How Will the Judge Decide? | Tomorrow’s World

How Will the Judge Decide?

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The funeral chapel was packed as I entered to pay my respects to the family of an old friend and his widow. As young men, decades ago, we worked together for a national company. His goal was to become an attorney. He attended law school at night and, in time, began a successful law practice. His calm demeanor, reputation for fairness, and even-handed application of the law resulted in his becoming a Circuit Judge, where he served with distinction for several years. Time is relentless, however, and in retirement his health waned until his demise. Throughout the years, our paths took us in different directions, but there was always the memory of that early connection as friends and professionals.

As the funeral service began, the minister, an older man with a genteel demeanor, made kind remarks about the deceased and their relationship. The pastor then made a statement that brought me up short! He asked, “Do you know why there are so many different church denominations and religious groups all worshiping the same God?”

“Why,” he continued, “that’s because God allows everyone to deal with Him on their own terms, in a manner that makes them comfortable.” The minister meant well, and his beliefs were sincere, but if he were required to present evidence proving what he said was correct in a courtroom before the judge he was attempting to honor, he could not have made his case from the Bible.

It is true that many people attempt to worship God in a way that pleases them without giving much thought to God’s own instructions. Proverbs warns that “there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12). God inspired the prophet Isaiah with this insight: “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8). Jesus Christ indicted the religious leaders of His day, saying, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord and do not the things I say?” (Luke 6:46).

How should we approach God? Jesus taught, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). As Jesus stood before the Roman governor, falsely accused by His enemies, Pilate asked Him a profound question; “What is truth?” (John 18:38). Every person should ask this question regarding the purpose of life and how to live. Jesus gave a direct answer in His final prayer with His disciples. Addressing His Father, He said “Your word is truth” (John 17:17).

Early in the history of the nation of Israel, God gave specific instructions on how to worship Him (Exodus 20:1–17, Deuteronomy 5:6–21). These Ten Commandments are God’s standard of conduct for mankind. The first four immutable laws cover how to love God. The remaining six laws cover how to love one’s fellow man. If diligently obeyed, these standards for godly, righteous conduct will bring the peace and prosperity that mankind has sought down through 6,000 years of history.

“Oh,” but many will say, “Christ did away with those regulations!” Yet, the Bible plainly states the opposite. For example, Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets” (Matthew 5:17). Further, He instructed, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). The Apostle John explained, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His Commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). John also made a bold statement to make this point; “He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4).

Hundreds of “Christian” church organizations have different doctrines, traditions, and non-biblical teachings, many of which originated in paganism, resulting in religious confusion. The Apostle Paul stated plainly, “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33).

Anciently, God instructed, “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it” (Deuteronomy 12:32). In the early days of the New Testament Church, as error began to creep in, Jude wrote, “I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

So, when bringing one’s case before a human judge or at the final Judgement, credible evidence must be presented. In the book of Ecclesiastes King Solomon gave this summation: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13–14).

The Tomorrow’s World television program and magazine, plus our many study guides on biblical subjects, are valuable resources to help you prepare to present your case at the final Judgment. All the materials are available free of charge, right here.