And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. —Revelation 20:12, KJV

The most wonderful thing that ever happens is when Jesus reveals Himself to a person. If it happens to you, then remember that He is bestowing on you an honor and a dignity higher than anything the world affords, for none other than the Son of God has revealed Himself to you.

It is He who gives you life. You may think that you arrived in this world by some freak chance and life has no purpose or meaning: things happen at random, there is chaos, and you are a part of it and you conclude that when you die, you will be annihilated like any other animal. But God created you in His own image (Gen. 1:27), and He says, "I gave you life and I put you on earth for a purpose."

Yet not only is God the Creator, but also it is He who will bring all things to an end. Material things are not permanent. Life itself is transitory in nature: we meet friends for a while, and then we no longer see them. However, the ultimate thing to realize is that it will be God who will end all things and who will dissolve the whole of creation unto Himself (2 Pet. 3:10).

However, one part of His creation will survive when the judgment is over: that part made in His likeness. The human race is the pinnacle of God's creation. We are not plants; we are not just animals; we are men and women! And someday God will summon us to give an account of the way we have lived.

What will happen then? We find the answer in Revelation 20. We discover there that some people will die twice. Nobody disputes that we die once, but have you heard of the second death? No matter how important we are or how insignificant, everybody will stand before God. 

Excerpted from A Vision of Jesus (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1999).

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