Summary: Even at Christmas, we must remember that the coming judgment will deal with how we live our lives today.
The skit that the youth ministry put on was superb! And the subject matter was very appropriate for Christians; "Judgment". This is the Christmas season, and I know it is traditional to only preach on the birth of Christ, but we must still remember something very important. The things that apply to Christians all year long still apply during the Christmas season. I am not going to preach a sermon today considering the time, but I do want to close with a few brief remarks about the Judgment.
The judgment before our Lord is certainly going to happen, isn’t it? To some, that is a scary thing to think about, but to others, it isn’t. Why is there such a disparity in the way people look at the judgment?
To start with, when a person is terrified of the judgment, that shows they know how they are living and they know it is not for Jesus. And, they know they will end up paying the price for the way they are living. This is what scares them.
In contrast, others know that they are sinners, and they know they don’t deserve anything at all from the Lord, but they also know something else. They know they are saved by the blood of Jesus, and they will be allowed into Heaven.
I heard once where a man died and met Peter outside the Pearly Gates. Peter told him that before he could go into Heaven, he had to answer some questions and he would get points for his answers. The better the answer, the more the points he would receive, and when he received 100 points, he could go on in.
Peter asked him to tell him some of the good things he had done in his life. The man told Peter he had been married for 55 years and never once thought of cheating on his wife. Peter congratulated him and told him that was worth 3 points.
“Three points? That’s all?” the man said? He continued by telling Peter that he had never told a lie and never cheated on his taxes. Peter again smiled and said that would gain the man another 2 points.
This went on for awhile and finally the man had 15 points. At that point the frustrated man said, “At this rate the only way I can get in there is by the Grace of God!” Peter smiled and said, “Amen. You can go in now.”
When you go before the Lord on Judgment Day, you will be judged guilty or you will be judged innocent. It will be too late to change things. It will be too late to explain to God what you really meant to do.
You will be guilty; or you will be innocent. Many people look at Judgment Day as the end of the road. They are mistaken. Judgment Day is only the beginning. The beginning of forever.
Your eternity will either be spent in hell or in Heaven. It does not matter where you say you want to go. It only matters where you show that you want to go. By that, I mean that you can talk about Heaven all day long, but when that midnight hour gets here, it will be your actions that determine your eternity, not your words.
Many people want Heaven, but they want the world more. And, they are more afraid of offending their friends than they are of offending Jesus. They find it easier to tell the Lord “No” than telling their friends “No”. On Judgment Day, these people will find out what offending Jesus really means.
Jesus illustrated this in MATTHEW 25:31-33, when He said,
‘When the son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His throne in Heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him and He will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on His right side and goats on His left.”
People who have chosen to follow Jesus Christ during their earthly life will be allowed into Heaven. What denomination of church will they belong to? The denomination of the church will cease to have any meaning at Judgment Day. The only deciding factor will be a person’s faith in, and obedience to, Jesus Christ.
I heard of a company who is trying to market blank bumper stickers. They say the stickers are for those who just don’t feel comfortable in making a definitive statement about anything. If you are trying your best to stay in the middle of the road while living your life, you are choosing the side that is against God. On Judgment Day, you will either be glad you stood tall for Jesus, or you will wish you had stood tall for Jesus. One or the other. No middle ground.