therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; [psalm 1:5]
then i saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. from his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. and i saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. then another book was opened, which is the book of life. and the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. and the sea gave up the dead who were in it, death and hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. then death and hades were thrown into the lake of fire. this is the second death, the lake of fire. and if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. [revelation 20:11-15]
all will be judged. we will be declared righteous or wicked. the righteous will stand in the judgment. the wicked will not. they are defiled by their wickedness. and so people often ask, what constitutes as wicked?
and he said, “what comes out of a person is what defiles him. for from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. all these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” [mark 7:20-23]
all of these things are a disregard for the glory of God. and romans tells us that we have all done this. every single one of us. we are wicked and rebellious by nature and have fallen short of God’s righteous standard. so in this state, we are all condemned.
if you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, o Lord, who could stand? but with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared. [psalm 130:3-4]
so on our own merit, we cannot stand in judgment. on our own merit, our sin would be laid bare before an all holy Judge and we would crumble. but how wonderfully great is the forgiveness of God. he is merciful and gracious. he is slow to become angry, and he is patient toward those who have fallen short of his glory.
this forgiveness is given undeservedly, yet so freely and full of joy through the only begotten Son of God. not of ourselves! not for good deeds! not for good choices! but all because of Jesus so that all the glory goes to Jesus. the Judge is the Judge because he alone can stand. and so if covered by his blood, we are given the very righteousness of the Judge himself, and then, and only then can we stand. be in awe of this truth today. righteousness through the blood of the Lamb. the slain Lamb stands. thank you Jesus.
now to him who is able to protect you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of his glory, blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority before all time and now and forever. amen. [jude 24-25]
~ arwen eastman