Judgement Day is coming. I’ve heard people make thoughtless jokes about it. About how perhaps the Prophets and the writers of the Epistles should look up the definition of the word ‘soon’. I’ve heard people ridicule the prophecies and those who believe them. They depict believers as insane homeless people preaching on street corners or crazy cult leaders ready to kill their entire congregation.
But the fact is The Day is coming, and it is coming soon. We don’t know exactly when, so we need to live like it might be tomorrow, today, or in ten minutes. It is something all believers need to keep in mind as we live our lives. Peter urged the church to remember The Day of the Lord. Verses 1-7 in The Message read,
“My dear friends, this is now the second time I’ve written to you, both letters reminders to hold your minds in a state of undistracted attention. Keep in mind what the holy prophets said, and the command of our Master and Savior that was passed on by your apostles.
3-4 First off, you need to know that in the last days, mockers are going to have a heyday. Reducing everything to the level of their puny feelings, they’ll mock, “So what’s happened to the promise of his Coming? Our ancestors are dead and buried, and everything’s going on just as it has from the first day of creation. Nothing’s changed.”
5-7 They conveniently forget that long ago all the galaxies and this very planet were brought into existence out of watery chaos by God’s word. Then God’s word brought the chaos back in a flood that destroyed the world. The current galaxies and earth are fuel for the final fire. God is poised, ready to speak his word again, ready to give the signal for the judgment and destruction of the desecrating skeptics.
Those scoffers also don’t know who God is. They don’t know Him the way we do. They imagine Him to be made-up, or ever angry, or a sweet but wise bumbling old man. However the world imagines God, we know that they’ve got Him wrong because they don’t know Him the way we know Him and they deny parts of Him to fit Him in their own definition.
We know time is different for God than for us. He has existed since the beginning and we, mere humans can’t conceive of how very long ago that was. God lives in time without end. We live on this earth such a short time compared to eternity. For us waiting a week can seem like forever, 40 weeks seems like eons, and four years may as well be four ages. But it isn’t that way for God. Time is not the same for Him. Verses 8-9 read,
“But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
God loves us and He is patient. He doesn’t want anyone to die lost. God is Love. Ultimately, His love will manifest in Judgement Day. For now, He holds back judgement, waiting for as many as possible to hear the Gospel had have the opportunity to accept Jesus as their Savior.
He is a God of truth and light. That Day will reveal the truth, all of the truth. All our deeds, all our words, everything about us will be divulged. And every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. (Philippians 2:10-11). Verse 10 reads,
“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed”
What does all this mean for us? It means that we ought to live like Jesus is coming back very soon. It means that we should live godly Christ glorifying lives. It means we must share the wonderful and beautiful truth of Christ with the world. It means we can hold onto the hope and promise of eternity with our Lord. Verses 11-16 puts it this way,
“Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
14 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,”
Remember too that the prophecy surrounding this is fodder for false teachers and false prophets. They love to take it and twist it and put fear into people with it. They take the parts they can use, throw out the parts that don’t go with their message and use it for their own benefit. It has even become a popular subject for horror films. But we know the truth, and if we don’t yet know it, we need to read the Scriptures for ourselves. Yes, sometimes there are parts that are very deep or otherwise difficult to comprehend, but we have the Holy Spirit to reveal the meaning to us. The lost don’t have Him. That enables us to discern their lies. If we are ignorant of what the Word says we need to change that. Repeatedly in the Bible we are told to pursue knowledge, unlock the mystery of Salvation, seek God, and seek truth. We are told to study the scriptures, meditate on them, and be hearers and doers of them. Verses 16-18 read,
“as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”
Remain diligent in growing in Christ. Remember that includes studying the Bible for yourself, belonging to a group of Believers, and depending on God through the trials and suffering of your life. Follow Jesus. Pursue Love. Seek Truth.