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: http://www.annachurchofchrist.com/