What a contrast! The apostle Paul is coming to the end of his ministry and life on this earth. It’s like he is summarizing what has taken place when he says, “The time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing”. (2 Timothy 4:6-8)
Paul then goes on to tell Timothy the sad news that Demas had deserted him because he loved “this present world”. (2 Timothy 4:10) Paul and everyone loving the appearing of Jesus Christ are to be awarded the crown of righteousness by the Righteous Judge himself. Demas, on the other hand, loved the world more than the appearing of our Lord. Sad.
I’m so glad that Jesus is the Righteous Judge. Since he has all the information and is holy, he renders a fair verdict for all. He knows those who eagerly wait for his coming and no one will be able to disagree with his judgment.
Man cannot fool God. His perfect knowledge of us is mind-boggling. He knows our thoughts before we even have them. The greatest super-computer is a child’s toy compared to God. Imagine, he can render not only a fair, but perfect and knowledgeable verdict. Any man that judges another must do so with the weakness of imperfect knowledge. All mankind will witness the awesomeness of his righteous judgments.
The guilty are most often silent before a judge, especially when the verdict is given. Someday, when the Righteous Judge is ready to judge, the guilty will bow in silence for all will understand that he is the holy, immutable, righteous judge. I often picture God’s judgment day as instantaneous. God will not have to say anything. Before the Righteous Judge, no one will argue their case since all will see him in his glory and bow before his majesty. And for those feebly trying to avoid God, there will be no place to hide. His eyes will pierce the souls before him and it will be over. It will be a terrible day for some.
Of special note is Paul’s assurance that God was going to reward him. Paul says, “the righteous judge will award…” (2 Timothy 4:8) There was no fear on Paul’s part that he did not measure up or that his past would “catch up to him”. He knew and taught Timothy that the righteous judge knew not only how to judge but also what to judge. Paul remained faithful in his longing for his Master – the One he loved.
I can safely say that the appearing of our Lord excites me. I’m not looking out for the Antichrist or some leader of man to “fix things”. Jesus is who I eagerly look for. He is coming and is our hope. Unlike Demas, things of this world are not what we are to pursue. We are to be like the deer of Psalm 42, panting for him as for a water brook. “My soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God”. (Psalm 42:1,2)
It is not often that anyone wants to come before a judge but, like Paul, with other believers, we have security as we look for the coming of the Righteous Judge, Jesus Christ our Lord. We appreciate your Comments