Afraid of Judgment?
The Judge is Your Friend!
Harvey Tweegles was a good man. "Honest Harv," his friends called him. Religion was a large part of Harv's life. He never missed church, he sang in the choir, gave generous offerings, and tried to participate in all the outreach activities. "Yes," thought Harv as he prepared for bed one night after attending prayer meeting, "I have covered all the bases!"
"It had been an interesting meeting," Harv thought as he was dozing off to sleep, "all about the end of time and judgment..."
Suddenly, he was aware of a great throng of people standing around him. "Where am I?" he whispered to a woman standing nearby.
"Judgment," she answered quietly, pointing to the scene which was unfolding.
A huge crowd of people from every nation and race was gathered together in a mammoth amphitheater. Far below, seated on a throne, was the most awesome and commanding figure Harv had ever seen. His voice thundered as He spoke, and Harv clearly heard Him say, "What is your plea?"
One by one, the people in the crowd stepped before the throne, spoke with the One who sat upon it, then joined one of the groups forming on either side of the throne. It was passed among the onlookers that those on the right side were to receive a glorious reward. Those on the left side were uneasy. Despair seemed to hang like a gloomy cloud above their heads.
Suddenly, Harv realized that he was being ushered before the throne. As he stood in awe before the powerful Being seated there, he became aware that he was to make his own plea. "I ... I would like to join those on your right," he stammered.
"And what claim do you have on that inheritance?" came the reply.
Harv found himself saying something vaguely familiar, "Oh, I am acquainted with you. I have eaten and drunk in your presence and you have taught in our streets. Besides that I have prophesied in your name ... in your name I have cast out devils, and I have done many wonderful works. Lord, isn't that enough?"
Harv trembled as he heard the reply, "Depart from me, you evildoer. Hear what you have said, `I have done many wonderful works. I am all right. Therefore I am entitled to eternal life.' You see, Harvey, I does not count here. The problem is that I do not know you and you do not know Me."
As Harv was being escorted toward the group on the left, he heard his neighbor's name called. Turning, he paused to hear Fred's reply.
"Oh, I have not done anything at all to deserve the company of those on your right," Fred answered, "I am a sinner dependent only on the grace of the Lord. I was wretched and completely a captive and in such bondage that nobody but the Lord Himself could deliver me. I was so blind that no one but Jesus could cause me to see. All the claim that I have is what He has done for me. When in my wretchedness I cried, He delivered me. When in my misery I needed comfort, He comforted me. When in my poverty I begged, He gave me riches. When in my helplessness I asked Him to show me the way, He led me all the way. When I was so naked that no one could clothe me, He gave me this garment I have on. All that I have to present as any claim that would cause me to enter is just what He has done for me."
Then a voice like sweetest music came from the throne as the Heavenly Being answered, "We are perfectly satisfied with you. The deliverance that you obtained from your wretchedness is that which My Son has accomplished. He did give you that garment you are wearing. He has woven it and it is all divine. Yes! You may enter into eternal life."
Harv woke with a start. "What a dream," he thought, "it seemed real enough to have actually happened." All at once the awful significance of the dream struck him. It was true. "I do not know Jesus as my personal Friend and Savior." Slipping from his bed, Harv knelt and breathed a prayer of thankfulness that there was still time to really get to know Him.
"I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, the person whose ears are open to My words [who listens to My message] and believes and trusts in and clings to and relies on Him Who sent Me has (possess now) eternal life. And he does not come into judgment [does not incur sentence of judgment, will not come under condemnation], but he has already passed over out of death into life." John 5:24 (The Amplified Bible)
Lesson 10 - Introduction