love. The deeper our relationship to Christ on this earth, the more wonderful it will be for all eternity. This is certainly the teaching of Scripture and should be a motivating force in our lives.
Father, we praise You for forgiveness. Amen.