Judgment Day Is Coming!
I don't know whether I'm ready to meet God or not. What will happen to me if I am not ready?
You will have to stand before God to be judged for all your sins.
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. Hebrews 9:27
That makes me feel afraid. Judgment Day isn't going to happen any time soon is it?
It could be soon. It is also possible that you could die before Christ comes again to judge the world. If you die in your sins, the next thing you would consciously know is that you would be raised from the dead at the end of the world to stand before the judgment throne of God.
Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. John 5:28-29
Seeing the uncertainty of our lives and the fact that time is running out on this world, God wants us to think of Judgment Day as being near and to take his warning seriously. Listen to the way God states it:
The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land. Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD’S anger come upon you. Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’S anger. Zephaniah 1:14-2:3
Do you see how God wants you to humble yourself and seek Him for mercy while there is still time?
Yes I see that. But is all this emphasis on Judgment Day really necessary? Why do I have to hear so much about God's judgment and wrath?
God wants us to see that our sins are sins against Him and that they have an eternal consequence. In this way we learn that we are in trouble with God and that our situation is hopeless apart from His mercy. God puts great emphasis on this.
Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt: And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames. Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. Isaiah 13:6-11
No matter how confident and secure unsaved people may have felt before, at that time they will know only terror:
And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? Revelation 6:15-17
Those who are raised from the dead for damnation will be arraigned before God, judged, found guilty of their countless sins against God, and cast into Hell for eternal punishment.
And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works....And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:11, 12, 15
Why does Judgment Day have to be so dreadful?
The perfect justice of God demands that sinners suffer the eternal punishment their sins bring upon them. Because God is absolutely holy, our sins are utterly offensive to His holy majesty.
There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God. 1 Samuel 2:2
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. Isaiah 64:6
And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Genesis 6:5
Have I committed such flagrant sins? I didn’t know my sins were bad enough to send me to Hell.
Any sin, no matter how small, is rebellion against God and brings us under His wrath.
But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the Day of Judgment. Matthew 12:36
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Galatians 6:7
But I have done some good things in my life. Won’t God take this into consideration?
The Bible tells us that even our best behavior is sin when measured by God’s holy standard. Only Jesus was without sin.
And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. Luke 16:15
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one. Romans 3:10
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
I definitely don’t want God’s judgment to overtake me. But I still enjoy my sins. Why can’t I put God off until I’m ready to get serious?
God speaks about people who want to continue the miserable enjoyment they get from their sins:
Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment. Ecclesiastes 11:9
Putting God off will only lead you to greater hardness of heart. Every time you put God off it becomes easier to do it. Furthermore, you have no guarantee that you will be alive at some later date. Therefore God says:
While it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. Hebrews 3:15
If you will not hear His voice, consider what will happen to you...
...when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10
This is really scaring me. Why must I be so afraid of God?
Fear of the Lord is right place to begin with God.
The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. Proverbs 14:27
How does God save people from His punishment and wrath?
God Himself came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ to save His people from their sins.
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21
For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Colossians 2:9
On the cross, Jesus suffered punishment equal to eternal damnation for the sins of those He came to save.
God would really do that?
Yes! That is the message of the Gospel.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
For he hath made him who knew no sin to be sin for us; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray: we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:5-6
But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 4:24 - 5:1
The Lord Jesus Christ is eternal God who humbled Himself to the point of taking on the nature and sins of those being saved. Then as their substitute under God's wrath He endured their punishment. There is no other way for a person’s sins to be taken away.
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12
You mean if Jesus was already punished in my place for my sins that I will never have to face God’s judgment myself?
Yes, if Jesus is your Savior, you will be saved from Hell and given everlasting life. You need to know, however, that seeing this truth intellectually does not mean that God has saved you. It simply means that you understand the gospel up to this point. Many people who are still in their sins and on their way to Hell have had a good intellectual understanding of the gospel.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. John 5:24
What can I do to make this salvation apply to me?
In yourself, there is nothing you can do. The Bible teaches that before salvation we are all spiritually dead and totally unable to respond to God.
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Ephesians 2:1
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) Ephesians 2:4-5
The thought of being under God’s punishment forever is terrifying to me; but if I am totally unable to respond to God, what hope do I have of ever being saved?
God must do the whole work of salvation from beginning to end. If God begins to apply the work of Christ to your life, you will begin to see your helpless condition as a sinner and begin crying out to God that He might save you from Hell. But remember that any religious action generated by the will of man is meaningless to God. If you are actually looking to God for salvation from Hell on His terms, then God is the One who is causing this to happen in your heart and you are already saved.
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13
An early evidence of God working in your life would be throwing yourself altogether on His mercy knowing that unless you are hidden in Christ, you deserve only His wrath and damnation.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Colossians 3:2-3
...my prayer is unto thee, O LORD, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation. Psalm 69:13
And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified... Luke 18:13-14
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. John 6:29
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
How can I know if I truly have become saved?
God gives assurance of salvation in several ways. God causes the child of God to believe His Word, the Bible. If you become saved, you will gain great assurance of salvation as you earnestly repent of sinful behavior and as you endeavor to obey everything you find in the Bible.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Revelation 3:19
And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us. 1 John 3:23-24
...but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. Isaiah 66:2
...It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. Luke 4:4
The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Psalm 34:18
What else should I know about being ready to meet God?
At the return of Christ those who He has saved from Hell will be given spiritual bodies. This will make them fully ready for eternity in spiritual marriage with Christ in the New Heavens and the New Earth.
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 1 Corinthians 15:52
...they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Matthew 25:10
...and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:17
An important part of obeying God is to find other Christians to fellowship with. Finding a reasonably group may take quite a bit of looking. If possible, try to find friends who put a great emphasis on the absolute sovereignty of God.
...they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Acts 17:11
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 1 Corinthians 2:13
Our purpose in this tract has been to sound the alarm, to blow the trumpet of warning while it is still the day of salvation.
Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. Ezekiel 33:4
Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Revelation 3:3
How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; Hebrews 2:3
...behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2
Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Isaiah 55:6
And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Isaiah 12:1-2