THE JUDGMENT DAY
The churches of Christ Greet You (Romans 16:16)
We who are Christians know that a Day is coming when all truth will be disclosed. “For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil" (Ecc. 12:14).
A time is coming when we will all have to stand before the judgment seat of Christ and be judged for what we did in this life (2 Cor. 5:10). We will not have the luxury to hire the best defense team to defend us; instead, we will stand before the Lord with our lives and secrets laid bare.
WE NEED TO BE PREPARED FOR THE JUDGMENT DAY
I. The Judgment Day is a Certainty
1. Here are three passages that teach that the Judgment Day is coming:
“For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the man He has appointed” (Acts 17:31).
“Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment…” (Heb. 9:27).
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.” (2 Cor. 5:10).
2. There is no escaping the Day of Judgment. It is an appointment that we all must attend. We will not be able to call up Jesus and give Him an excuse on why we can't make it. We cannot call in sick. We must all attend.
3. Some people will be excited on that day and others will be sad. But the Judgment day is coming.
II. Jesus will be the Judge on that Day
1. The Bible teaches that Jesus will be the judge:
“The Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son…And He has given Him authority to judge because He is the Son of Man" (John 5:22, 27; cf. 12:48).
“For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the man He has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising Him from the dead" (Acts 17:31).
2. The Ultimate Supreme Judge Jesus will make no mistakes. His verdict is true and accurate. His decision is final.
3. Many of you reading these words may want to argue that you control and direct your own life. Therefore YOU have DECIDED that God and the Judgment Day are fictitious. To that God says: “Maybe so, but Mine is the only decision that counts.”
4. There is no negotiating with Jesus. Our eternal destiny will be sealed by the things we do while in the body (2 Cor. 5:10). There will be no appeals. There are no second chances after we die – i.e., purgatory, baptizing for the dead, reincarnation, etc.
III. What will happen on the Judgment Day?
1. The Day of Judgment will begin with the Second Coming of Jesus. According to (1 Thess. 4:16-18; 2 Thess. 1:7-9), during the Second Coming…
(a) Christ and His angels will return visible, with a loud command.
(b) There will be an unmistakable cry from an angel.
(c) There will be a trumpet call such as has never been heard.
(d) Believers in Christ who are dead will rise from their graves.
(e) Believers who are alive will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet Christ to be with Him forever.
2. Next, Christ will sit on His throne and all nations will gather before Him.
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him” (Matt. 25:31-33).
3. Before the judgment begins, the earth and sky are destroyed by fire.
“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from His presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened” (Rev. 20:11-12)
“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be burned up” (2 Pet. 3:10).
4. After that destruction, the people will be judged.
“And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books” (Rev. 20:12-13).
a. During the judging period, we read that there are two or more books that reveal the history of our lives.
(1) The Book of Life is said to have the names of people who will receive eternal life (Phil. 4:3; Rev. 3:5; 13:7-9; 17:7-8; 21:27; 22:19).
(2) The books are the records of our human deeds.
b. There is at least one thing we will be judged on:
We will be judged on the deeds we have done while on earth!
“God will give to each person according to what he has done. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger” (Rom. 2:6-11).
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10).
Jesus made it clear that it will be our works or service to others that will help us enter into eternal life (Matt. 25:31ff). Our works will be investigated in this judgment to distinguish how we lived our lives while on earth. We will be reviewed and examined.
5. After the judgment period, we will witness the greatest separation that the world has ever seen.
a. In Matthew 25:31ff, Jesus, after gathering all nations before Him, proceeded to separate the people. He put the sheep on His right and the goats on His left. The sheep are the righteous people and the goats are the unrighteous. Then, Jesus proceeded to tell the people why He was about to send some of them to eternal punishment and why some were going to eternal life. He gave the people an explanation for what He was about to do.
b. Some people are sent away to eternal life where there will be no crying or pain, no hunger or thirst, and where they will live with God forever (Rev. 21:1-7).
c. However, some people will be sent to eternal punishment in Hell - a place which is sometime referred to as the Lake of Burning Sulfur, and Lake of Fire (Rev. 21:8). It is a place that Jesus calls Gehenna (Matt. 5:22; Mark 9:43). This is the final and eternal state of the wicked after the last Judgment. Gehenna was named after the Valley of Hinnom near Jerusalem where children were sacrificed by fire to the pagan gods (See 2 Kings 23:10; 2 Chron. 28:3). Being in Gehenna or Hell is LIKE being burned alive. A place of agony, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. A place of unquenchable fire. A place of torment!
IV. Are YOU prepared for the Judgment Day?
1. WE must tell you the truth…If you die or if the Lord comes back and you are NOT a faithful Christian, then chances are you will spend eternity in Gehenna (Hell).
2. If you have NOT put your faith in Jesus Christ and been willing to confess Him before others, if you have NOT repented (turned away from your sins), and if you have NOT been baptized for the forgiveness of your sins, then you will NOT make it to heaven. Jesus said: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).
3. Some of you reading or hearing this lesson are not Christians. We appeal to you in the name of Jesus Christ to become a Christian today. You need the blood of Jesus to cover your sin. You need Jesus in your life.
4. The ultimate final exam will come when we stand before God and He asks, “Why should I let you in?” On our own we CANNOT pass the exam. Our creative attempts to “earn” eternal life fall far short. We need Jesus to stand in for us.
1. If you are not a Christian, you ought to be, and you can be one this day. Your eternal destination depends on it. Please visit a congregation of the churches of Christ and ask someone there to assist you in your desire to get into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27), thereby having your sins forgiven (Acts 2:38).
2. Maybe you are a Christian, and lately you have not been living a faithful and fruitful life for the Lord. You may need to respond to the Lord in prayer for forgiveness (Acts 8:22). You may have been living in secret sin, trying to hide it from God and your brethren. But God’s hand has been laying heavy upon you and you are ready to confess. Confess your sins before God! You can do that today; right now where you sit.
3. Are you ready for the “Judgment Day”? If you do not KNOW that you are ready, then you are not.