Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well-pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences. (2 Corinthians 5:9-11)
The Great Appearing
There has never been a gathering like the one at the judgment seat of Christ. Moses spoke the law to the children of Israel who numbered more than a million souls but his audience was small. Jesus fed more than five thousand people at one time and that crowd was infinitely smaller than those who will gather before Him at judgment. If technology could connect with every soul on earth (estimated at nearly eight billion) at one time, the number would pale compared to the day that is coming. There is a day coming that will gather every human from Adam to the final baby born to stand before the great and terrible day of the Lord.
The great appearing is when all will come before the judgment seat of Jesus Christ. Noble kings and queens will have no special place to stand. They will assemble with the peasants and common folk. Rich men will feel the same dread as poor men. Tyrants, despots, and bullies will have no courage but tremble in fear. The wisest men on earth will bow in the presence of the all-knowing. There will be no arguments, questions, or appeals. All will stand before the judgment seat of Christ to receive whatever is deserved for the good or evil done in the earthly body. It will be the most amazing assembly of people ever brought together.
When the book of life is opened, everything a person has done will be revealed. The 969 years of Methuselah will be detailed in the book with great care. Adam lived 930 years and it will all be there. The righteousness of Noah will be known, the faith of Abraham declared, and the heart of David confirmed. Ahab and Jezebel will not find joy in that day as they stand next to Pharaoh, Sennacherib, Cyrus, Herod, and Pilate, knowing the fate that awaits them. Rahab will hear the faithful words of eternal life, as will Samson and Saul of Tarsus.
The amazing realization of those who stand before a righteous God is that not everyone will go to heaven. All of humanity standing before the Lord will be judged according to what they have done. If it is the righteousness of obedience, they will be saved, but most people did not live that way in life. Their lives were not doing the will of the Father. The goodness of a person often measures salvation but good people will not be saved on the judgment day of the Lord. The judgment of God will come from a book that shows willing obedience to the will of the Father. To be well-pleasing to God is to submit to His will. Religious people will not be saved. Obedient people will hear the words of eternal life. Everything about the great appearing will come from the righteous character of God, not the wisdom of men.
Everyone will be at the great appearing. No one will be left out and no one lost in the mass of humanity. Everyone will be judged and this should bring a sense of awe and fear. There is such a thing as the terror of the Lord. It is real, it is powerful, and it will bring judgment to the billions of souls who have lived. There will be no partiality. Obedience will be rewarded and disobedience punished. Considering the great assembly, everyone must make it their aim to be well-pleasing to God. Eternity depends on it. Are you ready? See you there.