Monday, October 21, 2013

A Point About Judgment Day

By R.W. McAlister

    Will there be a Judgment Day, and if so, what will happen then? These are questions on the minds of many people, but sadly, not enough. It's a pity that more people aren't concerned with God's Judgment and what it means for their eternal destination.
    Many things could be said about this subject, but let’s focus upon just one: separation. Jesus says, “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.” (Matt. 25:31-33). Yes, there will be Day of Judgment, and Jesus describes the eternal separation in which you and I will participate at that time.
    We understand something about separation. There are separations that occur from job opportunities and responsibilities that move family members away from each other. There are separations that occur because of military service, and when children leave for college. Their bedrooms are empty for the first time in 18 or so years. How do we comfort ourselves in times like these? How do parents console themselves when the nest first becomes empty while the child is away at college? They count the weeks until fall break or perhaps the Thanksgiving holiday when their child can come home. The prospect of a reunion is what makes the separation bearable.
    What about a memorial service? How many times have we all had to stand by at the funeral home while someone said “goodbye” to the dearest on earth to them? How do so many get through that? When faithful members of the Lord’s body pass on, the faithful friends & family can look into that cold casket and say, “I’ll see you on the morning of the resurrection!” The prospect of a reunion makes the separation easier. Even though the heartbreak is overwhelming in a situation like that, how comforting it is to contemplate that glad reunion!
    In contrast to this type of separation which can end in a happy reunion, there’s also a dreadful separation to which there can be no end and no reunion – that’s when God separates the sheep from the goats. That simply means that if you’re saved and your family is not, you will have seen them for the last time, and that’s one of the hardest things about coming to Christ for so many – coming to that realization. You’ll never see or hear from them again, because there’s a great gulf fixed between both halves of eternity (Luke 16:26).
    A father was dying, and he had two sons. One was a faithful Christian, the other one was not. To his Christian son, he said, “Goodnight, son” and to the other one he said, “Goodbye, son.”
    The unfaithful son picked up on that and asked his father, “Why did you tell my brother ‘goodnight,’ and me, ‘goodbye’?” The father answered, “Your brother is prepared to meet God, and one day, I’ll see him again, but you’re not a Christian and you’re not living right, so unless you repent and make your life right, I have to tell you ‘goodbye,’ because I’ll never see you again.” On that Final Day, we will say goodbye to our friends and family who are not part of God’s family.
    There will certainly be a Judgment Day, and as you stand at the Judgment Bar of God, you will participate in the eternal separation. Are you ready for that? On which side of eternity will you be – numbered among the sheep, or the goats? Give it some thought and make your life right with God if need be – before it’s too late.

 - R. W. McAlister preaches for the Anna Church of Christ in Anna, IL. He may be contacted through the congregation's website:            

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