W. C. Fields (1880-1946) was an American comedian, actor, and writer. He was quick with a witty quip. And could make audiences roar with laughter. Ironically it is said that Fields was “chronically unhappy. “
As an avowed atheist, religion played no part in Field’s life. He “regarded all religions with the suspicion of a seasoned con man.”
However, late in his life when he faced the reality of death, the story is told of a friend visiting Fields and found him reading the Bible.
When asked about his new-found interest in Scripture, Fields quipped, “I’m looking for loopholes, my friend. Looking for loopholes.”
Hebrews 9:27 affirms that “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” While Fields may not have understood much about the Judgment Day, evidently he was concerned about how he would answer to God for his life.
A few years ago a survey indicated that four out of every five Americans agree that “we all will be called before God at judgment day to answer for our sins.” However, I doubt that four out of five could agree on what that means. Or how it will occur.
A regular reader recently asked me to write about the Judgment. His question implied that there was more than one judgment. A judgment for our actions on earth. And a judgment regarding our ultimate salvation
What does the Bible say about the day of Judgment?
(1) There will be a day of Judgment.
The Bible affirms “the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly” (2 Pet 3:7)
The Bible does not speak of more than one judgment day. Several passages speak of “the day of judgment.” Or “the judgment day.” (Rom. 2:5; 2 Pet 2:9; I jn 4:17; Jude 6).
(2) When the day of Judgment comes, the world will end.
The Bible says, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed” (2 Pet. 3:10).
When will that happen? We don’t know. Just like a thief does not announce the time of his robbery, the Lord has not divulged the time of His coming.
(3) Everyone will be judged by their deeds while on earth.
The Bible is clear “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.” Everyone. All of us. Why? “That each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Cor 5:10).
(4) Both the living and the dead will be raised up to meet the Lord in Judgment.
Jesus said that the dead, both righteous and wicked, will be raised to meet the Lord in judgment. “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth — those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” (Jn 5:28-29)
Regarding the righteous who are alive when Jesus comes, the Apostle Paul says they will be raised up after the righteous dead and together will be “caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” (1 Thess 4:13-17)
(5) God’s Judgment will be righteous (Rom. 3:5).
God is holy, fair and impartial. His judgment will be just. And it will be based on the Word that He has revealed to us (Jn 12:48-50).
Colonel Abraham Davenport was an American politician who served during the American Revolution and was Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives. On May 17, 1780, the Hartford sky darkened ominously. Some of the representatives feared the judgment day was approaching and called for immediate adjournment.
Davenport rose and quelled the clamor with these famous words: “I am against adjournment. The day of judgment is either approaching, or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause for an adjournment; if it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. I wish therefore that candles may be brought.”
Let us, therefore, work, watch and be ready for the Judgment Day.
There are no loopholes.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman