Summary: As we consider Judgment Day let’s not worry about the exact day that Jesus will return. Let’s make sure we are ready for his return every day. Let’s take this opportunity to learn the truth about our judge and the basis of his judgment.
2012. I am sure that between now and the year 2012 A.D. you will hear a lot about what some think is going to happen at that time. According to the September 25, 2006 issue of Newsweek magazine that year could be the end of the world, as we know it.
Followers of New Age spirituality have noticed that something big happens in 2012 in the ancient and complex Mayan calendar. Their calendar has chugged along for 1,872,000 days, and its cycle stops (and restarts) on Dec. 21, 2012. Speculation over the 2012 cycle change has spurred interest in people around the world. Amazon.com shows more than 100 books on the subject, with titles like “Doomsday 2012” and “2012: You Have a Choice!” A number of spirituality conferences are already convening and I am sure many more will form in the next six years.
So will the world end on December 21, 2012? Obviously no one knows for sure. Only God knows when the Last Day will be. Perhaps the end of the world will come before then. Or history may continue long after the year 2012. I guess I have always figured that if humans are predicting a certain day for Judgment Day God will deliberately choose a different day so that no one can say he or she predicted it.
Regardless of what day we are talking about isn’t it interesting how people constantly try to pick dates for the end of the world? It seems that in every generation both Christians and even non-Christians speculate about when the Last Day will be. For many it becomes an obsession.
Although we can understand the curiosity many have about when Judgment Day will be, doesn’t it seem silly to show little or no concern about what is going to happen on that day? And doesn’t it seem even more foolish to be concerned about what day the world will end and give no thought to who is going to be the judge on that day. And wouldn’t you think people would be concerned about the standard of the judgment they will face?
On this Last Judgment Sunday let’s not worry about the exact day that Jesus will return. Let’s make sure we are ready for his return every day. Let’s take this opportunity to learn the truth about our judge and the basis of his judgment. May the Holy Spirit enable each of you to:
“KNOW YOUR JUDGE BEFORE JUDGMENT DAY”
I. Know his authority
II. Know his power
III. Know his Word
What prompted Jesus to speak these intense words about the Judgment Day? Jesus had healed a man who had been paralyzed for 38 years. On the surface that doesn’t sound like something that would bring criticism from Jesus’ enemies. But he did it on the Sabbath Day. So John tells us that some of the Jews persecuted Jesus for his actions. We are not told what that persecution was. But we are given Jesus’ response to it. He said, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.” That made the Jews even angrier. John tells us about their reaction in the verse just before our Gospel lesson for this Sunday. “For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” (John 5:18) Although the Jews were judging Jesus he wanted them to know that one day he would judge them. He pointed out his authority to judge and the power he had at his disposal. Then he offered them the only way to prepare for the Last Day. He called them to repentance and faith. He invited them to hear and believe his Word.
Before speaking about Judgment Day, Jesus revealed the truth about his authority to be the judge of all. “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these.” The Jews were seeing Jesus do some amazing miracles. But because of Jesus’ relationship with God the Father even more amazing things were coming. After his suffering, death, and resurrection Jesus would receive all authority in heaven and on earth from his Father. And at the end of time Jesus’ enemies would see him return in glory with all the holy angels to judge the world.
One big part of Jesus’ authority was his right to be judge on the Last Day. Jesus added this thought, “Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.” And in John 5:27 Jesus repeated the fact, “27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.” Every judge has been given some level authority. A judge in Butler, Warren, or Clermont County receives his authority from those counties. A judge on the Ohio Supreme court receives his authority from the whole state. And of course a federal judge is given authority from the federal government. Jesus’ authority to judge came straight from the Father.