“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians:5:10)
This writer has passed the allotted “threescore years and ten” (Psalm:90:10). The awesome reality of facing God, either through the Rapture or through death, confronts me with increasing impact. Often, outdoors at night, looking up at the stars and contemplating the vastness of the universe, I confess to the Lord that the thought of facing Him beyond the grave strikes fear into my heart. This fleeting life, which is “even a vapour that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James:4:14), will very soon have passed entirely into history with no hope of changing it. The staggering reality of eternity will encompass me.
It is not that I doubt my salvation. I have never had the slightest question about that since the night more than 60 years ago when I received Christ into my heart as my Savior and Lord. There is no fear of hell or judgment, for I believe His Word that He has paid the penalty for my sins and has given me eternal life as a free gift of His unmerited grace. I have the wonderful and absolute assurance that I will “never perish” (John:10:28)! What I fear is the awesomeness of God himself. Who can stand in His presence?
We are such frail creatures, so pitifully blind to God’s truth, so slow to learn His will and to understand His Word and ways. We have nothing of which to boast or in which to take comfort except for His grace and love. Yet we so easily forget that we are here for only a fleeting moment; we act as though this life were all there is and that it will never end. What could be greater folly?
As such thoughts overwhelm us, we discover that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs:9:10). We realize at last that it is too late to play church or any other spiritual games. Gone is any interest in trying to impress anyone on this earth, whether that person be a leader of great influence or just an ordinary believer. What people think or say about us is no longer of any concern.