I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy universal church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
The return of Christ to judge the living and dead is one of the fundamental elements of the gospel. The gospel is the good news of Jesus’ reign (Mark 1:15). If we think of it as an unfolding story, the death and resurrection of Jesus is the victory. The return to judge is consummation of the story. At the return of Christ the remainder of God’s promises will be fulfilled.
Psalm 2 to Revelation 19-20, the coming of the Judge is a regular theme. Scripture is saturated with it (Psalm 2, Daniel 7, Matthew 24, 1 and 2 Thessalonians and almost the entire book of Revelation).
Paul’s essential gospel message included it.
“The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).
This prompts the proper fear of God in the saints as well as motive for evangelism. It is an impetus for sinners to repent. The return of Christ is the great Christian hope for we will be bodily re-united with him and reconciled to God (John 14:3, Colossians 3:4). Yes we will give an account for our life (2 Corinthians 5:9), but we will be transformed, welcomed, and rewarded (1 John 3:2-3). Christ the crucified, will finally rule over all evil and ultimately consign evil-doers to the lake of fire (Revelation 20). In a world filled with constant injustice, the coming of the Judge, gives us hope that injustice will end. Only righteousness will remain.