Inscribed on the wall above an ancient sundial in Cluny, France, are these memeorable words: “of all these hours, fear but one!” There is an hour of hours to which all your life is leading. All history flows to the final appointement at which the destiny of each person who has ever lived will be sealed forever. “Inasmuch as he hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he hath ordained.” (Acts 17:31). God is keeping the book of your life where each thought and deed is recoreded. Soon, perhaps much sooner than you think,” . . . we must all be mad manifest befor the judgment seat nof Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he hath done, whether it be good or evil.” (2 Cor. 5:10; Rev. 20: 11-15).
THE PLAIN FACTS
The Bible is very clear in preparing us for final test day: (1) It is certain. This day is an unalterable inevitable. There will be no way to escape it, change it, or deny it. (2) It is universal. All nations will be gathered before the Son of Man for Judgment. (Matt. 25:32). Reprobate sinners, unfaithful Christians, good moral men out of Christ, Chorazin, Bethsaida, Jerusalem, Moscow and Washington, and will be there for this final apointment (Rom. 14:10). (3) It is individual. The searching spotlight will be focused on you when your time comes to appear before the Great White Throne. (1Cor. 3:13). You will be on your own then. No blaming society, hypocriticall church memebers, or unfavorable circumstances for your failure to obey christ and seek first his kingdom. No excuses will fill your mouth then . . . Just you and God and the naked truth with the whole univers watching . . .
THE BOOKS WILL BE OPEND
The Scriptures teach us that: (1) The Judgment will be full and complete. “For God will bring every work into judgement, with every hidden thing, wheather it be good. or whether it be evil.” (Eccl. 12:14). All things are naked and laid upon before the eyes of Him with whom we have to do (Heb. 4:13). Nothing escapes the eyes of our Father in Heaven (Jer. 23:23-24). and in that Day our heart or hearts with all its secret sins will be fully known. (2 Cor. 4:5). (2) The Judgment will be under the direction of an importial God with a merciful Saviour presiding. He does not respect person. (Acts 10:34-35). Your money, beauty, brain, lands, fame,stocks, and human accomplishments mean nothing to Him. All that will matter then is whether your sins have been washed away in the cleansing tide of jesus blood and if you have lived your life in harmony with the Father’s will! (3) The Judgment will be conducted by a perfect standard. All living since the death of Christ will be judged by His Gospel. (Rom. 2:16). You will not be judged by the Old Testament, and not a creed or law inscribed by human hands and synods will be there! The New Testament will read the same in that day as it does today. Mark 16:15-16 will be there. James 1:27 will be there. 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 will be there. Romans 12:1-2 will be there. Jesus declared, “The word that I spake, the same shall judge him in the last day.” (John 12:48). How wise for you to obey the will of God today so you can say in that day, “O” Lord, I did as you said to do!”
A DAY OF SURPRISE
Jesus declared the day of Judgment would be a day of surprises. (Matt. 7:22-23). (1) Some will be surprised that God accepts no excuses. All our flimsy and foolish excuses and rationalizing only stir up the wrath of God. There are no two ways about it: either we obey and be sved eternally, or we do not obey and be lost forever in torment. (2) Some will be surprised that God will not accept human churches. Our Lord plainly said, “Every plant which my heavenly father hath not planted shall be rooted up.” (Matt. 15:13). How tragic that thousands are spending their lives in churches never once named in the Word of God! Being religious is not enough, you must obey the will of God! Being religious is not enough, you must obey the will of God, lest He say in that day, “I never knew you.” (Matt. 7:21-23). (3) Some will be surprised that God will not judge us by what others are doing. or not doing. Husbands. and wives cannot be saved merely because their mate may be a Christian. No children will be saved merely because their parents were faithful to the Lord. Each will be judged by his own work. (Rom. 14:10-12). Too many supposed Christians think their church membership will save them without being actively involved in the work of the Lord. The church where you worship may be on fire with enthusiasm for Christ, but unless you are doing your fair share of the work it will mean nothing when you stan before the Judge of all the earth. (4) Some will be surprised that God will not judge us by our good intentions. Many, like Felix (Acts 24:25) intend to become a Christian when they have a convenient season. But God will judge us by our deeds, not what we plan to do in the future. (Rev. 20:12). However noble and lofty your intentions are to obey the Gospel someday, or to live a faithful Christian life, before God in Judgment they will be just another stroke in your doom unless you put them into action! (James 2:14-26)
THE THREE VERDICTS
When the scens of the Last Day are over, three verdicts will be issued: (1) ” I never knew you” (Matt. 7:21-23) will be said to those who did not obey the Gospel of Christ. (2) “I know you not” (Matt 25:12) will be the verdict to those who were once prepared but who let their lights go out. (3) “Well done, enter into the joys of the Lord” (Matt 25:21) are the thrilling words that good and faithful servants of the Lord will hear!
ARE YOU READY
My friend, which will it be for you? Are you prepared to meet God in Judgment? It is not whether you once were ready, or that you intend to some day, but are you prepared to meet God NOW? God loves you so much that He sent His only befotten Son to die for you. (John 3:16). He has given to you the way of salvation of belief in Him, repentance of sins (Lu. 13:3) confession of the Christ (Rom 10:10), and burial with Him in baptism for the remission of sins. (Acts 2:38; Rom 6:3-4). Through your obedience God adds you to His church (Acts 2:41), and by a faithful liffe of service to Christ you can meet the Master with all joy in that Day! Your greatest obligation in life is to be ready to meet you Creator. And the amazing truth nis that this Day may not be far in the misty future. You can meet the Grim Reaper of death at the next bend in the road. The night is far spent and the day is at hand. (Rom 13:12). Over there you will give a thousand worlds like this one to make things right with God, but it will be too late then! Think! And let us in churches of the Christ help you make ready for the Great Day coming!