An event is coming to which everyone’s attendance will be required (Heb 9:27). It is called the judgment day. No one will be able to avoid the coming of the Lord. “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” (2 Cor. 5: 10). Just as one person happily anticipates a social gathering while another dreads it, so are there two views of the judgment.
Those who love God and are striving to keep His commandments should have a bold and eager desire for ‘their Master’s appearance (I Jn 4:17 f; 2 Pet 3:12). Paul had a great love to see the coming of the Lord, for he had a “crown of righteousness” prepared for him (2 Timothy 4:8). Thus, he had a problem of whether to die and be with Christ, or to live in the flesh in order to encourage and strengthen fellow brethren (Phil. 1:23, 24). For those abiding in Christ, there will be no need to be ashamed at His coming (I Jn 2:28).
Yet, those who are living in sin have a fear or dread of seeing the righteous Judge (Heb. 10: 27). They are not looking for a “crown of righteousness, but for a “lake of fire,” a place of outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Rev. 20:15 f; Matt. 8:12).
What is sad is there are many who expect the judgment day to be a day of rejoicing, but it will be a day of weeping and howling. These are the ones who think that ‘faith only’ is enough to save a person. These are the ones who think infant baptism is enough to save a person. These are the ones who think the doctrines of men are enough to save a person (Mt 15:7-9 ff; 2 Thess 2:15; Tit 1:14). These are the ones who think a strict adherence to the law of Christ is burdensome for them to follow (1 Cor 4:6 f; 1 Pet 4:11). These are the ones who think they can worship God anyway that they please, as opposed to how God desires all to worship him (Jn 4:23,24). Yes, they will be expecting to hear, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”, but sadly they will hear, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Mt 7:21-23)
How are you looking forward to Christ’s coming? Joyously awaiting, 0r in terror and horror? If you have a frightful looking at the second coming of Christ, then you need obey the gospel and keep the doctrine of Christ.” If you are happy for the coming of the Lord, make sure you are absolutely right with God, because many denominations believe they right with God, but sadly none of them are. Many in the churches of Christ think heaven awaits them, but some of them too will be found wanting.
There is a great day coming. However, if the 99.9999% only knew what was awaiting them, they would be searching daily the scriptures even as the Bereans (Acts 17:11). Why? Because “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31). God will judge his people according to the gospel of the apostles by Jesus Christ (Rom 2:16). Are you ready for that day to come? It’s closer than you think!