Judgment Day Is Coming
“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.”1
In a sermon Matt Woodley shared how, “On the first day teaching his class of 250 college freshmen, R. C. Sproul carefully explained the assignment of three term papers. Each paper was due on the last day of September, October, and November. Sproul clearly stated there would be no extensions (except for medical reasons). At the end of September 225 students dutifully turned in their papers, while 25 remorseful students quaked in fear. ‘We're so sorry,’ they said. ‘We didn't make the proper adjustments from high school to college, but we promise to do better next time.’ He bowed to their pleas for mercy, gave them an extension, but warned them not to be late next month.
“At the end of October rolled around, 200 students turned in their papers, while 50 students showed up empty-handed. ‘Oh, please,’ they begged, ‘it was homecoming weekend, and we ran out of time.’ Sproul relented once more but warned them, ‘This is it. No excuses next time. You will get an F.’
“The end of November came and only 100 students turned in their papers. The rest told Sproul, ‘We'll get it in soon.’
‘Sorry,’ Sproul replied. ‘It's too late now. You get an F.’
“The students howled in protest, ‘That's not fair!’
"‘Okay,’ Sproul replied, ‘you want justice, do you? Here's what's just: you'll get an F for all three papers that were late. That was the rule, right?’
"‘The students had quickly taken my mercy for granted,’ Sproul later reflected. ‘They assumed it. When justice suddenly fell, they were unprepared for it. It came as a shock, and they were outraged.’"2
God has clearly put every Christian on notice that every one of us will stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account of how we have lived our life here on earth.1 And for those who have never received Jesus as their Savior they will stand before God at the Great White Judgment Throne of God and be judged for their sins and will have to pay the just penalty thereof because they never accepted Jesus as their Savior and asked for and accepted God’s forgiveness.
As God’s Word says, “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. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”3
Whatever you do, don’t ignore God’s warning and don’t take God’s mercy for granted. “Behold, now is ‘the acceptable time,’ behold, now is ‘the day of salvation.’”4 If you have never accepted Jesus as your Savior and asked God for forgiveness for all your sins, I urge you, dear reader, to do that today.
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Suggested prayer: “Dear God, thank You for Your Word that tells me what I need to do to have my sins forgiven; and thank You for giving Jesus, Your Son, to pay the penalty for all my sins through His death on the cross. And thank You for giving me a clear warning that ‘As it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.’5 letting me know that it is imperative that I make things right with You today as it is too late after I die. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus’s name, amen.”
1. 2 Corinthians 5:10 (NIV).
2. Matt Woodley, in the sermon "The Grieving Heart of
3. See Revelation 20:12-15.
4. 2. Corinthians 6:2 (NASV).
5. Hebrews 9:27 (NKJV).