Read Revelation 20:11-15 …
Tests can be very stressful – that’s for sure. The best test that can be taken is the test for which the answers have been provided. Any test would be a breeze if someone were to give out the answers ahead of time. Of course, even to the hardest tests the answers are typically already been given, just not in the format that we desire. We end up having to struggle thru weighty books or lengthy study guides to practice for a test, then sweat the test as we sit and answer misleading or complex questions, and finally stress about the grade. Wonderfully, the answers about the final judgment have already been provided.
In the reading noted above, John is witness to the final judgment … seeing all the dead, everyone, standing before the throne of God and the books being opened, and it is from those books that the standard is applied to the dead. So, what is said in the books that would give us a clue to the answers of the final judgment?
The first two answers come from Matthew 25:31-46. There it is noted that all the nations will be gathered before the “Son of Man” and He will set the sheep on His right hand and the goats on His left. The standard that separates these two groups is what was done in this life. The one group is told they did help those that needed their help, and the other group was told they did not help those in need. The sheep were welcomed into the kingdom and the goats are sent away into everlasting fire. Both groups are judged by what they did, and specifically in relation to the Son of Man who is really the recipient of the actions regardless of the fact those actions were performed for others of humanity.
The third criteria given is taken from Matthew 12:33-37. In this pericope the Pharisees were accusing Jesus of healing others by the power of “Beelzebub” (v.24). It is what they were saying that Jesus refers to when He is speaks about what will judge people in the “day of judgment.” Jesus specifically says that “by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (v.37).
The fourth criteria also comes from the mouth of Jesus and is recorded in John 12:44-50. Jesus is speaking about those that do and do not heed the words that were spoken. The words that Jesus has spoken are more than simply His words, but they are the words of the One that sent Him and because of that those words have authority. Because of that Jesus says, “the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (v.48).
There we have it … when one looks to the Scriptures to find the answers to the test everyone will face, the answer appears. What one does; what one does not do; what one says; and what Jesus says – these will be the criteria by which judgment is applied. When the books which are mentioned in Revelation 20 are opened, and humanity is judged from those books, it will be in those books that one will find is the right and wrong response to our brethren, what are the right words that should be spoken, and what are the words that Jesus spoke that will be applied.
There it is, the answers to the most important test one will ever take. Sure, there is some reading that must be done, but on the other hand, there’s an entire lifetime to complete it. What’s the best advice that can be given? Don’t put off that reading until the last minute.