Two Looks at Judgment
There have probably been parties or other social events which we all have had a desire to attend for enjoyment, renewal of old acquaintances, or various other reasons. On the other hand, there may have been times when we did not care so much about attending such occasions. When this occurred we would either go and probably not have a very good time, or stay at home.
One event is coming to which everyone's attendance will be required. No one will be able to stay at home at the coming of the Lord. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (2 Cor. 5: 10). Just as one person happily anticipates a social gathering while another dreads it, so are there two views of the judgment.
Those who love God and are striving to keep His commandments should have a bold and eager desire for 'their Master's appearance (I John 4:17; 2 Peter 3:12). Paul had a great love to see the coming of the Lord for he had a "crown of righteousness" prepared for him (2 Timothy 4:8). Thus, he had a problem of whether to die and be with Christ, or to live in the flesh in order to encourage and strengthen the brethren (Phil. 1:23, 24). For those abiding in Christ, there will be no need to be ashamed at His coming (I John 2:28).
Yet, those who are living in sin have a fear or dread of seeing the righteous Judge (Heb. 10: 27). They are not looking for a "crown of righteousness, but for a "lake of fire," a place of outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Rev. 20:15; Matt. 8:12).
How are you looking forward to Christ's coming? Are you as Paul or are you looking toward the judgment in terror and horror? If you have a frightful looking at the second coming of Christ, then you need to search out the things causing that fear and correct them so that you may expect a "crown of righteousness."
"It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Heb. 10:31).
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XVI: 12, p. 13