It's that time of year again! As a another year draws to a close, we are buying new calendars and marking the days of coming events. There is one day every one of us ought to be anticipating. But, unlike the other dates, we are unable to mark this one on our calendars. We are unable because we don't know when this day will be. I'm speaking, of course, of the day Christ will come again. Paul wrote that this day will come "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye" (I Corinthians 15:52). Peter wrote that Christ will come "as a thief in the night" (II Peter 3:10). Consider the words to a song we often sing, There's a Great Day Coming," along with Matthew 25:31-46.
The first verse of the song reminds us that there is a great day coming. This day will be great because of who will appear on that day. His coming is affirmed by the angels (Acts 1:9), Peter (II Peter 3:3-12), and Paul (I Corinthians 11:26). That day will be great because of why he will appear. The purpose of his coming is not to offer himself as a sacrifice, preach the gospel, establish an earthly kingdom, or give the impenitent a second chance. Christ will come to judge the world and punish the evil. It will be great because of what will take place on that day. All those who are in the graves will be raised (John 5:28-29). The heavens will pass with a great noise and the elements will melt with a fervent heat (II Peter 3:10). All nations will be separated, as a shepherd separates his sheep from the goats (Matthew 25:32-33).
The second verse of the song reminds us that there is a bright day coming. It will be bright because of the words that will be spoken (Come, inherit the kingdom prepared for you - Matthew 25:34). It will be bright because of the home that is prepared for God's people, an eternal home where there is no death, no sorrow, or pain. A home where God will wipe away all tears (Revelation 21:4). It will be bright because of the reunion that will take place (II Samuel 12:18-23, I Thessalonians 4:17).
The third verse of the song reminds us that there is a sad day coming. It will be sad because of the words that will be spoken to the majority of those who have ever lived. "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire" (Matthew 25:41). These will be words of horror, grief, and despair. It will be sad because of the home that is prepared for the devil and his angels. A home where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 13:42-50). It will be a home where the fire is not quenched (Mark 9:46). It will be sad because those who hear these words will be separated from the Lord for all eternity (II Thessalonians 1:8-9).