Daily Thought for: 11th October

JUDGE OF THE QUICK AND THE DEAD

2 Timothy 4. 1-5

Here is another of the apostle’s solemn charges for us to consider today. It details the responsibilities that he has committed to Timothy in the light of his own anticipated departure from the world, v. 6. As part of the charge Paul underlines Timothy’s ultimate requirement to give account of how he had fulfilled his responsibilities and it is in this context that we have this title, ‘Judge of the quick and the dead’. This is all very searching for us.

Paul’s words not only tell us who the Judge is but when He will carry out these judicial tasks to which He is appointed. These things are spelt out in much more detail in other parts of scripture and so here we only have the basic framework stated and not the individual events.

The fact that God has indeed got a programme of judgement may come as a matter of alarm to some. However, He is working according to that plan and He has made it known. Abraham ascribed to God the title of ‘the Judge of all the earth’ very early on, Gen. 18. 25. The Lord Jesus made it clear that the Father has committed all the execution of judgement into His hands, John 5. 22. Paul boldly declares that God ‘hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world’, and that it is going to be Christ through whom He carries it out, Acts 17. 30-31.

The Lord Jesus will be the Judge. The phrase ‘the quick and the dead’ implies that He will judge some while they are still living, that is, those that have not died, as well as those who are already dead. This adequately sums up the whole of humanity for we are all in the one group or the other. Either way, none will avoid the judgement of God.

The title is all-embracing but the judgements do differ as to time and place. As far as the saved are concerned there cannot be any judgement for sins. Praise God, the Lord Jesus suffered that for us when He died on the cross. However, we will undergo His assessing judgement as to service and of this we need to be reminded, 1 Cor. 3.12-13.

The timing is imminent. He is ‘about to judge’. There is now nothing requiring fulfilment before these events unfold.

 

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