Ready for the big day? If someone asked that question, how would you respond? Would you answer, “Sure, I can hardly wait for Thanksgiving!” Someone else might say, “I’m counting down the days till Christmas,” or “I’ll graduate in six months.” There are all kinds of “big days” for which we plan and prepare. But when God asks whether we are ready for the big day, He is speaking about one particular day He has already marked on His calendar from eternity. That is the Day of the Lord, the day of judgment, the last day of this world’s existence.
Are you ready? Paul warns, “The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here” (Rom. 13:11-12). Can you imagine waking up next Thursday morning to the sound of the doorbell and suddenly realizing that you have a houseful of relatives and friends coming for dinner and you haven’t done a thing to prepare? What a nightmare! That’s not likely to happen, and even if it did, the embarrassment would eventually fade and years later you would laugh about it. But how often do we think about preparing for the most important day of all time?
Judgment Day is never a laughing matter. Every human being will come face to face with their Creator to be judged as either guilty or righteous. The verdict will determine our eternal future. How do you prepare for something like that? Trying to be a good person won’t do it. “All our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Is. 64:6). “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:10). Hoping that God will simply overlook my sin if it isn’t too bad is a delusion of the sinful mind. There is nothing we can do to make ourselves right before the holy Judge.
But that doesn’t mean we have to live in fear of the day. We can’t do anything for our salvation, but God did. Paul and Silas told the jailer at Philippi, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). Jesus did everything for us. He fulfilled the law in our behalf. He bore the punishment of hell on the cross for all mankind. And now He pleads our cause before the heavenly Father.
Ready for the big day? Trust in Jesus, nurture your faith with Word and Sacrament, and there’s no doubt. You’ll be ready whether it comes today or far in the future.
Tomorrow’s sermon text (1 Thess. 5:1-11) is an encouragement from the Apostle Paul to live each day in view of the Day of the Lord so that we will always be ready to welcome Him at His return.
In Jesus’ name,
The adult Bible class will watch the conclusion to the Luther documentary.
The activity committee is asked to meet in the kitchen after first service.
The public school confirmation class will meet at 12:15 p.m.