Do you know what today is? That's right; it's April 15th--the deadline for filing your tax return with the IRS. If you've ever had to meet a deadline (and who among us hasn't?) you know that deadlines are definitive. Deadlines are typically rigid. Deadlines are usually unsympathetic. Deadlines are often enforced.

In the United States, the April 15th tax deadline is just one of many deadlines we deal with on a regular basis. While it may be possible for a person to file for an extension on their taxes, there is one deadline for which no extra time will be allowed, and this deadline will be enforced. This deadline is the Day of Judgment, and we have no idea when it will arrive! "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming" (Matt. 25:13).

The inspired apostle Peter had this to say about the Day of Judgment: "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?" (II Pet. 3:10-12).

It's common knowledge that people have a tendency to procrastinate when they think or know they have plenty of time to meet a deadline. Such an attitude may work when it comes to paying a bill, completing a project, returning a library book, or paying one's taxes, but an attitude of "it can wait" is dangerous and foolhardy when the eternal home of a person's soul is at stake! We have no guarantee for tomorrow, and, because of this, we should endeavor to be watchful and ready for the final deadline.

Friends, it has been said that death and taxes are the only two things of which we can be certain in this life. While there may be some degree of truth to that thought, the Bible plainly teaches that there will be a day of reckoning, and of this we can be quite certain.

Yes, there will come a day when every person who has ever lived will be audited, when every person will be called upon to answer for his or her life (Rom. 14:11,12; Matt. 25:31-46). On that day, "God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil" (Eccl. 12:14). How will you stand in that day? Are you prepared for the final deadline?