GREAT DAY OR DOOMSDAY?
The words of this song “There’s A Great Day Coming” provides us with a heart stopping contrast if we’re concerned about our souls. The first verse says that there is a great day coming, but the third verse says that there is a sad day coming. These two days and a simple question about which kind of day will this be for us provides us with the theme of this. Will that day in fact be a great day or a sad day for us? Will that day be a wonderful day of joy and rejoicing or a day of regret, fear and tears a day that we will want to crawl in a hole in the ground and hide rather than face our Lord? Will it really be a GREAT day or a doomsday?
“Doomsday”. “Doomsday”, of course, referring to the day when the great majority of this world will indeed meet their eternal doom. The concluding question in a very short little article in one of our brotherhood journals was “Will the Last Day be a day of doom or a day of delight for you? The choice is yours.”
First of all there will be a judgment day. We find one of the earliest references to it in I Chronicles 16:33. After worshipping God, and singing what the scripture says is David’s first Psalm we’re reminded:
“LET THE HEAVENS BE GLAD, AND LET THE EARTH REJOICE: AND LET men SAY AMONG THE NATIONS, THE LORD REIGNETH. LET THE SEA ROAR, AND THE FULNESS THEREOF: LET THE FIELDS REJOICE, AND ALL THAT IS THEREIN. THEN SHALL THE TREES OF THE WOOD SING OUT AT THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD, BECAUSE HE COMETH TO JUDGE THE EARTH.” I Chronicles -33
Yes, God is coming to judge the earth. He has appointed a day, He has planned this eventual end of time from time’s very beginning when he will reach down and gather in his crowning creation, mankind. These creatures, from which came you and I, that he made and placed on earth so many years ago. These creatures that above all others, he gave the free will to choose who we would serve, whose commandments we would follow or not follow, what we would make of this life. And to whom he gave guidance through the Holy Spirit to the faithful that we read about in Hebrews Chapter 11, through his prophets, and finally through His only begotten son, and his disciples and apostles. Whom God also caused to record His instructions for our learning and benefit as the Holy Spirit guided them.
Psalms 9:7 “BUT THE LORD SHALL ENDURE FOR EVER: HE HATH PREPARED HIS THRONE FOR JUDGMENT.”
God has prepared for this day, he has prepared His throne, he has prepared our Home and he has prepared His people and He will come.
“OUR GOD SHALL COME, AND SHALL NOT KEEP SILENCE: A FIRE SHALL DEVOUR BEFORE HIM, AND IT SHALL BE VERY TEMPESTUOUS AROUND ABOUT HIM. HE SHALL CALL TO THE HEAVENS FROM ABOVE, AND TO THE EARTH, THAT HE MAY JUDGE HIS PEOPLE. GATHER MY SAINTS TOGETHER UNTO ME; THOSE THAT HAVE MADE A COVENANT WITH ME BY SACRIFICE. AND THE HEAVENS SHALL DECLARE HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS: FOR GOD is JUDGE HIMSELF. SELAH.” Psalms 50:3-6
The Psalmist says that a “Fire shall devour before him” and we told in other places that this earth will be destroyed by fire. He likewise says that there will be a great tempest around him, he shall call to the heavens from above and to the earth and gather in his saints together. And who are his saints, his sanctified? “THOSE THAT HAVE MADE A COVENANT” with him by sacrifice; for God himself is judge. And the Psalmist adds this one word “SELAH”; peace. But will there be peace?
“SAY AMONG THE HEATHEN that THE LORD REIGNETH: THE WORLD ALSO SHALL BE ESTABLISHED THAT IT SHALL NOT BE MOVED: HE SHALL JUDGE THE PEOPLE RIGHTEOUSLY. LET THE HEAVENS REJOICE, AND LET THE EARTH BE GLAD; LET THE SEA ROAR, AND THE FULNESS THEREOF. LET THE FIELD BE JOYFUL, AND ALL THAT is THEREIN: THEN SHALL ALL THE TREES OF THE WOOD REJOICE BEFORE THE LORD: FOR HE COMETH, FOR HE COMETH TO JUDGE THE EARTH: HE SHALL JUDGE THE WORLD WITH RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND THE PEOPLE WITH HIS TRUTH.” Psalms 96:10-13
about this day in prophecy also. Daniel
tells of the coming of a
“I BEHELD (in his vision he watched) TILL THRONES WERE CAST DOWN, AND THE ANCIENT OF DAYS DID SIT, WHOSE GARMENT was WHITE AS SNOW, AND THE HAIR OF HIS HEAD LIKE THE PURE WOOL: HIS THRONE was like THE FIERY FLAME, and HIS WHEELS as BURNING FIRE. A FIERY STREAM ISSUED AND CAME FORTH FROM BEFORE HIM: THOUSAND THOUSANDS MINISTERED UNTO HIM AND TEN THOUSAND TIMES TEN THOUSAND STOOD BEFORE HIM: THE JUDGMENT WAS SET, AND THE BOOKS WERE OPENED.” Daniel 7:9-10
Yes, the judgment was set and the books were opened. What kind of books Daniel? We have God on his throne, his garment white as snow, the hair of his head like pure wool, sitting on a throne bright as a fiery flame and the judgment is set. Yes, the books will be opened, but what kinds of books, Daniel? Where do we turn that we might be prepared for this great and gloriouis day? But the answer isn’t given here by Daniel, we have to go to the Revelation made to John the Apostle.
“AND I SAW A GREAT WHITE
THRONE, AND HIM THAT SAT ON IT, FROM WHOSE FACE THE EARTH AND HEAVEN FLED AWAY:
AND THERE WAS FOUND
Yes, the books will be opened. What books? The books of law, the books of commandment, the books of instruction that God has provided us to learn of his will, to know his ways, to guide us to that day he has prepared. And then the book of life, the record made of our deeds will be opened. And we will be judged. The words of this book the Bible and our works as recorded in the book of life will be compared. And as if He needed to; He can look from one book to the other and KNOW whether our deeds recorded in this book, the Book of Life and his commandments recorded in this book, the Bible, are in harmony. What kind of comparison will he find? What kind of life are we leading? Are there things in our book of deeds that we’re ashamed of? Are there things in our book of deeds that we would just as soon God would forget? Oh, if there is he will do that; he’s given us the way and means to take care of that problem too.
From the time of the very first sin committed in God’s wonderful garden where we’re told:
“AND THE EYES OF THEM BOTH WERE OPENED, AND THEY KNEW THEY were NAKED; AND THEY SEWED FIG LEAVES TOGETHER, AND MADE THEMSELVES APRONS. AND THEY HEARD THE VOICE OF THE LORD GOD WALKING IN THE GARDEN IN THE COOL OF THE DAY: AND ADAM AND HIS WIFE HID THEMSELVES FROM THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD GOD AMONGST THE TREES OF THE GARDEN.” Genesis 3:7-8
Adam and Eve were ashamed to face their maker. For the first time in man’s history a man and woman realized they were naked and they were ashamed. Until the knowledge of the difference between good and evil was learned, nakedness was not a problem, only afterward. Because until they ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil they were so innocent that they were like little babies in their nakedness. And with the sin they committed comes our first hint of the remedy for sin that God would provide.
“AND I WILL PUT ENMITY BETWEEN THEE AND THE WOMAN, AND BETWEEN THY SEED AND HER SEED; IT SHALL BRUISE THY HEAD, AND THOU SHALT BRUISE HIS HEEL.” Genesis 3:15
Because God knew then what he had Jeremiah tell us later:
“O LORD, I KNOW THAT THE WAY OF MAN is NOT IN HIMSELF: it is NOT IN MAN THAT WALKETH TO DIRECT HIS STEPS.” Jeremiah 10:23
Because God knew that man’s heart would be corrupted:
“THE HEART is DECEITFUL ABOVE ALL THINGS, AND DESPERATELY WICKED: WHO CAN KNOW IT?” Jeremiah 17:9
Because God knew that man could not trust his own heart, his own ideas about these things, his own instincts and conscience on these matters; He tells us that we must walk wisely:
“HE THAT TRUSTETH HIS OWN HEART IS A FOOL: BUT WHOSO WALKETH WISELY, HE SHALL BE DELIVERED.” Proverbs 28:26
Well now, Lord, just how is man to know how to walk wisely? What magic formula, what great center of learning, what wonderful body of knowledge will be provided to allow us to walk wisely in your sight? Will there be a great university that will teach true wisdom where we can go and partake? Hardly. In fact, what almost all of the universities of men teach today is totally contrary to God and God’s word. Unfortunately that includes those who call themselves “Christian.”
But God did provide a way for us to allow him to blot out those things in this book that we’re ashamed of, those things that we would like to hide both from God and our fellowman. Yes, those things that we want God to forget he will forget because he provided us a means to cleanse our souls. Those records that are written in the book of deeds that we want removed can be removed if we but choose to do so. That soul cleansing agent came this way:
“AND SHE SHALL BRING FORTH A SON, AND THOU SHALT CALL HIS NAME JESUS: FOR HE SHALL SAVE HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS.” Matthew 1:21
Yes, sin came into the world, no, man cannot direct his own steps, no, man cannot trust his own heart; but God knew that and provided for us. He sent to earth freely gave as a sacrifice; his only begotten son that the Apostle Paul tells us:
“WHO GAVE HIMSELF FOR OUR SINS, THAT HE MIGHT DELIVER US FROM THIS PRESENT EVIL WORLD, ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF GOD AND OUR FATHER:” Galatians 1:4
God knew what we, mankind, wouldn’t behave ourselves, Paul wrote:
“FOR WE OURSELVES ALSO WERE SOMETIMES FOOLISH, DISOBEDIENT, DECEIVED, SERVING DIVERS LUSTS AND PLEASURES, LIVING IN MALICE AND ENVY, HATEFUL, and HATING ONE ANOTHER. BUT AFTER THAT THE KINDNESS OF LOVE OF GOD OUR SAVIOUR TOWARD MAN APPEARED, NOT BY WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH WE HAVE DONE, BUT ACCORDING TO HIS MERCY HE SAVED US, BY THE WASHING OF REGENERATION, AND RENEWING OF THE HOLY GHOST.” Titus 3:3-5
Jesus Christ the Son of God came:
“AND AS MOSES LIFTED UP THE SERPENT IN THE WILDERNESS, EVEN SO MUST THE SON OF MAN BE LIFTED UP: THAT WHOSOEVEER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD, THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE.” John 3:14-16
his death we have our soul cleanser. We
have that precious blood sacrifice that will blot out those records in our book
of deeds that we need to have blotted out; Peter tells us how:
“REPENT YE THEREFORE, AND BE CONVERTED (, repent, turn again, why Peter?), THAT YOUR SINS MAY BE BLOTTED OUT, WHEN THE TIMES OF REFRESHING (the times of renewal, the times of cleansing) SHALL COME FROM THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD.” Acts
Those who are not already children of God must first of all hear God’s word, (Rom. 10:17) believe that God is (Hebrews 11:6), must repent of their sins (Luke 13:3), must confess his name before men (Matthew 10:32) and for the remission of our sins, for their removal, for the blotting out of their record before God be baptized (Acts 2:38) have our sins washed away (Acts 22:16) and for those who have done all this and have become God’s children but stumbled, who have fallen, who have perhaps allowed their foolish hearts to rule their lives, and who would have those acts of sin removed from God’s book of deeds can do that as well; by repenting and praying for God’s forgiveness because we’re told:
“CONFESS your FAULTS ONE TO ANOTHER, AND PRAY ONE FOR ANOTHER, THAT YE MAY BE HEALED. THE EFFECTUAL FERVENT PRAYER OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN AVAILETH MUCH.” James 5:16
Oh yes, that day can be a GREAT day. God has provided the means for that to be. Let’s turn back to the Psalmist to start to help understand just how great.
Psalms “THOU WILT SHOW ME THE PATH OF LIFE: IN THY PRESENCE is FULNESS OF JOY; AT THY RIGHT HAND there are PLEASURES FOR EVERMORE.”
God shows us the path of life, and when we follow that pathway David says that our joy will be full, it will be complete. Can we think of any more complete joy than having God turn to us in the judgment and say “welcome home, enter into thy rest.” At his right hand there are pleasures ever more. David’s prayer was:
“AS FOR ME, I WILL BEHOLD THY FACE IN RIGHTEOUSNESS: I SHALL BE SATISFIED, WHEN I AWAKE, WITH THY LIKENESS.” Psalms 17:15
David, like Joshua of old when he said “BUT AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD.” (Joshua 24:15) says as for him, when he awakes from death, he will behold God’s face in righteousness, and that will be his satisfaction, that will be his ultimate goal, his purpose in this life and he will succeed. Yes, the judgment will be a great day for David. One of the reasons is that he also lived, most of the time, the following:
“THOU SHALT GUIDE ME WITH THY COUNSEL, AND AFTERWARD RECEIVE ME to GLORY.” Psalms 73:24
If we, as well, allow God to guide us with his counsel, if we follow his precepts, if we obey his commandments he will indeed receive us to glory and the judgment will be a Great Day. Jesus said:
“AND I SAY UNTO YOU, THAT MANY SHALL COME FROM
THE EAST AND WEST, AND SHALL SIT DOWN WITH ABRAHAM, AND ISAAC, AND JACOB, IN
Comparatively speaking we’re told that we are few in number. Jesus speaks of the narrow gate and the strait way. But over time the numbers have accumulated until it will still be a multitude larger than my imagination can devise because Jesus says that “many shall come from the east and west.” Won’t it be a great day to be able to sit down and talk with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Jesus also said
“THEN SHALL THE KING SAY UNTO THEM ON HIS RIGHT HAND, COME, YE BLESSED OF MY FATHER, INHERIT THE KINGDOM PREPARED FOR YOU FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.” Matthew 25:34
If we indeed hear Christ the King say “COME YE BLESSED OF MY FATHER, INHERIT THE KINGDOM” won’t that be a great day? Is your life such that you can know that you are a faithful child of God?
“MARVEL NOT AT THIS: FOR THE HOUR IS COMING, IN
THE WHICH ALL THAT ARE IN THE
The apostle John records Jesus telling us that we should marvel not, the hour is coming when we all will be taken to God’s judgment seat, even those in the graves they that have done good unto the resurrection of life. But John, recording the words of Jesus again by the direction of the Holy Spirit also tells us that it won’t be such a great day for many, it fact it will be a doomsday:
“….AND THEY THAT HAVE DONE EVIL, UNTO THE RESURRECTION OF DAMNATION.” John 5:29
Now we understand that evil people will receive a punishment, a punishment richly deserved. We understand a doomsday for men who have destroyed nations, enslaved innocent peoples, murdered, done all manner of evil things that the entire world even with its warped sense of right and wrong would condemn. But there are a lot of other folks that are going to hear a condemnation that they don’t want to hear. Jesus said:
“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.” Matthew 7:22-23
What is the problem? Simply that He never knew them? That’s not an awful sin in man’s eyes is it? Of course it isn’t, many men even deny this fact, but Jesus goes on to give the parable about the wise man who built his house on the rock and the foolish man who built his house upon the sand. What was the failure of the foolish man that condemned him? The reason that judgment would be a doomsday for him is simply that he did not believe in God nor follow his commandments.
“THEN SHALL HE SAY ALSO UNTO THEM ON THE LEFT HAND, DEPART FROM ME, YE CURSED, INTO EVERLASTING FIRE, PREPARED FOR THE DEVIL AND HIS ANGELS:” Matthew 25:41
Yes, the end of the world is sometimes called “doomsday” and we know that:
“…THE DAY OF THE LORD WILL COME AS A THIEF IN THE NIGHT; IN THE WHICH THE HEAVENS SHALL PASS AWAY WITH A GREAT NOISE, AND THE ELEMENTS SHALL MELT WITH FERVENT HEAT, THE EARTH ALSO AND THE WORKS THAT ARE THEREIN SHALL BE BURNED UP.” II Peter 3:10-11
Planet earth is doomed, all the great universe that we still cannot measure or even comprehend its vastness and a great majority of those who have inhabited it since the beginning of time will be doomed as well. It will be a doomsday for them for Paul tells us that this is the day:
“….WHEN THE LORD JESUS SHALL BE REVEALED FROM HEAVEN WITH
HIS MIGHTY ANGELS, IN FLAMING FIRE TAKING
Who is God going to take vengeance upon? Who are those who will face doomsday at the judgment? Let’s go back to our two books. On the one side the word of God given to us that we might know His will and obey His commandments. That word of God that gives us instructions as to how to become and remain his child. And on the other hand that book of works wherein is recorded those who are his children and their deeds. We understand that if our names are in there and there are sins recorded that we have not repented of and been forgiven then that day will be a doomsday. But the majority of the people at judgment won’t have that problem. Because they will be those whose names cannot be found at all; they will be those that John writes about:
“…WHOSOEVER WAS NOT FOUND WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE WAS
CAST INTO THE
Condemned simply because they knew not God, and God knew not them. What about you my friend? What will the day of judgment bring for each of us? Will it bring joy, rejoicing, delight as God’s child, forgiven of our sins and ready to live with him? Or will it bring dread, fear, and doomsday because God doesn’t know us, we’re not recorded in the “Lamb’s book of life”. If you need to come to God to become his child through repentance and baptism or make yourself right with Him through repentance and prayer, now is the time……….