One of the noted lines in the movie God’s Not Dead 2 is,
“I would rather stand with God and be judged by the world, than stand with the world and be judged by God.”
Grace Wesley, the main character, was not going to be afraid to say the name Jesus and concluded her stand with Jesus meant she would avoid God’s judgment, but the world would get what’s coming to them.
Gee whiz, the implications of this quote are an offense to all that Jesus did for the world –in His incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension! Yet, most religious Christians would say a hearty ‘Amen!’ to Grace’s seemingly brave conclusion.
World, Please Forgive
No wonder the world is offended by and critical of religious Christianity. No wonder there was vitriol portrayed by unbelievers in this movie. I am sorry World for how we have presented God. Please forgive us, we are perpetuating lies about God to you, and even ourselves.
Now some believers will get up in arms. They will vociferously declare, “We shall all stand before the judgment seat of God.” (Rom 14:10)
Great! I love this verse, for it speaks of intimacy and of complete revelation of our true identity, actually of all men’s true identity.
Context for the Judgment Seat
To grasp the fullness of this beautiful welcoming “judgment seat”, let’s consider the context – Romans chapter 9-15, dealing with judging others.
Paul is challenging the Jews with their uppity self-righteousness, their exclusivity, and being offended that God would include Gentiles. Paul blasted away with Isaiah’s bold words – “I was found by those who did not seek Me; I was made visible and was comprehended by those who did not ask for Me.” (Rom 10:20) Yikes, that shoots a hole in the traditional sinner’s prayer!
“Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand for God is able to make him stand.” (Rom 14:4)
“So why do you judge your brother, why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God.” (Rom 14:10)
The Judgment Seat via Greek
Here’s the skinny on Rom 14:10-12 through Greek meanings. It’s wondrous!
…We will all stand close beside the elevated place, the throne of God. For the Lord says, “As I live, every knee shall bow to Me and every tongue shall confess – i.e. consent fully, give thanks, praise, fully agree and acknowledge that agreement openly and without reservation, to God.” Therefore, each of us with full comprehension of himself, shall give ‘logos’ (a word, divine utterance, ‘logos’ is used preeminently of incarnate Christ Jesus to express the thoughts of the Father) to God. Therefore, let’s not judge one another anymore.
- the same Greek word for stand is used in Lk 2:22 when Jesus was ‘presented’ to the Lord – i.e. stand, ready to present, to bring near into fellowship and intimacy. There is no standing and trembling in either of these passages. Hmmm.
- most translations use the word ‘account’ – give an account to God. Sounds scary! But the Greek word is ‘logos’!
In summary – while being close to Him, everyone will bow and give thanks to Him, as they fully see their true identity in Christ Jesus and totally agree with God’s logic.
- Judgment of all sin took place at the Cross. His death brought the end of sin. There is no more judgment for sin. (Heb 9:26, 10:10,12 2Cor 5:21 Jn 1:29) Why do we still fear that and proclaim it?
- Jesus does not judge according to the flesh. Paul finally got that by revelation. (Jn 8:15 2Cor 5:13-16)
- Judgment is scary to many Christians. Our legalistic, works-driven, guilt-induced, fear-filled mind set cannot comprehend that God has always been for us, desires us, enjoys us. In our religious stupor we simply cannot grasp that God truly reconciled the world to Himself. May revelation undo you, so you can stand with God in agreement about His wondrous judgment of innocence and reconciliation for all. (Eph 1:4,5 3:19 2Tim 1:9 1Jn 4:17 2Cor 5:19 Col 1:22) It is part of growing in fullness. It will change your perspective!