109. Jesus : Judge of the living and dead.
Updated: Dec 8, 2021
By his resurrection, Jesus has become the judge of both worlds; both of the seen and the unseen worlds; those of the living and of the dead! 'For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living ... For we will all stand before God's judgement seat (Bema) ... each of us will give an account of himself to God' (Romans 14:9-12) '... they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.'(1 Peter 4:5)
The 'living' means those saints who are 'dead in Christ' but 'will rise first'. (1 Thessalonians 4:16) Speaking of the 'first resurrection', Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live." (John 5:25). In its literal sense, the 'living' also mean those saints who are 'still alive and left on earth' and will be Raptured together with the resurrected saints. (1 Thessalonians 4:17) The 'living' would further include those who believed thereafter and will be martyred during the tribulation (Revelation 6:9-11, 7:13-14, 14:9-13,15:2) but will be resurrected before the Millennium. (Revelation 20:4,6) Furthermore, in its literal sense, the 'living' would include those who survive the tribulation on earth and will be judged whether they are worthy to enter the Millennial kingdom and be under the thousand year rule of Christ. (Matthew 25:31-43)
The 'dead' means the wicked dead in Hades (Sheol) who will not partake in the 'first resurrection'(Revelation 20:5) but will be resurrected after the thousand years have ended. Speaking of the second resurrection, Jesus said, "Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out - those who have done good will rise to live and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned ... I judge only as I hear and my judgement is just ..." (John 5:28-30) What will it be that Jesus hears to make a just judgement? A record of what the dead had done while in the body! ( 2 Corinthians 5:10) 'And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne and books were opened ... The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books ... each person was judged according to what he has done.' (Revelation 20:12-13) We need to tell this truth to others who are ignorant of God's judgement. Paul gave Timothy this charge: 'In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word ... with great patience and careful instruction.'(2 Timothy 4:1-2) Amen.