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Judge of the living and the dead

“But God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” Acts 10:40–43

“Don’t judge me!”

It’s a phrase that’s thrown around quite a bit in our culture. We all hate the thought that someone might look at our lives and judge us. It makes us feel uncomfortable, alienated, and exposed. It can sound like we’re being put down, and we all hate feeling that way.

There certainly are real dangers in expressing to someone that their behavior is wrong. Our tone of voice and choice of words are important, and we need to be very careful, lest we fall into sin in the process of exposing sin. Our desire should be repentance on the part of the person in sin.

But there is one person who has every right to expose our sin. He has no chance of ever being wrong in his assessment. He never runs the danger of being a hypocrite. He never has to second-guess if he should speak or not. That person is Jesus. There is coming a day when he will judge all the living and the dead as today’s text declares.

We know that he is the person who will do this because he triumphantly rose from the dead. This is the sign that Jesus is Lord! This is Peter’s point in his message to Cornelius.

There is hope on the Day of Judgment. Anyone who has trusted and followed Jesus will be safe from his wrath on that day.


“If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.” John 12:47–48
  • What will be the basis for Jesus’ judgment?
  • Do you fear the judgment of God?
  • What is your hope for the Day of Judgment?


Father, you are the King. We want to submit to your rule. We want to align ourselves to what you say is right and be against what you say is wrong. Help us to know and love the difference. Thank you for providing a way of escape on the Day of Judgment. May we never take it for granted. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

This devotion is adapted from the Acts Study Guide: Chapter 6–11. Pick up a copy today for only $9.99. The Study Guide includes an 11-week curriculum with small group studies, group inductive studies, as well as 55 daily devotions for your personal or family worship.

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