“Therefore, the wicked [ungodly] will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.” Ps 1:5
To me, verse five is a picture of a painting of oil and water - two properties that are immiscible. The psalmist tells us that the wicked, or ungodly, as well as sinners are those who choose to live without God. He does not tiptoe in his distinctions. He is clear that they will not stand in the judgement of God nor stand amid the righteous.
The wicked, or ungodly, are blatant non-believers who have rejected the truth. They have concluded that they have no need for God. Sinners on the other hand, fall in a wide category which includes those who reject the truth; those who wilfully, ignorantly, or unconsciously err as well as those that have backslidden. This list is endless but in short, the consequence of being wicked, ungodly or a sinner is eternal death.
I love the fact that the psalmist does not leave this picture dull, hopeless, and bleak. He tells us about the righteous. Their righteousness does not come from their good or perfect works. These are people who have acknowledged Jesus Christ of Nazareth as Lord and Saviour. He [Jesus] makes them righteous. They will indeed stand in the judgement of God and will spend eternity with Him.
How do you think the psalmist would have survived in this 21st century, where people sometimes buckle under the pressure of political correctness? What would people call him? What do people call you? Now let us take it a step further. Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ himself calls the wicked, the ungodly or sinners, goats and the righteous, sheep.
Read Matthew 25: 31 – 46. What does this passage of scripture do to your heart?
At harvest time, we shall all appear at the judgement seat of Christ. The ungodly [goats] shall be cast into the lake of fire. The righteous [sheep], those who have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, those that follow Him to the end, shall reign with Him. Heaven is for the believers in Christ. Jesus will say, “Well done you good and faithful servant”. However, it will be terrible for the ungodly and sinners. Jesus will say to them, “Get away from Me, I never knew you.”
You and I should rejoice - we know where we are headed but we should never boast. Let us consider three areas:
- Is Jesus Christ your robe of righteousness, or have you pursued righteousness through works? (I Corinthians 1: 30, Isaiah 61: 10 & II Corinthians 5: 21)
- God desires that all Man be saved (I Timothy 2:4) – who have you preached the gospel to? (Romans 10: 14)
- Do you care? Does it bother you that others are lost?
• What change do you need to make, in order to avoid making it to Heaven alone?
• Are all your family saved? Your friends? Your neighbours? Those in you sphere of influence.