Sermon on Soteriology | Prepare to Meet Your God

Ready to Meet God

Prepare to Meet Your God

We Shall Meet God

Each person shall stand before God in judgment. “We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ” (Rom 14:10). When Jesus sits on the throne of his glory, “all the nations will be gathered before him” (Matt 25:32). “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Cor. 5:10). The Lord Jesus will judge “the living and the dead at His appearing” (2 Tim. 4:1). “And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and the books were opened” (Rev. 20:21).

These passages stress the fact that each person shall stand before God. Paul told Timothy that Jesus would judge the “living and the dead”—That’s everyone who is dead, who lives, and who will live. John saw the dead—small and great-standing before God. The lowliest of slaves shall stand before God. The greatest of kings and presidents shall stand before God.

God will call upon us to give account of ourselves. “Each of us shall give account of himself to God” (Rom. 14:12). “They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead” (1 Pet 4:5).

We will give account of ourselves. You will explain to God why you never thought you were quite ready to be baptized. You will explain to God why you never responded to the invitation hymn. Part of hell’s horror is that you will remember all the chances you had in life. The rich man could remember how he treated Lazarus (Lk. 16:25). If you go to hell, you will remember all your chances. You will remember when individuals urged you to obey the gospel. You will remember all the invitation hymns you stood through.

Not only will God call us to account for ourselves, but he will bring every secret thing into judgment. “God will bring every work into judgment including every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Eccl 12:14). Jesus will “bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the heart” (1 Cor 4:5). “God will judge the secrets of men” (Rom. 2:16).

God will bring everything into plain view. All the immoral thoughts you’ve had that no one else knows about will be revealed. All those things you would die if someone knew will be brought into the open.

The sentence at judgment shall be based upon our deeds. In speaking of the wrongs of Israel, God said, “I will never forget any of their works” (Amos 8:7). If you are outside of Christ, God will never forget your sins. God by no means clears the guilty, and he visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and fourth generation (Ex. 34:7). Many use this verse to teach original sin. But God visits the iniquity on the children because they follow the pattern of their parents and commit the same sins.

When Jesus returns, he will “reward each according to his works” (Matt. 16:27). God “will render to each one according to his deeds” (Rom. 2:6). If Jesus were to come today, how would he reward you?

After we leave this world, we have no second chance: “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27).

You will meet God. Are you prepared to do so?

We Must be Prepared to Meet God

We do not know when we shall meet God.

Jesus is coming at an hour we do not expect—Only the Father knows when the Son returns (Mk. 13:32). “You also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matt. 24:44). “Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming” (Mk. 13:35). “You know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming” (Matt. 25:13). The only thing we know for sure is that Jesus is coming again; we don’t know when.

Life is fragile. Life is “a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (Js. 4:14). Every two seconds someone dies. Many of those who die do not expect to die that day, but they die anyway. Our lives are fragile—one day we shall die. In Washington, D.C., a friendly undertaker closes all his correspondence with “Eventually yours.”

Since life is so fragile and Jesus could return at any moment, we must be ready. In the parable of the ten virgins, only those virgins who were ready went into the wedding (Matt 25:10). We must be ready so that when the master comes and knocks, we may open to him immediately (Lk. 12:36).

There is much horror in being unprepared to meet God. Those who do not obey the gospel shall be punished “with everlasting destruction” (2 Thess. 1:9). Hell is described as outer darkness (Matt. 22:13)—This is not just darkness; this is as dark as it can possibly be. Hell is described as a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt. 22:13). Hell is so horrible that the wicked weep and gnash their teeth.

Jesus will tell the wicked, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41). Hell is so horrible that it was prepared for the devil and his angels. Hell is so horrible that it is described as a place of fire. Hell is so horrible because it is “everlasting destruction”—Destruction that never ends. The wicked in hell “have no rest day or night” (Rev. 14:11).

Do you really want to spend an eternity in hell? Do you want to be caught up?

We Must Prepare Today

We must obey God promptly. After the Philippian jailer knew what to do to be saved, “immediately he and all his family were baptized” (Acts 16:33). As the Ethiopian eunuch learned what he needed to do, he saw some water and asked, “What hinders me from being baptized?” (Acts 8:36). “I made haste, and did not delay To keep Your commandments” (Ps. 119:60).

We need to be saved today. “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion” (Heb. 3:15). “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2).

Today is the day of salvation, for tomorrow may be too late.

Are you prepared to meet God today? When Ananias came to Saul of Tarsus, he asked Saul, “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). If you are not ready to meet God, why do you wait? Arise and be baptized.

This sermon was originally preached by Dr. Justin Imel, Sr., at the Owingsville church of Christ in Owingsville, Kentucky.

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