Are You Ready?
Are you ready?
“Am I ready for what?” That’s a common and reasonable response. “Am I ready to graduate from school? Am I ready for that new job, or promotion at work? Am I ready to get married? Am I ready to hit the lottery? Am I ready to retire? Ready for what?”
These are all fine questions, but none of them are the most important question. The most important question you will ever ask yourself is this: “Am I ready to stand before God on Judgment Day and give an account for my life?
Here are some answers to the question that might come to mind:
- “There’s no such thing as Judgment Day.”
- “No, and not care.”
- “No, and that concerns me.”
- “Yes, because I’m a good person.”
- “Yes, because I’m religious and I do good works.”
- “Yes, because I believe in Jesus.”
Whether you believe it or not, whether you think you’re ready or not, you will one-day stand before God and be judged by Him (Hebrews 9:27) according to His perfect moral standard—His law. Everyone will give an account to Him for:
- every lie told
- every stolen item (regardless of value)
- every time you disobeyed and dishonored your parents
- every time you used God’s holy name in vain
- every time you have been angry without cause, harbored bitterness or resentment in your heart, or hated another person for any reason
- every time you have been sexually immoral, in thought or action—whether by way of pornography, masturbation, fornication (sex outside of marriage), adultery, or homosexuality
- And much more.
Having broken God’s law, He will find you guilty for lying because He is not a liar, for stealing because He is not a thief, for dishonoring your parents because He is the ultimate authority, for blasphemy because He is holy, for sinful anger and hatred because He is not a murderer, for sexual immorality because He is faithful and pure.
Are you ready?
The Bible tells us that none of us are ready to be held accountable to God’s perfect standard for keeping His moral law. The Bible says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10-18).
On the Day of Judgment, you will not be able to claim innocence or ignorance, for God has written His law on your heart. You are and will be without excuse (Romans 1:20).
You might think you will argue with the Judge, saying that your offenses were small. No sin is small. To think so is to misunderstand the magnitude of sinning against the Creator of All who is “holy, holy, holy” (Isaiah 6:3).
You might think you will be able to cut a deal with the Judge of the Universe. God does not negotiate with sinners—with those who break His law. God cannot be bribed (Deuteronomy 10:17). He will see any good works offered up to sway the Judge as nothing more than “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6).
You might be among those who see themselves as religious. You might even profess to be a Christian. What if on the Day of Judgment God was to ask you why He should allow you into heaven. What would you say? Would you tell Him that you faithfully attend church, sing in the choir, put money in the plate every week, pray, and serve? If you think doing things like these will merit your entrance into heaven, you are wrong.
Jesus once had this to say to people who thought similarly. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness’” (Matthew 7:21-23).
So, are you ready?
If you are not ready, on the Day of the Judgment God will find you guilty of breaking His law. The punishment? Eternal damnation in hell, suffering in fire and darkness, completely separated from any goodness of God, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
There is only one way to be ready. You cannot make yourself ready. Someone else has to do that for you. And there is only One designated by God to do that for you.
God is not only holy, righteous, and just. He is also merciful, compassionate, gracious, loving, and kind. He has provided the only solution for those who will stand before Him in judgment.
God the Father sent God the eternal Son to earth in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus, born of a virgin, was and is truly God and truly man. As God in the flesh, Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life on this earth for 33 years—the perfect life that neither you nor anyone else is capable of living. He never once broke the law of God that you break in thought, word, or deed every day.
It pleased God to crush His Son (Isaiah 53:5, 10)—for His Son to die a death He did not deserve in order to take upon Himself the punishment sinners like you rightly deserve for your sins against God. So, according to the eternally predetermined plan of God, Jesus was arrested, mocked, spat upon, beaten, whipped, and ultimately nailed on a cross to die. In doing so, He faced and voluntarily took the fierce wrath of God—the wrath that every human being deserves. Jesus atoned for the sins—paid the price, paid the ransom, paid the fine—of and for His people.
Three days later, God raised Jesus from the dead. In doing so, Jesus forever defeated both the penalty and power of sin and death, for those who would believe in Him. This is the gospel.
What God requires of you is that you repent and believe the gospel (Mark 1:15).
To repent is to change your mind about who God is and who you are. To repent is to turn from your sin, turn to God and by faith alone receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
Repent and believe the Gospel and your sins will be forgiven. Your sins will be placed on (imputed to) Christ. In exchange, Christ’s righteousness will be placed on (imputed to) you. God will justify you (declare you righteous) and adopt you as a beloved child into His family. Having once been a child of wrath and of your father the devil, you will forever be a child of God. You will have the assurance of eternal life, in heaven with Him.
Are you ready? Are you ready to receive God’s love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness?
Again, there is only one way to be ready. It is by the grace of God alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. There is no other way but by the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
If you profess to be a Christian, it’s important for you to understand this. The Bible says to “examine yourselves, to see if you are in the faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5). As you do that, ask yourself these questions:
- Why do I believe I am a Christian?
- Is it because I thought I was “born a Christian” or because I went to church all my life?
- Is it because I prayed a prayer, walked down an aisle, filled out a card, or raised my hand at church when asked to do so?
- Do I believe I’m a Christian because I was baptized as a baby and have partaken in the sacraments of a church?
None of the above makes a person a Christian.
Jesus said that a person must be born again to be a Christian (John 3:3, 7). You can no more cause yourself to be born again than you could cause yourself to be born from your mother’s womb. Salvation is of the Lord (Jonah 2:9).
Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:13-14).
Jesus is the “narrow gate.” He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
And how will you know if you have come to genuine repentance and faith in Jesus Christ? You will continue to repent and believe the gospel. Your desire will be to keep God’s commandments—to live a life pleasing to Him—not to earn or keep His love, but because you are so thankful for the love He has shown you, through the gift of His Son Jesus Christ. Things like prayer, reading and studying the Bible, fellowshipping and loving other Christians, being part of a local church, and telling others about your faith in Jesus will not be burdensome tasks to you. You will want to do these things because God has changed your heart and mind—because God has saved you and you love Him.
If you have questions about what you’ve read or, after reading this, you have received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, we would love to talk to you.
Email us: email@example.com.