Tag Archives: judgment

A Lesson Learned from a Gravestone

In Randolph, VT, there stands a tombstone of a woman named Phebe Fish.  There is not really much I can tell you about her except that on her tombstone is a mighty reminder that you never know when you’re going to die–and so you’d better be prepared for it.

The lines under her name and age (just 34) read as follows:

Weeping husband, and children too,
I must bid you all adieu,
Widowed mother, fathers all,
And sisters, too, I sadly call,
Prepare for death, for here you see,
How soon and sudden it may be.


There’s a Great Day Coming

It’s real. It’s big. It’s coming. And there’s nothing you can do to stop it!  Some will welcome it with open arms, screaming salvation! Others will try in vain to escape it, crying for mercy. But it is still going to come.

What is it, you might ask?

It’s the judgment.

It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this, judgment (Hebrews 9:27).

Regardless of whether someone died two thousand years ago, or if it’s someone who won’t die until two thousand years from now, every person will have to stand and be judged after their death.  For some people, it will be a wonderful day. For others, it will be a day of horrible sadness.

We’re all familiar with the song, “There’s a Great Day Coming” and it conveys these ideas well.  So, let’s take a few moments to look at how people will view this judgment when it comes.

Verse 1 – It will be a great day.

The word “great” has suffered a lot of misuse, to the point where its meaning has almost been forgotten.  Most people in the United States use the word “great” as though it means “better than good.” But that’s not the meaning of the word. It actually means something large, noteworthy, or powerful.

In the first Harry Potter movie, the wand-seller Olivander speaks of the evil wizard Voldemort, and says “he did great things, yes. Terrible. But great.”

Acts 2:20 speaks of the destruction of Jerusalem as “that great and notable [or terrible] day of the Lord.”  The people in Jerusalem sure didn’t think that this meant it was a “better than good” day.

There’s a great day coming, a great day coming, there’s a great day coming by and by.

This is a large, important, noteworthy, powerful day here. It’s the day that everyone will see. It’s the day that each one will meet Jesus—the righteous Judge (II Timothy 4:8). It’s the day that each person will hear the words “guilty” or “not guilty.”

It’s also a day of separation. Up to this point, the righteous and the wicked have lived side-by-side, but on that day, there will be a separation. The righteous will go into life eternal, and the wicked shall be sent into the fires of hell for eternity (Matthew 25:31-46).

Truly, this is a great day.

There’s a great day coming, a great day coming. There’s a great day coming by and by; when the saints and the sinners shall be parted right and left.

Verse 2 – For some it will be a bright happy day.

In my office is a very large dictionary published in 1964. My grandfather would go to the grocery store each week and buy this dictionary in sections. After purchasing all sixteen sections, he was given the cover that goes with it. It was part of my inheritance when he died. In it, under the word “bright” is this definition: “Characterized by cheerfulness and gaiety, pleasant, lively.” Another definition is “giving promise of prosperity or happiness, favorable.” And of course, there’s also this one: “Illustrious, glorious.”

These are the ideas, the meanings of the word “bright” that we need to keep in mind.

There’s a bright day coming, a bright day coming, there’s a bright day coming by and by.

This judgment day is a day of happiness and cheerfulness. It is a day that promises eternal prosperity and happiness. It is a glorious day to be sure!

The apostle Paul looked forward to this judgment day. “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (II Timothy 4:7-8).

It is a day where we will be with the Lord, which is far better (Philippians 1:23).

It is a day where we will be reunited forever with loved ones who died in the Lord (I Thessalonians 4:17-18).

But that promise is only to those who are faithful (Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life—Revelation 2:10).

God doesn’t hold a spiritual lottery. He doesn’t reward people who don’t show true love for Him with obedience. You won’t accidentally make it into heaven when you’re judged.

There’s a bright day coming, a bright day coming, there’s a bright day coming by and by. But its brightness shall only come to them that love the Lord.

Verse 3 – for others, it will be a horrible day.

For the people who have not given themselves to God; for the ones who haven’t submitted to the commands of Jesus Christ; for the ones who have intentionally sinned; for the ones who have not remained faithful to the Lord, this judgment day will be one of sadness and misery.

There will be sadness for wasted opportunities to obey the gospel.

There will be sadness for time spent in sin.

There will be sadness for rejected pleas to come back to God.

There will be sadness because they know what the judgment is going to be.

There’s a sad day coming, a sad day coming, there’s a sad day coming by and by.

“Cast the unprofitable servant into outer darkness. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt 25:30).

“You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell?” (Matt 23:33).

“Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Rev 20:15).

“Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his messengers” (Matthew 25:41).

“Many will say unto me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many marvelous works?’ And then will I profess unto them, ‘I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity’” (Matthew 7:22-23).

There’s a sad day coming, a sad day coming, there’s a sad day coming by and by, when the sinner shall hear his doom, “Depart, I know ye not.”

Are You Ready?

The day is coming. Make no mistake about it. “It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this, judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

The question for you is this: what kind of day will it be for you? Are you prepared?

Are you ready? Are you ready? Are you ready for the judgment day? Are you ready? Are you ready for the judgment day?

Please, make yourself ready starting right now.

-Bradley Cobb