We’re all confronted with deadlines! Bills must be paid (preferably on time), licenses need to be renewed, tax returns filed out. (By the way, don’t forget that April 15th is the deadline for filing your income taxes.) If you’re employed, your boss has given you a deadline for when you have to show up for work and another for when your tasks are due—the list of deadlines goes on and on. Whew!
There is one deadline we all face that is unavoidable and more important than any other deadline. The Bible clearly explains what it is: “… It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
In other words, you and I have a death appointment. By the way, all the latest research agrees that 10 out of every 10 people will die eventually. Ok, that’s not a surprise. We all need that reminder every now and then, though, because eternity is forever.
As if that weren’t scary enough, the Bible also says that for some people, God’s judgment will come even before their death, and it will come without any warning. When the Lord comes back to judge the earth, He will come “… just like a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:2). Jesus Himself warned us about this as well. He said He would come back to earth “… like a thief…” (Revelation 16:15). Also, see 2 Peter 3:10.
Many people have tried to wish away this coming judgment, but that doesn’t change the truth of what will happen. “While they are saying, ‘Peace and safety!’ then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:3).
There are many Bible truths that make people uncomfortable. Judgment is certainly one of them. For that reason, it isn’t talked about, and too often, it is quickly dismissed. Disbelieving something doesn’t keep it from being true, though.
Jesus is the only reliable source of truth. We know this because He is the only One who raised Himself from the dead. “… Grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17) because He is “… the way, and the truth, and the life…” (John 14:6).
Christ’s impending appearance as the all-powerful judge of the universe doesn’t have to be frightening. He came to provide a way of escape from it for each of us. All we have to do is repent of our sin and place our full faith in Christ. “…God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man [the God-Man Jesus] whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30–31).
When you join the family of God, you see Christ’s return in a completely different light. The followers of Jesus Christ are “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus” (Titus 2:13).
I hope and pray that you are one of His followers.