Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
1 Peter 1:17-19
“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
When you are twenty-five you think you know everything. So when I was getting ready to propose to my wife I knew that her having any idea I might be ready to propose was lame. Marriage proposals are better when they are a surprise, or so I thought. I also knew that a marriage proposal isn't one of those things you get a second shot at so I spent a month getting my plan just right. Her sister went ring shopping with me after slyly getting some intel on what type of rings she liked. I had the proposal all scripted out and the decorations ready. I even mislead my wife into thinking I really wasn't ready for marriage. (I didn't find out until later that she almost gave up hope that I would ever be ready.) When I opened that door and she walked into the room all decorated and I started my proposal she was so shocked that she basically started to hyperventilate. She had to sit down on the floor which is where she and I stayed for the majority of the proposal.
After that proposal our lives completely changed. For the next six months everything about our lives revolved around the wedding. We had to book a venue and ask the pastor to marry us. We had to order flowers and pick our colors for the wedding. We also had to plan our honeymoon and figure out where we were going to live after the wedding. Even time was even measured in reference to the wedding. Our whole lives were spent focused on and in preparation for that day. And it is appropriate that this was the case. Our wedding day changed everything for us. Our lives will never be the same because of that day, and if we hadn't focused on it for those six months then we wouldn't have been ready for that day that would change everything.
Scripture tells us that there is another day coming which will change everything for everyone on earth. It even uses a wedding as a metaphor for this day at times. It is the day when Jesus will return and will be married to His bride, the Church. On this day we Christians will receive our inheritance. We will see God face to face. We will meet our Savior. What a glorious day! But it is important for more than just Christians because the Bible tells us that Jesus will return as more than merely a triumphant Savior. He will also return as a righteous Judge. On that day every man, woman, and child will have to stand before God and give an account for what they have done and what they have left undone. Surely this day will change everything and it is only fitting that, until then, our lives should focus on, revolve around, and be spent in preparation for that day. If they are not, then we may not be ready.
I Peter 1:17 tells us that we should live our lives here in reverent fear of that judgment. Now I know that we do not like to think about fearing God, but Scripture talks about it quite commonly and even says that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Proverbs 9:10). The truth is that just as it would be wrong for us to only fear God and to never think of Him as a loving Father or as a merciful Savior, so too it is wrong for us to only think of Him as a loving Father and merciful Savior and never as a righteous Judge who should be feared. God is all of these things and we relate to Him in all of these ways. Because of His grace we are not in danger of losing our salvation but we are in danger of being ill-prepared for the judgement. I don't know about you, but I don't want to stand before God unprepared. So let me ask you this question: If Christ were to come back today, what would you be ashamed of? Would you be ashamed that you aren't telling others about Jesus? Would you be ashamed of your sexual sin, or your unforgiveness and bitterness towards others? Would you be ashamed that you are not tithing to His church or that you were never obedient to believer's baptism? Whatever it is, whether it is something you are doing or are not doing, surrender that to the Lord today and ask Him to enable you to change.
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