Judgment Day and the Believer

by Michael R. Finney

Hebrews 9:27 (KJV)
"It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment."

The Judge before whom we must stand is the God-man, whom we have crucified (John 5:22; Acts 17:31; 2 Corinthians 5:10). We will be judged out of the books, according to the record of God's strict justice. When the books are opened, what shocks of terror will seize the hearts and souls of those who have no righteousness and no atonement before the holy Lord God. With the opening of the books, every crime, every offense, every sin they have ever committed, in mind, in heart, and in deed shall be exposed. "Judgment was set; and the books were opened." (Daniel 7:10) I realize that this is figurative language. God does not need books to remember man's sins.

However, as John Gill wrote, "this judgment out of the books, and according to works, is designed to show with what accuracy and exactness, with what justice and equity, it will be executed, in allusion to statute-books in courts of judicature."

In the Scriptures God is often represented as writing and keeping books. And according to these books we all shall be judged. What are the books? The Book of Divine Omniscience (Malachi 3:5), the Book of Divine Remembrance (Malachi 3:16), the Book of Creation (Romans 1:18-20), the Book of God's Providence (Romans 2:4-5), the Book of Conscience (Romans 2:15), the Book of God's Holy Law (Romans 2:12) [This book of the law has two tables. The first table contains all the sins of men against God. (Exodus 20:3-11) The second table contains all the sins of men against one another. (Exodus 20:12-17)], and the Book of the Gospel. (Romans 2:16)

But there are some against whom no crimes, no sins, no offenses can be found, not even by the omniscient eye of God himself! "In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve" (Jeremiah 50:20) Their names are found in another book, a book which God himself wrote and sealed before the worlds were made. It is called, "The Book of Life." In this book there is a record of divine election, the name of Christ our divine Surety, a record of perfect righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6; 33:16), a record of complete satisfaction, and the promise of eternal life.

The question is often raised, "Will God judge His elect for their sins and failures, committed after they were saved, and expose them in the day of judgment?" The only reason that question is ever raised is because many retain a remnant of the Roman doctrine of purgatory, by which they hope to hold over God's saints the whip and terror of the law. There is absolutely no sense in which those who trust Christ shall ever be made to pay for their sins. Our sins were imputed to Christ and shall never be imputed to us again. (Romans 4:8) Christ paid our debt to God's law and justice; and God will never require us to pay. God who has blotted out our transgressions will never write them again. He who covered our sins will never uncover them. The perfect righteousness of Christ has been imputed to us. On the day of judgment, God's elect are never represented as having done any evil, but only good. (Matthew 25:31-40)

The day of judgment will be a day of glory and bliss for Christ and His people, not a day of mourning and sorrow. It will be a marriage supper. Christ will glory in His Church. God will display the glory of His grace in us. And we will glory in our God.

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