Some judges are known as “hanging judges” because they prescribe severe punishments. Such judgments are decreed against criminals who have performed illegal acts. However, the thoughts of a man’s heart are the real problem.Jesus once said: “…That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” (Mark 7:20-23)

Imagine a country where people could be punished for their thoughts. One could be sentenced to death for harboring murderous thoughts toward another. Of course, this would cause severe problems because normal judges cannot discern thoughts of the heart. Without omniscient, righteous judges, serious travesties of justice would result. Most people think that, in the day of judgment, God the Son, Jesus Christ, will be a very lenient judge. What they forget is that Jesus, as judge, will know, perfectly, every inner thought of each person being judged.Jesus said: “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: ... Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5:21-28)

Notice that Jesus focuses on thoughts of the heart, rather than the final acts resulting from those thoughts. He knows precisely what those thoughts are. In the day of judgment, Jesus Christ shall base His judgment on that knowledge. He will sentence all who have failed to seek His forgiveness, thereby rejecting His sacrificial death, burial, and resurrection. To them He shall say: “… Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” (Matthew 25:41)

His judgment shall be righteous, eternal and irreversible. For those receiving this sentence, mercy shall no longer be available from Jesus Christ, the only Savior.

Shall you face a stern judge, or a merciful Savior?