13 Then I saw the dead, both great and small, standing in front of the throne. Books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged on the basis of what was written in the books, in accordance with what they had done.
15 And if anyone was not found written in the book of life, they were thrown into the lake of fire.
I have 9 detailed commentaries on the book of Revelation. I read them all concerning this section of five verses.
Let me just say that I am humbled…blown away…both comforted and a bit nervous…unsure of what to even write after two days of reflection.
So I will just share one thing that stood out to me.
It’s interesting to me that John does not seem concerned to resolve the tension he witnessed between works and grace. It’s we, centuries later, who feel the need to make everything neat and tidy, comprehensible for our mental and emotional well-being, even though it is God who gives us mental, emotional, and spiritual peace, not our air-tight theology and prediction of exactly what the future will look like.
It looks as if we all will stand before God and be judged on our works done while here on earth. Everyone is at this final judgment scene, except for the martyrs. No one escapes it. And everything we do matters—one of the reasons we named this ministry The Ripple Effect. It seems we will be judged on all our deeds as written in these books of account. We are responsible for our deeds, and in a sense, we write our own judgment due to our free will and choices. It does seem that our bad deeds committed here are only counted against us if we have failed to repent of them and seek forgiveness.
At the same time, God alone is responsible for our salvation. It is God’s book of life. It is God who provides salvation through Christ via our faith. Our genuine faith and trust in Christ will inevitably manifest itself in works and a way of life that is godly.
Sorry if this is a jumbled mess, but by way of application I will simply say that what I take from this is that I cannot rest on being saved when I was five years old, and then do whatever the hell I want to do all the time, thinking there will be no eternal consequences.
I realize that I will be judged according to how I’ve lived this life—whatever that judgment means, and simultaneously, I will be judged worthy by whether my name is in this book of life, according to Christ’s work.
So I am judged, in the end, by my own works, and ultimately by Christ’s work.
All I know is that I place my faith and hope in Christ alone, in His redemptive work on the cross, and that everything I do in this life does matter eternally.
Maybe that’s all I needed to say….