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Last Great Day: This Day Is for Them Too

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Last Great Day

This Day Is for Them Too

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"And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God..." When we read this passage in Revelation 20:12 Revelation 20:12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
American King James Version×
, our thoughts immediately go to the time setting of the Last Great Day. When we consider this last part of God's master plan, we automatically think of the time when the vast majority of mankind will have their minds opened to God's truth. What state of mind will some be in when they are resurrected?

Speaking about those in the second resurrection, Ezekiel 37:11 Ezekiel 37:11Then he said to me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.
American King James Version×
says, "Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!" Why do they feel their "hope is lost"? What is this lost hope?

In the original Hebrew, the word hope can also be translated as "expectation" or "thing that I long for." The Hebrew word for "lost" is also translated elsewhere in the Bible as "perish." So who are these people who think the things they have longed for have perished? Who are these whose expectations and hopes are lost? After all, this day is for them too.

A Day for the Brokenhearted

The first part of this year the news was filled with the trial surrounding the death of Laci Peterson and her unborn child. Not only was Laci excited about having this child, but so were her parents. They were looking forward to having a grandchild! The baby was only weeks away. Their expectations were great. Then their hopes were shattered. Indeed, the thing that Laci's parents longed for—their little girl becoming a mother, and the birth of their grandchild—had perished. Their hope was lost. That grief will follow them to their graves.

Just think about all the premature deaths of children. Unless one has experienced it, the pain is unimaginable. Every day children die from terrible diseases, drug and alcohol abuse, accidents, abductions, etc. What can fill that void in the parents' hearts when their children are lost?

When one of my children was about a month old, a coworker had a baby boy a few months older who died of SIDS. I vividly remember seeing that infant lying in the coffin. I also remember going home and holding my baby for a long time. I could not relate directly to the grief she and her husband were going through, but as I held my child, I knew how much they wished they could hold their son. The thing that I longed for was still in my arms. The thing that they longed for was gone. They buried their son, but they could not bury their grief.

The Vietnam Memorial has some three million visitors every year. To many, the 58,000 names of fallen soldiers engraved on "The Wall" are statistics. But every name on that wall is a lost loved one. The names on the wall had hopes and dreams. These names had mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, wives and children.

That is one wall, one war. Think of all the fallen soldiers in all wars over time, and the holes they left in their loved ones' hearts.

The Last Great Day is for these family members left behind. Yes, their eyes will be opened to the truth. But also, the eyes of their dead loved ones will be opened so they can live again.

My coworker will see her son again. Parents who lost children to wars, accidents, abductions and diseases will see them again.

God promises the time is coming when premature deaths will be a thing of the past. "No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days" (Isaiah 65:20 Isaiah 65:20There shall be no more there an infant of days, nor an old man that has not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.
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). Can we imagine, and look forward to, the joy that will fill the parents' hearts when they see their children again? Their broken hearts will be mended. Yes, this day is for them too.

A Day for the Discouraged and Disadvantaged

Each year thousands of people are born with mental handicaps. There are adults with the minds of children. Throughout their lives they are dependent on others to care for them. Some have lost their mental capacities due to accidents, and there appears to be no real hope for their future.

Not only are there slain casualties of war, there are also living casualties. Many of us have seen veterans living on the streets. The wars they were in affected their minds. They are no longer the same person. For some, the only friends they have are the bottle of wine in their hand and the imaginary friends in their minds. All their hopes and dreams have long perished.

There are also those who have become demon-possessed. They have definitely lost control of their minds. These who have lost control of their minds have lost hope.

On this day God will give them back their minds, and they can be free at last. They will know God has done this (Ezekiel 37:13-14 Ezekiel 37:13-14 [13] And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, [14] And shall put my spirit in you, and you shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall you know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, said the LORD.
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). Yes, this day is for them too.

Depression is an increasing problem in the world. The future looks so bleak to some that the only escape they see is committing suicide. In the United States about 90 people take their own lives every day. These people surely have lost hope. They will have hope in the future, because this day is for them too.

A Day for the Terror Stricken

Think of all the disasters that have occurred in the history of mankind. Some 1,500 people died when the Titanic sank in the North Atlantic. How many cried out for God as they slowly died in the frigid waters?

When the terrorists flew the planes into the World Trade Center, how many of those trapped in the buildings prayed for God to deliver them? Think about the ones who saw no escape from the flames and jumped to their deaths. Many of the victims' bodies were never found. In an instant, there were thousands of fatherless, motherless, childless, widows and widowers. Just as the towers were destroyed, so were their hopes.

Less than a year ago the Asian tsunami claimed an estimated 225,000 lives and left millions homeless. Complete communities were totally destroyed. Parents had their children ripped from their arms by the raging waters. There was sudden terror, sudden destruction and sudden hopelessness. Have we forgotten the news clips of families desperately searching for their loved ones and their anguish when they found out their sons and daughters had perished? Let's not forget their plight, because this day is for them too.

A Day of Hope

We could fill this entire publication writing about those who died without hope, but we have touched on just a few. You can think of many more. Most of the billions of people who have died without hope we have not even known. To us they are just numbers. But they are not mere numbers to God—they are His children. The Last Great Day shows that God has not forgotten them.

In Isaiah 49:14-15 Isaiah 49:14-15 [14] But Zion said, The LORD has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me. [15] Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yes, they may forget, yet will I not forget you.
American King James Version×
we read, "But Zion said, 'The LORD has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me.' 'Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you.'"

In Isaiah 54:7-8 Isaiah 54:7-8 [7] For a small moment have I forsaken you; but with great mercies will I gather you. [8] In a little wrath I hid my face from you for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on you, said the LORD your Redeemer.
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God says, "'For a mere moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you. With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; but with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,' says the LORD, your Redeemer."

Yes, God offers hope to the hopeless. In Jeremiah 32:42 Jeremiah 32:42For thus said the LORD; Like as I have brought all this great evil on this people, so will I bring on them all the good that I have promised them.
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God promises, "For thus says the LORD: 'Just as I have brought all this great calamity on this people, so I will bring on them all the good that I have promised them.'"

God's greatness and compassion are mentioned in Psalms 147:3-5 Psalms 147:3-5 [3] He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds. [4] He tells the number of the stars; he calls them all by their names. [5] Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.
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where it says, "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite."

We cannot fathom the number of people who have ever lived and died (some estimate 20 billion or more!). But just as God calls all the stars by name, He also knows all people who have ever lived and died by name. And His will is that all would become a part of His family (2 Peter 3:9 2 Peter 3:9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
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Let's not forget that we, too, were once hopeless. In Ephesians 2:12 Ephesians 2:12That at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
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Paul states we were once "without Christ... having no hope and without God in the world." As God extended mercy to us, He will extend mercy to all of mankind. King Solomon said in Proverbs 13:12 Proverbs 13:12Hope deferred makes the heart sick: but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.
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, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life." God will offer the tree of life to those who have lost hope.

The things we see now should remind us of this great day. The next time you see a makeshift cross covered with flowers alongside the road, think about this day. Remember the grieving parents who lost their child at that spot. When you get a card in the mail with a picture of a missing child, think about this day. The next time you hear about a slain soldier in the news, think about this day.

The next time you hear about someone taking his own life, remember that God will restore his hope on this day. When disasters happen, remember that God will not forget the victims, because this day is for them too. And the next time you look at the endless night sky, remember that God has planned something better for all who have ever lived and died.

The time pictured by the Last Great Day will be a time of great hope and great rejoicing. The individuals in that resurrection will learn of God's great love for them individually. They will learn that Christ died for them too, and they can also have eternal life. They will have the opportunity to join us in God's great family.

Let's remember the encouraging words in Revelation 21:4 Revelation 21:4And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
American King James Version×
, "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."

May God speed that day! UN