Fear is not compatible with all the wonderful relationships the Lord has proclaimed in His love for us. Throughout the Scriptures God describes all the facets of His relationship to us:
God has established all these glorious relationships with us through the cross and now He is urging us to know, “This is who I am to you.”
Do you think God is going to suddenly wipe out all these relationships with His people on the Day of Judgment? Never! How can a father reject his offspring in that child’s hour of accountability? Even as the Book of Life is being opened, He will still be your father, your advocate, your intercessor. Nothing can take away that relationship from you.
Fear will not be present on the day of your restitution and coronation.
“He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. . . . As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:10, 12).
Our minds cannot begin to fathom how far the east is from the west. And that is God’s point in this verse: He has removed our sins beyond our capability to ever call them back.
Why am I calling God’s Day of Judgment our coronation day? It is because Isaiah says of that day:
“As the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee” (Isaiah 62:5).
As you stand before your Lord then, you will recognize His eyes of love for you.
God offers a wonderful promise to all who were guilty of horrible sins:
God’s promise to them is that they can stand with great joy on the Day of Judgment without a trace of fear. He pledges:
“Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18).
No matter what your past is like, God no longer sees you as you once were. Instead, you’ve been transformed into His precious, lovely, spotless Bride. He is awaiting your presence at the jubilant marriage feast.
Would a bridegroom anticipating his wedding day suddenly charge his bride with iniquity? No groom would do that. You may wonder, “But isn’t Jesus going to judge all wickedness?” Yes, He is. But the Christ you are going to meet on that day is the same Christ who has forgiven you, called you, purchased you with His own blood, cleansed you, and interceded for you all these years.
As you stand before Jesus, you are going to see Him as your husband, your redeemer, your friend, your advocate, your intercessor. And, in that moment, you are going to stand complete in Him, without fault, without spot or wrinkle, holy and blameless.
“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses” (Colossians 2:13).
John writes of the Judgment Day:
“I saw a great white throne. . . . And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” (Revelation 20:11–12).
Notice that John says there are many books as well as a book at the Judgment. The first books are records of the life of every single sinner who stands before the Judge. Every unbelieving person has a book of works being recorded in heaven and every page is a record of how he lives.
Can you imagine what it’s going to be like for a transgressor when he stands before the Lord on that day? Every thought, word and action in his life will be brought out into the open, exposed for its evil.
A NEW NAME
For the righteous, there will be only the Book of Life and when it is opened, we will not hear one word, one record of a single sin or failing of any of God’s people. Why? Because all our sins are covered under the blood of Jesus. The only thing that will appear in that Book will be our names; in fact, it will contain our new, heavenly names that God Himself will reveal to us.
How do our names get recorded in the Book of Life? At the moment we believe with all of our being that Jesus Christ shed His blood for us, our names are recorded. It happens as we claim the victory of His cross and determine to seek Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength.
“Then a leader of the local synagogue, whose name was Jairus, arrived. When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet” (Mark 5:22, NLT).
And we need to do that, too. As Christians, Jesus resides in our hearts, but even so we need to go to Him on our knees, reaching out to Him in our desperation.
If you don’t know Jesus, I can tell you that He loved you even though you rebelled against Him to live a selfish life. He died for your sins and rose again on the third day; the Bible declares it as truth and more than five hundred witnesses saw Him.
There was proof that Jesus rose again on the third day and now He is alive forevermore. If you receive Him into your heart, you can be forgiven of all your sins and have a fresh start. The Bible says that old things have passed away and all things have become new (see 2 Corinthians 5:17).
Today you can run from where you are and fall at His feet just as Jairus did. You might be stuck in a cycle of religion — just going to church, going through the empty motions — but you can run to Jesus in your desperation and say, “Jesus, I cry out to You for faith that comes by hearing the Word of God.”
That is the gospel in a nutshell and you can receive Him as your Lord and Savior today!
Abraham was a man whose life was consumed by a faith that reaches out. He knew that faith without works is dead (see James 2:17). Genesis 14:11-16 uses simple yet clear words to reveal the scope and beauty of his decision when he learned that Lot and his family had been taken captive and had lost everything. “As soon as Abraham learned this . . . he brought three hundred eighteen of his bravest servants and they pursued the oppressors. . . . They brought back Lot, his brother, their possessions, as well as their wives and children” (14:14-16).
It is important to reread each word to fully grasp the depth of what is being said here. “As soon as Abraham learned this,” he didn’t wait, look for excuses, or put it off until the next day. He did not hide behind his lack of resources nor what he didn’t have. The Apostle Paul appeals to us to make a decision when he reminds the Corinthians that when intentions are sincere, they are demonstrated not by what we don’t have, or hope to have some day, but by what we currently have available. “Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don't have” (see 2 Corinthians 8:12). Help someone today with what you do have. Faith that reaches out simply refuses to continue saying, “No!”
“Abraham, armed with three hundred eighteen of his bravest servants” — it is interesting to notice here that the exact number is mentioned. I profoundly believe that God knows each believer who helps those who suffer, but also every believer or church who chooses to do nothing. There are several specific moments in Scripture where God seems to want us to know with infinite precision that each person counts. For instance, in Nehemiah 3 we see the meticulous listing of those who miraculously rebuilt the walls that had been torn down.
Dear reader, this is faith that reaches out. This type of sacrifice opens up the heavens and produces the supernatural. We read these words in the story of Abraham as a prophetic promise for all who turn toward someone who is hurting, who is held captive or in need: After these events, “the Word of the Lord came to Abraham in a vision with these words: Don’t be afraid, Abraham, I will be your defender myself. I will protect you and your reward will be so great!” (Genesis 15:1).
Claude Houde is the lead pastor of Eglise Nouvelle Vie (New Life Church) in Montreal, Canada. Under his leadership New Life Church has grown from a handful of people to more than 3500 in a part of Canada with few successful Protestant churches.