Have you ever been to a courthouse?
Updated: Jun 6
Half a lifetime ago when I was a teacher I took a class of girls to the local courthouse to observe the proceedings. A woman was brought in who had been caught shoplifting. She was a repeat offender but none of the girls that day heard that small detail. What they heard was that this woman was given months in detention for stealing a pair of sox. They heard her screaming and pleading for mercy, all to no avail. They talked about nothing else for days. They even retold this experience at the school assembly and we heard an audible gasp from hundreds of girls.
One day all who have rejected Jesus will face a judgment throne. Every secret sin that they have ever done will be exposed. All will be naked and bare before the judge of this world. On that day there will be no negotiation. In fact, there will be no trial at all. Sentence will be swift. If we heard a strong reaction to merely months in gaol, think what the reaction is going to be like when a person is given eternity in hell. The Bible talks about there being “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 8:12).
Every one of us deserves an eternity in hell for we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23) yet, God, in His infinite mercy and kindness, has sent His only Son to die for all our sins to make us righteous and pure in His eyes.
“You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He cancelled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross” (Col 2:13-14 NLT).
When you accept Jesus as your Saviour, Jesus took your punishment and you gained His reward. All your sins, misdeeds, mistakes and failures have been nailed to the cross and destroyed forever. God forgets them all, as “far as the east is from the west” (Psa. 103:12). You have been set free and “who the Son sets free is free indeed” (John 8:36). You have been made exempt from liability for any of your sins.
That means, that at the final judgment seat of Jesus, when you are a follower of Jesus you will be an onlooker – not an accused.