I Believe in Jesus… The Coming Judge
The final phrase in the Apostles’ Creed section about Jesus is that He is “coming to judge the quick and the dead.” Quick could refer to those who are still living when He comes, or it could also refer to those who are spiritually alive—those who have accepted Jesus as their savior. Likewise, the dead could refer either to those who have already died, or to those who have not received eternal life through salvation.
What is clear is that there are only two classes of people, and that both will face Jesus to receive the verdict on where they will spend eternity. Those who have rejected God’s gift of salvation will be sentenced to spend eternity in hell. Those who have received God’s gift of salvation will live with Him eternally in heaven.
But be warned. At the time Jesus comes, your eternal destiny is set. There will be no second chance for you to change your mind. So today, if you are not sure whether you will be with God for eternity, I urge you to examine yourself, and put your trust in Jesus. Here are some questions you should ask yourself:
Is my sin keeping me from God? “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). All includes you. And in God’s eyes, there are no “little sins” and “big sins.” Sin is sin. Don’t pass over this point too quickly, because until we see our sin as God sees it, we will not understand that we need His help to deal with it. Remember that God “is too pure to look on evil” (Habakkuk 1:13). He will not and cannot ignore your sin.
What is the penalty for my sin? “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Sin causes not only physical death, but also the death of eternal separation from God. There is nothing you can do on your own that will pay this penalty and put you in right standing with God. But God has graciously offered us a way of salvation—a way of ridding ourselves of the eternal penalty of our sins.
How has God paid for my sins? “But God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). You see, God didn’t expect us to get “good enough” before He took care of our sins. He sent Jesus while we were still sinners! He is no more impressed with your efforts to cover your sin than He was with Adam and Eve’s fig leaves.
Okay, but if I accept the fact that Jesus died for me, and if I accept the fact that God loved me that much, what do I need to do? “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). Just call. One man in the Bible prayed, “Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner!” That’s a pretty good place to start.
Tell Jesus that you realize you are a sinner. Tell Him you realize you can do nothing yourself to get rid of your sin. Tell Him you realize that He came, died on the cross, was raised from the dead, and now sits in heaven—all to take care of your sin problem.
Ask Him to send the Holy Spirit—as He promised—to live in you and help you to live for Him until the day He comes again.
Jesus promises, “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9).