The scenario of Jesus’ judgment (of those whose lives do not reflect His Lordship) is portrayed in Matthew 25:31-46.
The scene begins with the return of the King… “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats…”
The rest of the passage focuses upon the specifics behind how the “sheep” and the “goats” will be judged. We learn that the judgment of The Christ will be both rewarding (for the sheep) and condemning (for the goats). The key factor of judgment will be what is produced through a person’s life – either compassion and care for those in need (the sheep), or neglect and contempt for those who are needy (the goats).
Those who live a life of giving and service (as modeled, inspired, and directed by The Master) will be welcomed into eternal life.
Those who live a life consumed with selfish pursuits, or who show no real compassion (through giving and serving), will be cast away into eternal death.
At the center of this judgment is Jesus. He will be the Judge of all mankind. It is the Holy Spirit’s role to make this fact known in the hearts of devoted disciples. It is also His role to inspire disciples to live a life worthy of the One Who came and showed us how to live. Disciples do not live in an unhealthy fear, or dread, of the Great Judge, they live in a healthy respect and reverence for Him. They live with the constant motivation to honor their Master, knowing that He is eagerly seeking to use them to minister God’s love in the world around them.
This truth of Jesus, possessing the right of judgment, also exhorts us concerning all those who have yet to come into the Kingdom of God. We know what will happen to them if they do not turn from their self-serving lives, receive what Jesus has done, and live in accord with new life in Jesus. Knowing this fact keeps us motivated to reach out to them, with the message of life. We must eagerly desire to see that all who would enter into life would come to Jesus, before that great and terrible Day of Judgment comes.
This consuming compassion is ever at the Heart of a God, “Who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4) The Holy Spirit “makes known” the fact that Jesus is the Rightful Judge of all humanity, and He continues “making it known” to those who are devoted to Jesus.