... (Jesus said) "But he who stands firm to the end will be saved." Mark 13:13b
The minister was preaching about Judgment Day.
He roared: "There will be wars, and famines and earthquakes! The sun shall be darkened, and the stars will fall from the sky! On that day will you be ready? On that day, what will you want?"
A little boy in his congregation, engrossed by what he was hearing, gave the question some thought. It didn't take too long before he was tugging at his mother's sleeve. "Mommy," he whispered, "I know what I want on that judgment day. I want the board of education to call off school."
That boy knew what he wanted. Do you? Do you know what you want on Judgment Day? If you are like most people, you want to be prepared.
• So they might be prepared, the ancient Greeks made a pilgrimage to the Oracle at Delphi and then tried to understand her cryptic and poetic prophecies.
• So they might be prepared, the Romans read the entrails of sacrificed animals.
• So they might be prepared, people today call the psychic hotline, read their horoscopes, break open their fortune cookies, listen to the stock market forecasters and tune in to The Weather Channel.
• To be prepared for the unknown and unexpected, we take out health insurance, house insurance, medical insurance, business insurance, car insurance and funeral insurance.
Sadly, no matter how much time or how much worry and cash we invest in our preparations, this sinful world produces surprises and shocks that mess things up. Sooner or later, most of us realize our best preparations will not get us prepared for the unknown hour of Jesus' return.
In truth, all of our perfect plans become pitifully pathetic in the face of the Day of Judgment.
It is only when we are brought to the Savior, it is only when we are given faith in Him, who gave His life as the ransom price for our salvation, that Judgment Day is transformed. Because of Jesus' sacrifice we know we shall stand before the Lord, and He will declare us innocent of all wrongdoing.
The day which once meant our doom is remade by Jesus into the day of ultimate victory and joy.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks I do not have to face Judgment Day on my own. Indeed, because of Jesus, the fear of my last breath has been remade and recycled into a moment when I shall see the Savior face to face. In short, it has become a time of gladness. For this I give thanks in Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries