Chapter 55.—The Expression, “Christ Shall Judge the Quick and the Dead,” May Be Understood in Either of Two Senses.
Now the expression, “to judge the quick and the dead,” may be interpreted in two ways: either we may understand by the “quick” those who at His advent shall not yet have died, but whom He shall find alive in the flesh, and by the “dead” those who have departed from the body, or who shall have departed before His coming; or we may understand the “quick” to mean the righteous, and the “dead” the unrighteous; for the righteous shall be judged as well as others. Now the judgment of God is sometimes taken in a bad sense, as, for example, “They that have done evil unto the resurrection of judgment;” 1184 sometimes in a good sense, as, “Save me, O God, by Thy name, and judge me by Thy strength.” 1185 This is easily understood when we consider that it is the judgment of God which separates the good from the evil, and sets the good at His right hand, that they may be delivered from evil, and not destroyed with the wicked; and it is for this reason that the Psalmist cried, “Judge me, O God,” and then added, as if in explanation, “and distinguish my cause from that of an ungodly nation.” 1186
John 5.29John v. 29 (damnation, A.V.)255:1185
Ps. 54.1Ps. liv. 1255:1186
Ps. 43.1Ps. xliii. 1 (“Plead my cause against an ungodly nation,” A.V.).