The Day of Judgment

Text: Acts 17:30-31

This is the sixth in a series of lessons examining some great days in history – not in secular history, but days of spiritual importance. In this sixth lesson, we’re going to be discussing the day of judgment.

The Background

  • The gospel would go to all the world (Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; 10:34-35; 11:17-18; Colossians 1:23) – “God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent” (Acts 17:30)
  • A certain amount of time would pass – the day has been fixed (Acts 17:31); it is known to the Father alone (Matthew 24:36); it would be long enough that some would doubt (2 Peter 3:3-4)
  • Life will be going on normally (2 Peter 3:4) – no signs to point to the day approaching (Matthew 24:36-40; 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3); the Lord will come like a thief (1 Thessalonians 5:4; 2 Peter 3:10; Matthew 24:43-44)

The Events on That Day

  • The Lord will return from heaven – this will be either a cause of joy or fear (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Hebrews 10:31)
  • Everyone will stand before Christ in judgment (2 Corinthians 5:10) – judgment according to our deeds; this is why He is “declaring…that all people everywhere should repent” (Acts 17:30-31); the standard of judgment will be His word (John 12:48)
  • The righteous and wicked will be separated (Matthew 25:31-33) – many on the “left” will be surprised to be there (Matthew 25:44; 7:21-23); those who are judged will go either to “eternal punishment” or “eternal life” (Matthew 25:46)

Key Lessons

  • Judgment is certain for all men (2 Corinthians 5:10) – we will not escape from this; therefore, we must be faithful (Hebrews 10:26-29); those around us will not escape from this; therefore, we must try to persuade them (2 Corinthians 5:11)
  • Judgment according to the Lord’s standard – He is the one Judge (James 4:12); His word is the standard (John 12:48); therefore, His word must be taught (Mark 16:15); this is also why we do not judge over matters of opinion or human command (Romans 14:1; Matthew 15:1-9); if we are following the Lord, we can look forward to this day with confidence (1 John 2:28-29; 4:17)
  • Judgment is final – this finality is described in the account of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:23-26); we will go to “eternal punishment” or “eternal life” (Matthew 25:46; cf. John 5:28-29); those who are lost have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13; Revelation 14:11); those who are saved will always be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:17)

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