If you have read much of the Bible at all, or if you have gone to church very long, you know that somewhere, out there in the future, there is a day of judgment coming. Now, there have been a lot of fanciful notions about judgment day. Somehow, in my youth, in listening to various preachers, I got the impression of God, sitting behind the bench in a courtroom like setting with a lot of books open before him, judging my life. One preacher I recall envisioned God playing our sins back for us on a giant movie screen for everyone to see. Another envisioned God having a big lever by his throne, and when we come there for judgment, some go to heaven but for others, he pulls the lever and a trapdoor opens and sends them screaming down to hell.
Most of what you hear about the judgment day owes more to the imagination of man than to the Bible. Then there are all the jokes about St. Peter and the pearly gates. But I will spare you those. But I do have to tell you, there is a judgment day. But this judgment day is nothing like the traditional depictions of it, and there is one very surprising thing about it which I will come to later.
But the first thing to know about it is that the writer of the book of Hebrews connects the judgment day to the Day of Atonement—Yom Kippur—a day usually dismissed by Christians as a Jewish Holiday. But in this series of programs, I have been making the case that these are not merely Jewish Holidays, but Christian holidays as well. Why so? Because every one of them is about the life, work, plan and ministry of Jesus Christ. So, what do we know about the judgment day?