Jesus’s Claim to Judge the World

Unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.
–John 8:24

This week we are looking at God’s unique Christmas gift to us–His Son, Jesus Christ. What makes Jesus unique?

One reason Jesus is unique is that He claimed He will return to judge the world. Jesus told His disciples that one day He will come back again. He will judge the unrighteous, and He will reward the righteous. No other religious leader claimed he would do that.

In Matthew 25:31-34, Jesus said, “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’” Jesus said He is coming back to judge the unrighteous and to reward the righteous.

Some other religions do teach the concept of judgment and reward. These other religions teach that people’s rewards in the afterlife are based on their acceptance of a founder’s god (for example, the Allah of Muhammad) or some list of requirements that the god has entrusted to the prophets. Yet Jesus said our eternal destiny depends on our acceptance or rejection of Him. In John 3:17-18, Jesus said, “God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” In John 8:24, Jesus said, “Unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” Confucius never said if you accept me, you will be rewarded; if you reject me, you will be damned. Muhammad never said that about himself. Joseph Smith never said that about himself. Only Jesus said, “It is your acceptance or rejection of Me that determines your eternal destiny.”

In his book “The World’s Living Religions,” Robert Hume pointed out that nine of the founders of the world’s largest non-Christian religions all went through a period in their lives when they doubted who they were. They went through a period when they were searching for spiritual light. However, Jesus is unique because He never searched for the light. Instead, He said, “I am the Light.” In John 8:12, Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “God’s Exclusive Christmas Offer to You” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2013.

Robert Hume, “The World’s Living Religions,” rev. ed. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1959).

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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