Revelation 20:12 I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books.

I’ve heard a lot of people popularize this sentiment when they are questioned on their morality or ethics, “don’t judge me!” It seems to have its origins from the Hip Hop community from one of the greatest lyricist ever Tupac who said, “only God can judge me.” Going deeper into what Tupac might have been thinking was the rationale that his actions didn’t really represent his heart. The complexities of life and the dysfunctions of his environment didn’t condition Tupac to always act righteously but God knowing him would give the last say so on his eternal position.

I believe that God does look at the totality of your life the good, the bad, and the ugly and he measures it by one common denominator. What did you do for Christ? In the Old Testament it was very much black and white in terms of righteousness and unrighteousness.

Ezekiel 18:23-24, 26-27, 29-30 “Do you think that I like to see wicked people die? says the Sovereign Lord. Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live. However, if righteous people turn from their righteous behavior and start doing sinful things and act like other sinners, should they be allowed to live? No, of course not! All their righteous acts will be forgotten, and they will die for their sins. When righteous people turn from their righteous behavior and start doing sinful things, they will die for it. Yes, they will die because of their sinful deeds. And if wicked people turn from their wickedness, obey the law, and do what is just and right, they will save their lives. And yet the people of Israel keep saying, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right!’ O people of Israel, it is you who are not doing what’s right, not I. “Therefore, I will judge each of you, O people of Israel, according to your actions, says the Sovereign Lord. Repent, and turn from your sins. Don’t let them destroy you!

In the New Testament God introduces Grace because he knows that if we were to be judged on keeping his laws alone we would all fail. All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. (Romans 3:23) Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1) God gives us Grace. He gives us time to get it together.(2 Peter 3:8) He gives us brothers and sisters to help us get it together before we destroy our lives. That’s why Jesus says if your brother sins against you or offends you, you should go to him one on one. (Matthew 18:15) That is not judging you that is loving you.

Judging is defined as forming an opinion after careful consideration of the evidence presented. I would rather be judged by twelve than be carried by six. I’d rather have some accountability from Christian friends than be condemned to die. Those who die in right relationship with Jesus Christ will live again but we all small and great must stand before God to be judged.

1. We will be judged by how we lived our lives. Our lives should reflect our allegiance to Christ. Jesus said, “if you love me keep my commandments” John 14:15 then he followed that by saying he will send the Holy Spirit to help you do it. If you live by the spirit you will not give into stuff that destroys your life.

2. We will be judged on how we treated the least of these. Matthew 25:41-43, 45 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’ “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’

3. We will be judged on what we didn’t do. So many times we focus on the “do nots” of the bible instead of the “Do’s”. It’s not enough to say you believe in God but you don’t do anything for good. 14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good[a] is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. James 2

Dear God,

Thank you for looking at my whole life and not just the pieces that would disqualify me. Help me to live in such a way that I would be found guilty on evidence of being accused of being a Christ follower. Surround me with people who will always tell me the truth to keep me from eternal condemnation. When it’s all over I just want to hear you say, “well done my good and faithful servant! You’ve been faithful over a few things…”

In Jesus Name,

Amen