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The Standard For Judgment

He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed.
–Acts 17:31

The late Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, was famous for his 20-70-10 rule. Every year at GE, they would rank their employees into three groups: the top 20 percent, the middle 70 percent, and the bottom 10 percent. And every year, GE would fire those in the bottom 10 percent. Jack Welch said it was hard to fire those people. But he knew if they were going to build a great corporation, they could not have the lowest performing people around anymore. So regardless of who they were, the bottom 10 percent were fired.

GE had a standard by which they judged their employees. The fishermen in Matthew 13:47-50 had a standard by which they separated the good fish from the bad fish. God also has a standard by which He judges whether we are righteous or unrighteous. In Acts 10:34, Peter said, “God is not one to show partiality.” It does not matter what kind of special relationship you think you have with Him–He has an objective standard by which He is going to judge you and me, and that standard is Jesus Christ. In Acts 17:31, Paul said, “He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man [Jesus Christ] whom He has appointed.” You have to be just as perfect as Jesus Christ to be welcomed into heaven.

You say, “Pastor, that is impossible. None of us can meet that standard.” That is the whole purpose of the gospel. None of us can measure up to Jesus Christ, absolute perfection. But when we become a Christian, we are saying, “God, I realize I am not perfect like You require. I realize I deserve hell, but I believe that Jesus died for me, and I am asking You to put His righteousness around me, so that when You look at me, You see the perfect righteousness of Your Son.” That is why Paul prayed in Philippians 3:9 that he might “be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ.” God’s judgment is based on His standard, not on ours.

In addition, God’s judgment is final. What happened to the bad fish in Matthew 13? They were thrown away into a furnace of fire. There is nothing more final than casting bad fish into a furnace. No one with any sense would try to reach in and retrieve those fish. So it is with God’s judgment. Once God has pronounced His judgment, all opportunity for repentance is over. God’s judgment is forever.


Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Good Fish And The Bad Fish” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2005.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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