Today my message is entitled “Prepare for Judgement Day.” Seems like kind of an ominous title doesn’t it. Yet, as we read the gospels, Jesus talked a lot about Judgement Day. If a person doesn’t prepare for Judgement Day, they’re not going to ready for the most important day of their existence.
What is Judgement Day? It is a day coming in the future where every human being who has ever lived will be judged by King Jesus.
Acts 17:31 (ESV) because he [God] has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed ; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead [Jesus].”
Everyone will face this judgement, whether living when Jesus returns or already having died.
Hebrews 9:27 (ESV) And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,
God gives each person a life to live on this planet. We only die once, we don’t come back as another person or as an animal. Reincarnation is a complete myth. After you die, each and every person will face Judgement Day. What’s going to happen on Judgement Day?
Revelation 20:12 (ESV) And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.
Everything you’ve ever done, everything you’ve ever thought has been recorded in the books of heaven. Two basic things are going to happen for every person on Judgement Day. First of all, the book of life will be opened. In the book of life is recorded the names of every person who has believed in Jesus and has eternal life. If your name is in the book of life, you will spend eternity in the kingdom of God. If your name is not in the book of life, you will spend eternity apart from God in hell.
But you notice in this verse from Revelation that there are other books of the things that you have done in life, both good and bad. Believers, whose names are in the book of life, will receive rewards based on what they have done with their life. Some will receive more rewards and others lesser rewards. Unbelievers will also be judged on the basis of their deeds in life. In hell, some will receive greater torment than others, but all will be incomprehensively terrible.
Why should we prepare for judgement day? Because this life is our only chance to prepare. If we keep judgement day in mind, God will help us prepare for it. To prepare for judgement day, we must live being faithful servants of Jesus.
Luke 19:11 (ESV) As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately.
Jesus was journeying toward the capital city of Jerusalem. Many of His followers believed that He was the Messiah and was going to soon be crowned as King of Israel. They thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear very soon. So, Jesus told them a parable to show that the fullness of the kingdom of God would come in the distant future.
Luke 19:12-13 (ESV) He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’
In this parable the nobleman is Jesus, who is going to return to heaven as King of Kings. In the future, He will return to the earth. But in the meantime, He gave each of his servants one mina so that they could do business for him. A mina is about 3 months of salary. Notice that these are servants, they are those who serve this nobleman. The servants were not to just wait for his return, they were to engage in business for him. These servants are those how consider themselves followers of Jesus.
Luke 19:14-15 (ESV) But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business.
Those who were not his servants, the citizens are those in the world who do not acknowledge Jesus are Lord. These are unbelievers in the world who want nothing to do with Jesus.
Now, the story gets very interesting, as Jesus begins to tell us what will happen when He returns. What happens next gives us insight into what will happen on judgement day. Each servant is called to give a report to King Jesus of how they have used the resources that He had given them. The first principle we can learn from Jesus’ teaching is that believers are called to serve.
The mina that each servant was given represent all the resources that God has given to each person that follows him. God has given each one of us as believers, good gifts or resources. What God has given to us are not to be used solely for our own selves. We are to be engaged in the business of life that God has called us to. We are to use the gifts that God has given us to produce good for the king and His kingdom.
What does the life of a faithful servant of Jesus look like? It will look like the life of Jesus. Followers of Jesus should do and say the things Jesus did. We should use our resources to bring the lost into His kingdom. We should show His love and miraculous power to all those around. Bottom line is that the king commands his servants to use his resources for his kingdom. Believers are called to serve. In Jesus’ story, He has returned and has asked for an accounting of every servant.
Luke 19:16-17 (ESV) The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten minas more.’ And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’
The first servant came before Jesus and gave his report of what he had done with what he had been given. The first servant had done business with his one mina and produced ten minas, a 1000% return. Jesus tells him, well done, you have been a good servant. You have been faithful with very little during your life, you will now have great authority in eternity.
Luke 19:18-19 (ESV) And the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made five minas.’ And he said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’
The second servant reported that with his mina, he had made an additional five minas, a 500% return. This servant did not receive all the praise of the first servant, but did receive the reward of being over five cities. In both cases, having authority over cities is a far greater responsibility than doing business with a mina.
Luke 19:20-21 (ESV) Then another came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief; for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’
The third servant that appears before Jesus also calls him Lord but has a very different report. The third servant did not follow the instructions of Jesus, he did not do any business. Rather than use the resources entrusted to him for the king, he hid them away. The reason that he hid them away was that he was afraid of the king. He was afraid that if he used the resources to do business he might lose them and receive punishment for it. So, he played it safe, or so he thought and just gave Jesus back the mina he had received.
He had not obeyed Jesus, he had done nothing with what he had received. We will talk about the judgment of the third servant in our next point. Each person will be judged for how they have lived their lives.
The mina that each servant received in this story represents everything that God has blessed you with in life. In a very similar story in Matthew 25, the story of the ten talents, God gives different servants different numbers of talents. Each believer receives different gifts from God in life. How we use those gifts will be part of our judgement day.
Those that use their gifts well for the kingdom will receive greater rewards in eternity. Those that use their gifts not as well, will receive lesser rewards. But those that do not use their gifts for the kingdom at all will be judged severely. Each person will be judged at judgement day for what they have done in life.
Luke 19:22 (ESV) He said to him, ‘I will condemn you with your own words, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow?
Jesus now addresses the third servant who had not used what had been entrusted to him. The third servant tried to excuse himself because he was afraid of the master. Jesus called him a wicked servant. What had he done that was so wicked? He had been entrusted with resources but had not used them for Jesus, the one he called Lord.
Luke 19:23-25 (ESV) Why then did you not put my money in the bank, and at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas!’
Jesus told him, if you didn’t know how to do business with what I have given you. At least you could have gotten something for me but depositing it in the bank for interest. The one mina the third servant had was then taken from him and given to the one with ten minas. Those around thought that that wasn’t fair, for now the third servant had nothing and the first had eleven minas.
Luke 19:26-27 (ESV ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.’”
Jesus concludes this story with a general principle of the kingdom of God. Those that are faithful will be given more and those who are not will have everything taken away. The fate of those who were not servants, who did not acknowledge Jesus as King, would be destroyed before him. Judgement brings reward or punishment.
In this parable there are three different kinds of people. The first two servants represent followers of Jesus who use the resources they have been given in life for Jesus and the kingdom. They will be rewarded on judgement day with eternal rewards and responsibilities. The third servant represents some who considered himself a follower of Jesus and even called him Lord. However, he did not use the resources of life given to him for Jesus. This proved that he was not a true follower of Jesus. We see in the story that the third servant did not have an accurate view of Jesus at all. Jesus called him a wicked servant and he had nothing to take with him into eternity.
In the very similar story of talents in Matthew 25, the third servant also hid his talent. He was also called a wicked servant, his talent taken away and he was cast into outer darkness, a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth, hell. The eternal fate of the third servant was eternity apart from Jesus in hell. The third type of people in this story are the people who never acknowledged Jesus as king at all or called him Lord. They will also spend eternity in hell, outside of the kingdom of God, the place of outer darkness. Judgement brings reward or punishment.
Why prepare for judgement day? The good news is that if you’re listening to this message, you can make changes in your life to get ready for judgement day. If you’re someone who has never committed your life to serve Jesus as king, you can do that today. Don’t put it off. If you pass on before believing in Jesus, your eternity will be without him.
If you’re someone like the third servant, who is not serving Jesus with your gifts. Don’t think that calling Jesus Lord will pass the judgement. Those who are true followers of Jesu will serve him with their gifts in this life. Recommit your life to Jesus and give him everything you have.
Finally those who are like the first and second servants. Seek to use everything God has given you for Him, maximizing the return for your King. Jesus has given everything for you, give Him back everything He deserves. May each one of us ask God to help us prepare for judgement day. And to help others prepare for judgement day.