Cooking and nature shows are about all I can watch on TV these days. Unfortunately, programmers jam-pack comedies, dramas, and even news show scripts with filth and an immoral agenda. Recently, my husband and I watched a series called Alone. The premise is that producers drop off ten people in remote wilderness locations to survive by themselves for as long as they can. Contestants construct shelters, forage and hunt for food, make projects, and document everything on camera as they go. When things get rough, people start “tapping out.” The last one left wins a prize. Last week as I watched one of the final episodes in the series, some thoughts occurred to me about judgment day. After all, for days, weeks, and even months, the cameras recorded everything. One day, it would be time to watch the show.
God Knows Things We Don’t
I will spare you the boring reasons, but the bottom line is that we watched the seasons out of order. We started with season six and ended with season one. By the time we got to the last three contestants of the first season, I already knew the results from various clues from other seasons. I knew which man would win, which would lose, and which would lose that season but would win a redemption season a few years in his future. I knew, but they didn’t.
That got me thinking about how God knows our end from the beginning. While we are living our lives in real time, God already knows how everything will play out. He knows the number of our days and the decisions each one of us will make while on earth. Just like the cameras were rolling for the contestants, documenting their time in the wilderness, our lives are being recorded as well. And one day, we will answer for it. Hebrews 9:27 says, “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” Everyone will stand before God on judgment day..
Unbelievers Will Face The Great White Throne Judgment
“And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life, and the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.”Revelation 20:12
The books are recording everything people have done, said, or even thought about in the innermost part of themselves in this life. The good, the bad, and the ugly are all written down, and the books will be opened on that Day. But no one walks away from this court a winner. Even people who tried to live moral, upright lives and help people will find only damnation in this judgment. Without the blood of Jesus, who can stand before a holy God? Isaiah 64:6 says, “…and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags…” Everyone who rejects Christ has only one certain end. “And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15). Daniel 7:9-10 describes the fearful scene in even more detail.
Believers Will Face The Judgment Seat of Christ (Bema Seat)
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.2 Corinthians 5:10
While there is only damnation at the Great White Throne Judgment, there is only salvation at the Bema Seat of Christ. Our judgment is not about if we make it to Heaven. The blood of Jesus applied to our lives through faith determines that. This judgment is to help us understand the truth of our lives as God sees it. 1 Corinthians 3:13a says, “Each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it…” It will also determine rewards or loss of rewards based on how we served God after conversion. 1 Corinthians 3:14-15 says, “If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”
We will give an account of ourselves (Romans 14:12). God will bring every work into judgment, even secret things (Ecclesiastes 12:14). He will examine and measure every idle word word (Matthew 12:36-37). He will reveal even the very motives of our hearts (1 Corinthians 4:5), giving rewards (Revelation 11:18) and crowns (2 Timothy 4:8).
We Need to Live With Judgment Day in Mind
Lesson 1: Make Choices That Lead to the Least Regret
For the contestants on the show, the camera was their constant and only companion. One day, probably months later, those very contestants would be watching the show for themselves. At that time, they would also know who had won and who had lost. And though they might remember the pain, hunger, cold, wet, and loneliness of the moment, it would all be a thing of the past. They would probably watch from a nice, dry, warm couch with loved ones all around them and a bowl of popcorn in their hands. How would they feel about their own “performance”? Would their behavior please them or make them feel ashamed? Would they regret the things they said and did in front of the camera when they were “alone”?
I want to make decisions I won’t regret one day. When faced with choices in this life about what I should do and how I should spend my time, instead of the easy thing or the comfortable thing, I want to choose the things that I believe would lead to the least regret on that Day. I want to keep a good attitude and fight the good fight of faith until the end.
Lesson 2: Keep Time in Perspective
During the time the contestants participated in the show, the days were all about the struggle. At the time, they probably felt like it would never end. But some contestants stayed just a few hours. Some were devastated when producers pulled them for health issues before they were ready to leave. The longest amount of time anyone ever lasted on the show was 87 days. But even that’s just a drop in the bucket of time that is the six years the show has been available for people to watch. In fact, it’s still available today. The time spent on location was short, but the record is long, the effects far-reaching. That’s the same way with this life. We are here but for a short time, but how we use that time will affect eternity.
I want to keep time in perspective. No one is guaranteed even tomorrow. And while it may seem in a moment that a struggle will never end, I want to remember that it WILL end. I have an appointment to meet my Maker on a day that only God knows. Until that time, I want to live in such a way that will please Him.
Lesson 3: Don’t Let the Enemy Take Your Reward
Watching the seasons out of order, it was apparent that even though the show wasn’t necessarily scripted, there WAS an agenda still at play. Later seasons featured a definite majority of New Age contestants. They thanked the fish and squirrels for giving their lives as food for them instead of praising God for His provision. A couple even constructed sweat lodges to commune with the spirits/get in touch with themselves better. Seasons one and two, on the other hand, showed Christians praying to thank God for food and safety. Much like other TV series that start with a wholesome premise and then lead you deeper into the agenda as you go, this seemingly harmless nature show was following the same pattern.
In fact, when we were done watching Alone, we tried a couple other shows. We got only halfway into an episode of a cooking show that featured one chef and his homosexual lifestyle and another chef who talked about her experiences as a witch. We turned it off and tried a fishing show. That one lasted nearly forty minutes before the fisherman, frustrated with his lack of catch, headed out to a “spirit rock” with a tribute of tobacco for the entity the local indigenous people believed controlled the fishing in that area.
Even seemingly harmless cooking and nature shows today have been corrupted by the “prince of the power of the air(waves)” (Ephesians 2:2). The devil knows his time is short and deception is his favorite tactic. He can’t touch our salvation; only Christians ourselves can lay our salvation down. But he can trick us into making decisions that will not be beneficial to eternity.
I want to guard myself against the enemy in these last days. Ephesians 5:15-16 says, “See that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” I want to make sure that I don’t allow the enemy to use seemingly harmless things to lure me into losing my rewards.
Judgment Day is Guaranteed
“For it is written: ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.’”Romans 14:11
Judgment day is coming for unbelievers and believers alike. Just like the cameras document reality TV, our lives are being recorded too. We will stand to give an account for the things we did, said, and thought during our time on earth. God will judge our very motives and the intents of our hearts. Until that time, I want to live intentionally in light of eternity. I want to make decisions I won’t regret, keep time in perspective and guard my rewards in these last days. One day, I want to hear God say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
Like articles with numbers? Try 3 Last Days Object Lessons From Shopping. Or, try 3 Things to Remember When We’re Suffering. Please sign up to receive my blog in your email inbox. You can find that at the upper right of your screen (or at the bottom on a phone). Also, check out my YouTube Channel where I read the blogs out loud. I also have a playlist of hymns from my church.