Are you a "Weight-Watcher"? Many Canadians are. They spend a lot of time thinking about their weight. They enroll in weight-loss programs, purchase gym memberships, hire personal trainers, watch what they eat, and check in frequently to see whether they are gaining or losing weight. The goal of all these efforts: have a physical body that is slim and trim—and maybe muscular too!
What about your spiritual state? Are you concerned about how you are doing spiritually? Most importantly: Do you know how your deeds will weigh in on judgment day?
Time and again my Muslim friends tell me that there is a day of judgment coming, a day in which God will raise every human being who has ever lived back to life and hold them accountable for everything that they have done throughout the course of their life, doing so by weighing their good deeds and bad deeds in a balance (Qu'ran 21:47). On all these points I can readily agree with my Muslim friends, for the Bible teaches that there is a day of judgment, a day in which all the dead will be raised and appear before the judgment seat of Christ (Acts 17:31; Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 15:12-23; 1 Thess. 4:16). The Bible says "man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment," and it teaches that "we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ so that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad" (Hebrews 9:27; 2 Cor. 5:10; cf. Romans 14:10). Both the Qu'ran and the Bible teach that there is a judgment day coming and that on this great and awesome day every human being who has ever lived will be judged according to their deeds.
What effect does the thought of the judgment day have on you? Knowledge of the coming judgment ought to strike a sense of fear into our hearts because if we are honest we all have to say we have done many, many bad—sometimes terribly bad—things throughout the course of our life. Even more unsettling: The all-knowing God knows all about all of it! King David was very well aware of how many sinful deeds he had done. He wrote, "If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?" (Psalm 130:3). King David was also worried about what all his sins meant for him in terms of the destiny that would be decreed for him on judgment day. He cried out, "Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one living is righteous before you" (Psalm 143:2). David knew that because of all his sinful deeds he deserved eternal punishment in hell. The same is true for me and you.
Now here is where I must point out three differences between the teaching of the Qu'ran and the teaching of the Bible. The first is this: according to Islam if your good deeds outweight your bad deeds then you will gain entrance into heaven; however, according to the Bible God is so holy that even one bad deed renders us unfit to enter His holy presence in His perfectly pure heaven. The second difference is: according to the Bible, none of our good deeds are good enough for God. The Prophet Isaiah writes, "All our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment" (Isaiah 64:6). The third difference is: according to Islam you can never know while yet in this life where you will spend the next life. Only once judgment day arrives will you know whether you will spend eternity in heaven or in hell. contrast, the Bible teaches that you can know right now, today, before judgment day what your eternal destiny will be. This is because the Bible tells you what God can do and will do about all your bad deeds if you have faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior.
The Bible tells us that through faith in Jesus' death on the cross all our sinful deeds can be forgiven. Colossians 2:13b-14 says that God "forgave us all our sins, having canceled the record of debt that stood against us. He took it away, nailing it to the cross." King David also experienced God's forgiveness and wrote about it with these words: "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us" (Psalm 103:12). By believing that Jesus died for your sins, you can know already know that on judgment day you will weigh in at zero on the bad deeds side of the scale.
But . . . that's not all! The Bible also teaches that through placing your faith in Jesus as the sinless Son of God, God credits or charges to your account all the righteousness of Jesus Christ! Romans 4:24 says the very righteousness of God Himself "will be counted to us who believe." In other words, through faith in Jesus' perfect life and His cursed death God not only removes all your bad deeds from His sight. He also fills up the good deeds side of your scale to the point of overflowing!
This is Good News! Do you believe it?