Scripture teaches that every individual will one day face God in Judgment. We can be assured that God’s judgment will be righteous (Acts 17:30-31) — He will condemn no one unjustly. God’s judgment will happen once for all men (Hebrews 9:27-28). His judgment will demand that we account for the way we have used or squandered our opportunities and blessings in this life (2 Cor. 5:9-10). His judgment will be according to a standard — His holy word (Jn. 12:48; Rev. 20:12).
Given that your attendance will be mandatory on Judgment Day (Jn. 5:28-29), let us consider what NOT to say to God at that time.
“God, You weren’t clear about what You wanted of me.” — Scripture teaches that indeed there are some things that are difficult to understand in God’s word (2 Pet. 3:16), but what the Bible says about salvation is not one of them! God demands that you believe in Jesus and confess Him as your Lord (Jn. 3:16; Rom. 10:9-10). Then, He demands that you repent and be immersed in water for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). God wants you to love Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Matt. 22:37). Could He be any clearer?
“God, other people were more wicked than I was.” — One of the tragedies of Judgment Day will be that some may learn too late that God will judge each individual by His standard, not by our own. This life is our one and only opportunity to do something about sin, a disease which separates even the most moral of people from God (cf. Hab. 1:13; Isa. 59:1-2; Rom. 6:23). Instead of looking at the wickedness of others, God wants us to cry, “be merciful to me, a sinner” (Luke 18:13).
“God, I just followed those whom I loved and respected.” — Each person has a personal responsibility to search God’s word for truth (Acts 17:11). Don’t believe something because your parents, friends, teachers, or preacher told you. People make mistakes — follow Jesus, the only perfect Person who ever lived (Jn. 14:6).
“God, I saw some Christians who were hypocrites, so I did not want to be one.” — This excuse is likely more of a cop-out than a real reason for not becoming a Christian. There are hypocrites in America, but that doesn’t stop most people from wanting to be Americans. Certainly, some Christians are hypocrites, but are you really willing to allow that fact to determine where you spend eternity? (read Matthew 23).
“God, You just didn’t do enough for me.” — God has given us life (Acts 17:28), blessings (Matt. 5:45), opportunities (1 Cor. 16:9), direction (Psalm 119:105), and He has given us His own Son (Rom. 5:8; 8:3). What more could He give to convince you He loves you???
“God, my temptations were just too much for me.” — It is true that all are tempted, but it is also universally true that no temptation will be so great that we cannot still choose what is right (1 Cor. 10:13). “The devil made me do it” is not a legitimate excuse on Judgment day — you choose to serve Satan or you choose to serve God (cf. Rom. 6:11-23).
“God, I was hoping You’d give me another chance.” — Mercy is rightly defined as, “treating someone better than they deserve.” Doubtless, some souls are hoping for mercy in the form of another chance to do right on Judgment Day. These misguided people need to understand that the time for God’s mercy is now. Scripture teaches that this life is our one and only opportunity to accept God’s gift of salvation (Rom. 5:17). Those who reject it will find no further opportunity for repentance after this life ends (cf. Mark 3:28-29). —JB