(48) from thence he shall come to judge . . .

What I have described as Christ’s ascension was really the story of how God brought his Son back out of this perishing world and saved him from dying away like the rest of it. But Jesus’ life had become entangled with other lives, for life does become involved with life as we interpenetrate and influence one another in many ways. It was as impossible to separate Jesus from other lives as it is to separate a plant from the soil, water, and air in which it grew. These things are taken up right into the plant’s tissues. They are in the plant as much as the plant is in them. IE Christ’s word and Spirit have become a vital part of any man’s life, all of Christ cannot be saved out of this world without taking something of that man along, too. We are raised together with Christ. Where he is, there we shall be also. The process of sorting out what is of Christ in this world’s history is what is meant by the “judgment.”

Christ has already passed through God’s judgment and God was well pleased with him. Christ knows those lives that have been open to him. He knows what is his in the world. Who would make a better judge of all? In whom could I have greater confidence than in this one of us who is so much wiser than us all, with ages of experience? He himself had to master our kind of life. Christ understands us men from the inside, both as our maker and as one of us. This judge is the one who loved us so much that he made his painful way through the pounding waves of this world to rescue us from destruction in the cosmic undertow. He fought for us and he still wants us. I’m glad he is the one who is to be our judge.

Christ will discover and bring out to eternal safety, harmony, and usefulness whatever his Spirit has touched and been worked into. Saved history will include everything that was part of Christ’s existence and doings. Something like this will have to happen: the Lord will bring our lives back out of the past and scan them as one reviews an old talkie film. He will run through the whole story of my life. Every moment that I have ever lived has been caught by God’s candid camera. There will be a playback of everything I ever thought and said, openly or in secret. This is one show that I’m not very anxious to see, even if I myself play the starring role! Lord, have mercy! I hope that at least some parts of the chronicle of my life do feature Christ as the dominant influence over me. When the judge edits my documentary, he’ll have to clip out an awful lot of waste film and dispose of it. How much of it will he save as part of his total story for the great festival? His judgment on every part will be final, correct, and absolute. Everything Christ has shaped will be caught up into the eternal future. I’m sure that nothing that had him in it will ever be lost. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes unto the Father but by him. If the Spirit of Christ is not in what I’m doing, I’m wasting my life. Only what is built upon the rock of Christ will not be swept away by the flood when God’s pent-up judgment bursts its dam. Non-Christian living is a slow process of suicide. Christ’s truth is a boomerang that I may throw away, but it will come back and deal with me in the end. Christ is inescapable. I’m always on candid camera. This minute is certainly my last opportunity to live this minute in the Spirit of Christ.