What if Judgment Day was not about whether you kept the commandments of God, but instead, whether you kept your own commandments? You know, the commandments you not only tell others (like employees and kids) to keep, but the commandments which you judge others with:
In his book, The Church at the End of the Twentieth Century, Francis Schaeffer illustrated this idea:
“If every little baby that was ever born anywhere in the world had a tape recorder hung about its neck, and if this tape recorder only recorded the moral judgments with which this child as he grew bound other men, the moral precepts might be much lower than the biblical law, but they would still be moral judgments.
Can you imagine the kind of things that would be recorded?
“I can’t believe she’s late again. She’s always late. How inconsiderate.”
“How selfish can you be? He’s always thinking of himself.”
“Talk about lazy. He won’t lift a finger around here.”
“She’s the kind of person who is always talking about others behind their back.” (Wait for this one – it will come to you.)
Or likewise: “I can’t stand those Christians – they’re so judgmental.” (And who’s judging now?)
Francis Schaeffer continued:
“Eventually each person comes to that great moment when he stands before God as judge. Suppose, then, that God simply touched the tape recorder button and each man heard played out in his own words all those statements by which he had bound other men in moral judgment. He could hear it going on for years—thousands and thousands of moral judgments made against other men, not aesthetic judgments, but moral judgments.
“Then God would simply say to the man, though he had never heard the Bible, now where do you stand in the light of your own moral judgments? The Bible points out . . . that every voice would be stilled. All men would have to acknowledge that they have deliberately done those things which they knew to be wrong. Nobody could deny it.”
In other words, have you ever been late? Or selfish? How about lazy? A gossip? Have you ever sat in judgment on someone else?
And now, consider carefully what the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans chapter 2:
For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. Romans 2:13-16 (ESV)
And you you know what this means, right? We are all hypocrites. And therefore no one will be able to stand on Judgment Day based on their own righteousness. Our only hope is that, through faith, we might be clothed in the righteousness of Another. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
For Tuesday, March 24th: Romans 3