Some Judgment Day Surprises!

Introduction:  The Bible teaches that the Day of Judgment is an appointed day.  Acts 17:30-31, “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:  Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”  Also, at Hebrews 9:27, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” 

That day will be universal in scope!  Every person accountable who has lived since the beginning of time to the end of the world will be judged.  2 Cor. 5:10, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” 

Justice demands that there be a judgment, because the wicked are not always punished in this life and the righteous are not always rewarded in this life.  Although the Lord has revealed many things in reference to that day, nevertheless some things connected with that day shall prove surprising to many.  Our purpose is to now notice some of these surprises.

I.                   SOME WILL BE SURPRISED TO FIND IT A REALITY.

A.    The atheists, infidels, along with those who deny that a place of eternal torment exists will be surprised of its reality.

Psa. 9:17, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”

Eccl. 12:13-14, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:  Fear God, and keep his commandments:  for this is the whole duty of man.  For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”

2 Thes. 1:7-9, “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;”

Heb. 10:23-27, “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another:  and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.  For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.” 

II.                THE TIME OF THE JUDGMENT WILL SURPRISE THE ENTIRE HUMAN RACE.

A.    This will especially be true of the following:

1.      Scoffers (2 Pet. 3:3-10, read).

2.      Date setters:  There have been many attempts by individuals to predict when the Lord will come.  Nevertheless, their predictions have failed, and thus have proven them to be false prophets.

Deut. 18:22, “When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously:  thou shalt not be afraid of him.”

a.       The Seventh Day Adventists.

William Miller (1782-1849) predicted the second coming of Christ would occur between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844.  When the Son of God did not come by March 21, 1844, the date was changed to October 21, 1844.

b.      The religious group called “Jehovah’s Witnesses” have predicted that Christ would return in 1874, 1914, 1925, and 1975.     

3.      Premillenialist.  John 5:28-29, “Marvel not at this:  for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”

4.      Those who do not believe that there will be an eternal place of torment.

Matt. 25:46, “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal.”

a.       Both the term “everlasting” and “eternal” in that passage is translated from the Greek word aionios.  It means everlasting, never ending.

B.    Only the Heavenly Father knows when Jesus will return at the end of time.

Mk. 13:32, “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”

1 Thes. 5:1-6, “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.  For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.  But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.  Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day:  we are not of the night, nor of darkness.  Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” 

III.             THE PURPOSE OF THE DAY OF JUDGMENT WILL BE A SURPRISE TO MANY!

A.    It will not be a balance of how many good deeds that we have done in contrast to a life of sin.

Acts 10:1-2, “There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always.”

Acts 11:13-14, “And he showed us how he had seen an angel in his house, which stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter; Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved."

B.    It will not be a day of trial to determine the innocent or guilt of anyone.

2 Tim. 2:19, “…The Lord knoweth them that are his.”

C.  Unbelievers are condemned already!

John 3:18, “He that believeth on him is not condemned:  but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” 

D. It is known at death who has died in sin or in Christ.

(Lk. 16:19-31, refer to)

IV.              THE STANDARD USED IN THE FINAL JUDGMENT WILL SURPRISE MANY.

A.    Many will be surprised to learn that the standard will not be:

1.      Human creeds, Disciplines of men, and human traditions.

Matt. 15:9, “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

2.      The religion of our parents.

Matt. 10:37, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me:  and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

3.      Neither will it be by our wisdom, excellency, or morality.

Isa. 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thought, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  

B.    Many will be surprised that the standard of judgment will be the inspired Word of God.

John 12:48, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him:  the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.”  

V.                 THE BASIS OF THE JUDGMENT WILL SURPRISE SOME.

A.    We will be judged by how we have lived in relation to the Lord’s inspired Word.

Eccl. 12:13-14, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:  Fear God, and keep his commandments:  for this is the whole duty of man.  For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”

2 Cor. 5:10, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”

Matt. 12:36-37, “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”

VI.              THE MOST SURPRISED WILL BE RELIGIOUS PEOPLE.

A.    The following religious concepts will be inadequate on the Day of Judgment.

1.      The “Go to the church of your choice” will not be acceptable.

2.      The “Better-felt-than-told” will not stand before the truth.

3.      There will be no such thing as “one doctrine is as good as another.”

4.      All who have been taught error and given false hope will realize truth does matter.           

Matt. 7:21-23, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?  And in thy name have cast out devils?  And in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them I never knew you:  depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

VII.           MANY WITHIN THE CHURCH OF OUR LORD WILL BE SURPRISED THAT JUDGMENT WILL BEGIN WITH THE HOUSE OF GOD.

1 Pet. 4:17-18, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God:  and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?  And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”

1.      The “house of God” is the church (1 Tim. 3:15).

2.      Just because we are members of the Lord’s church does not guarantee us a home in heaven.

1 Cor. 10:12-13, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man:  but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

VIII.        IN VIEW OF WHAT WILL HAPPEN ON THE DAY OF JUDGMENT, WILL YOU BE SURPRISED?

A.    We do not need to face the judgment unprepared to meet our Maker!

2 Cor. 6:2, “…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

Prov. 27:1, “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”

Conclusion:

Remember:  the judgment will be final!  It will be eternal.  There will not be a “second chance” as some mistakenly believe.  All opportunities to serve the Lord will be gone forever!  Now is the time to prepare for the Day of Judgment by coming forward and obeying the gospel of Christ.  Those who fail to obey the gospel will be eternally damned!  The Apostle Paul stressed, “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;” (2 Thess. 1:7-9).  Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?  Are you willing to repent of your sins, confess your faith in Christ, and be baptized for the remission of sins? (Acts 22:16).  If you will obey the Lord and be faithful unto death, you will receive a crown of life (Rev. 2:10).  Make preparation for the judgment today—tomorrow may be too late!   

An old sermon revised

--Dub Mowery

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