2. The Resurrection of the Dead (Revelation 20:12-13)
Books Will be Opened: John observed the multitude of dead persons: tall and small persons, adults and children, famous and despised persons, educated and illiterate persons, pious and godless persons, bishops and murderers. All were waiting for their verdict. Nobody was asked about his opinion. Any excuse would have been worthless, because every work and every word had been recorded. While a modern CD-ROM can save and retrieve 4000 copies (!) of a complete bible, how much more is there in heaven, in the sphere of the Holy Spirit, an unlimited memory for all words, thoughts and deeds of every man which can be retrieved without any error (Matthew 12:36; Romans 14:12-13; James 3:6)!
In the vision John saw books that were opened. He saw how the dead persons were judged according to what was written in these books. The concrete course of this judgment and what the judge is speaking to individuals, clans and nations can we know in advance from the words of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 25:31-46. The judge has recorded all offers of time, money and effort that we offered him for individual persons or failed to give. Not according to our intentions, desires and dreams will we be judged, but according to our works and words of our love. Only concrete actions will be judged to be a fruit of man, but not the intensity of one's emotions.
But there is a delicate question: Did the blessed of the Father accomplish only good works and the condemned persons no good work at all? Certainly not! For there is none that does good, no, not one (Psalm 14:1.3; Romans 3:10-20). However, the merciful persons have accepted the grace of the justification granted due to the sacrificial blood of Christ and believed in their Savior, and as a result they have become perfectly righteous. What remains from their live are only works and fruits of the Holy Spirit which he had accomplished in those who are repentant. Their evil works and words have all been blotted out. For this reason the Last Judgment become for them a jury! They will not be cross-examined so as to give reasons for the verdict of their condemnation, not because they are good or even better than the other persons, but because they opened themselves to the mercy of God. Only by grace they had become righteous and merciful (Matthew 5:6-7).
The hardhearted, however, wanted to become righteous by their own effort without the justification of the Lamb. Therefore, according to their choice a real, faithful judgment will be executed on them. They get the account of their live reckoned out to the last Cent. There is only a big minus left. Their works and way of life will be weighed faithfully and will be found wanting. Their works which seem to be good at first glance prove at the end to be an intelligent reckoning and egoistic strategy. They had not really loved the poor and needy, but thought of them as not worthy to be compared with them. And therefore they will be condemned because of their cold-blooded heart. Where there is no love, lurks destruction, as there the spiritual death rules. The self-righteous did not want to open themselves to Jesus, instead Satan gained control of them. God's wrath and a sneering welcome are waiting for them in hell.
PRAYER: Merciful Lord Jesus, we thank You because You took away all the sins of the world, and You completely justified us by Your substitutional death for us. Without You we were reprobates, but through Your pure blood, our evil works and words were wiped out from the books of heaven. Therefore, our justification by grace provides us with beautiful future. We give thanks from the bottom of our hearts for Your atoning death for us. Amen.
- What is written in the heavenly books about your works and words?
- Did you accept your justification through Christ's atoning death and His pure blood, or are you still spiritually dead in your sins?