Judgment Day
           Various Passages 
           By Paul Robison

Let's begin with some recent statistics.  Almost 60% of Americans agree that the predictions in the book of Revelations will be fulfilled in the future.  About 40% of American believe that Jesus will return before 2050.  And 80% of Americans believe that they will stand before God at the judgment.  Someone else wrote this however: “Modern man rejects … the idea the idea that he must one day render account for his life and its decisions. … The thought, … that one day all people will be inescapably summoned to accept responsibility for [their] moral decisions in the all-seeing presence of their Creator, is [banished from their minds]” (New Bible Dictionary).  Whether its 80% or 20% who believe who believe in judgment, the question is: “Do you believe there will be Judgment Day?”  That day is what this sermon will emphasize.  It has four parts: descriptive reference about that day, personal reference to that day, negative references to that day, and positive references to that day.
Descriptive references to the Judgment Day are those passage that describe it in some way.  The first is Acts 17:30-31: “Truly, the times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has APPOINTED A DAY on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained.  He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”  There is an appointed time during which God will judge the world.  This “day” will neither be a literal 24 hours time period nor will be the first thousand years on a reformed earth; the time period for this appointed encounter is indefinite.  Only God knows the time of this appointment: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matthew 24:36).  Someone is already predicting that 12-21-12 is going to be the Judgment Day.  Don’t believe it!  Why?  Only God’s know when that day will take place.  The Judgment Day is an appointed day.  Now look at Luke 21:34-36 where Jesus gives a warning: “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and THAT DAY come on you UNEXPECTEDLY.  For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.  Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”  That day should be an expected day for Christians.  Don't let the sins and cares of this life cloud your vision!  Being watchful and prayerful will help you to keep expectant for that day.  Keep your expectations high!  The next descriptive reference is in John 11:24 where Martha said to Jesus: “I know that he [her brother Lazarus] will rise again in the resurrection at THE LAST DAY.”  All mankind will be raised from the dead.  That resurrection will take place at the end of human history when Jesus’ voice will cause all the dead to rise (John 5:28)!  This passage shows that “the history of the world is not an endless succession of meaningless cycles, but it is a movement towards a [climatic] goal” (Hoekema).  The Judgment Day will be the final time period before eternity begins.  Jude affirms in verses 6-7: “And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of THE GREAT DAY; as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”  The Judgment Day will truly be the great day for all the events that will happen during it, including the judgment of wicked angels and the punishment of those who chose a perverted sexual lifestyle, as the wicked cities of old were punished for their sins.  So, we have seen Judgment Day described as an appointed day, an unexpected day (but a day which Christians should expect), the last day, and the great day.  An old hymn has it right: “There’s a great day coming.  When the saints and the sinners shall be parted right and left.  Are you ready for that day to come?”
Now let’s look at some personal references.  They are personal because they refer to God and Jesus.  Look now at 2 Peter 3:10-13: “But THE DAY OF THE LORD will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.  Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of THE DAY OF GOD, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?  Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”  This passage shows that on that Day, God will inaugurate a totally new dimension where only righteousness will abide.  The old creation, composed of the heavens and this earth, will be dissolved, and a new creation will take its place.  Christians should live holy and godly lives as they look for and long for God's Day.  On that day, the spiritual will overcome the physical.  “Then comes the end, when Jesus delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.  For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.  And the last enemy that will be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:24-26).  The Judgment Day could be called the Day of the Son of Man: “When the SON OF MAN comes in His glory and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.  And all the nations will be gathered before Him, and He WILL SEPARATE them one from another, as a shepherd divides His sheep from the goats” (Matthew 25:31-32).  This passage shows that Jesus will judge all mankind.  All will appear before His judgment seat, and all will be divided into one of two classifications.  No person will escape from this encounter with Jesus!  Does that truth frighten or excite you?  Now let's look at Philippians 3:20-21: “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the SAVIOR, the Lord Jesus Christ, who WILL TRANSFORM our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.”  This passage shows us that Judgment Day will be a time of transformation because our bodies will be changed from mortal to immortal, from physical to spiritual, from frail to glorious (1 Corinthians 15:50-53).  Our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who has been given all authority, is the One who will cause this great transformation to take place!  Our Savior will save us from future death and decay!  Now let's look at 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17: “For the LORD Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.  And the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain shall be CAUGHT UP TOGETHER with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”  The passages shows that Jesus the Lord will unite all the saints at the Judgment Day.  Those who are alive will be united those who have been resurrected, and all will meet the Lord together.  And note that this great reunion does not take place on earth but in the air.  As you will recall from a previous passage, the earth has been destroyed.  So, we have seen from these personal references that Judgment Day will be God's Day of new creation, the Son of Man's classification Day, the Savior's transformation Day, and the Lord's reunion Day!  “There’s a great day coming, a bright day coming, but its brightness shall only come to them that love the Lord.  Are you ready for that day to come?”
Now let’s notice some negative references about Judgment Day.  Let’s see what Jesus says in Matthew 12:36: “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give an account of it in THE DAY OF JUDGMENT.  For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”  Our speech is very important, so we must bridle our tongues.  Each person will give an account of what they have said before Jesus.  Our words can justify or can condemn us.  Now look at 2 Peter 3:7: “But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until THE DAY OF JUDGMENT AND PERDITION [or destruction] of ungodly men.”  We have already seen how the creation will be destroyed on Judgment Day, but also note here that Peter also emphasizes the destruction of ungodly people as well.  Just a few verses later, Peter says that God doesn’t want any to perish but ALL to come to repentance before the Judgment Day (verse 9).  When the Judgment Day becomes a reality, then it will be too late, and the ungodly and those who have not obeyed the Gospel, will be punished!  This is why an invitation is offered each time a message is preached.  Please, don’t let eternal destruction become your fate!  John affirms in Revelation 20:15: “And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”  Those whose names are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will be not only classified but also separated from the righteous, and they will experience terrible suffering and torment.  There was once a couple who had been invited to a wedding at a certain church building.  After the wedding, there was to be a reception at a hotel.  This couple got to the hotel before the wedding party arrived.  Everyone had to check in with a valet who stood at a large podium which was positioned in front of two doors that opened into the reception area.  The couple stood their turn in line.  When they got to the podium, the valet asked their names.  Then he asked a second time.  Then he said, “I’m sorry, your names are not on this register.  I can’t allow you to come into the reception.  You must leave.”  Well, the couple was rather upset.  When they got to their car, they were disappointed.  The wife asked her husband, when did you mail the reception invitation.  “Well,” the man replied, “I had assumed that you mailed it in.”  That assumption cost them the reception.  On the Judgment Day, the most important question in the world will be this one: “Is my name written in the Lamb’s book of life?”  The life you live right now is what will determine if your name is there.  That couple’s disappoint won’t be anything compared to yours if you miss being in heaven forever!  Now listen carefully to Romans 2:5-9 where punishment is again specified: “But in accordance with your hardness and impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in THE DAY OF WRATH AND REVELATION of the righteous judgment of God, who ‘will render to each one according to his deeds’; eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil…”  You see, righteousness is standard, and if you are living unrighteously and involved in evil deeds, Judgment Day will be a day of God’s wrath for you!  Do you want your eternity to be indignation, tribulation, and anguish?  So, we have seen, there will be a day of judgment upon our words, a day of destruction for our ungodliness, a day of separation from the righteous, and a day of God’s wrath and anguish upon our wicked deeds.  “There’s a great day coming, a sad day coming, when the sinner shall hear his doom: ‘Depart, I know you not.’  Are you ready for that day to come?”
Now let’s notice some positive references about Judgment Day.  Paul affirms in Ephesians 4:30: “And do now grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for THE DAY OF REDEMPTION.”  Here are some truths from this passage: 1) As Christians, we must be selective in what we think, read, watch, say, and do; we do not want to bring grief to the Holy Spirit who had taken up residence in our lives by acting foolishly, wickedly, or sinfully; 2) the Holy Spirit is like a seal upon an ancient letter; Christians are imprinted with the Holy Spirit to show that they belong to God; 3) Christians have been redeemed or freed from Satan’s slavery with the payment of Christ’s blood; the Judgment Day will be a day of redemption because we will be freed not only from all evil but also from death, sorrow, and pain!  John affirms in 1 John 4:17-18: “Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have BOLDNESS in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment.”  As a Christian, the more we live out our love for God and others, the more our fear diminishes because we know that we will not be tormented in hell.  We can face the judgment with the same confidence that Jesus faced the cross.  Jesus’ love for God got Him through that ordeal, and our love for God will get us through Judgment Day as well.  Judgment Day for the Christian is a day of boldness.  Now let’s look at 2 Thess. 1:9-10: “These [those who do not know God and have not obeyed the gospel] shall e punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power; when he comes in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be ADMIRED among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.”  This passage shows that the ungodly and unbelievers will be punished with everlasting destruction, but Jesus’ followers will be filled with wonder and awe at they admire their victorious King of Kings who is the Lamb of God!  Now let’s look at 2 Timothy 4:8: “Finally, there is laid up for me THE CROWN of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”  This passages teaches that righteousness again is the standard, Jesus is the Judge, and Judgment Day is time of victory for all Christians!  So, we have seen positively for Christians that Judgment Day will be time of redemption, of boldness, of admiration, and coronation!
Listen to this sobering verse in 2 Corinthians 5:10-11: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, where good or bad.”  Romans 14:12 adds: “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.”  Do you believe there will be a Judgment Day?  As surely as death has touched your life at some point, you will stand and give account of your life before Jesus Christ.  The chorus of that old hymn goes: “There a great day coming, a great day coming!  Are you ready for that day to come?  Are you ready for the Judgment Day?”  Wrath or redemption?  Destruction or admiration?  Anguish or boldness?  Tragedy or triumph?  Prepare now by becoming a Christian or by asking God to forgive you if you’ve lived ungodly as a Christian.  Be ready for that appointed, great, last, and decisive Day!