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Tax Day

It dawned on me a short time ago that today is April 15. This date is, perhaps, the most dreaded day on the U.S. calendar. April 15 is the date by which United States citizens must pay our income taxes. In addition to the money leaving our bank accounts we carry the added weight of legality. People who fail to pay their taxes by this date face legal trouble. People who don’t fill out their income reporting forms by this date face legal trouble. People who fill those forms out incorrectly face legal trouble. It is a sober time of year.

Of course, most of us have already paid our taxes. The government requires employers to withhold tax money from workers’ wages throughout the year. Self-employed people must divide their expected tax burden into four parts and pay every three months. Employers often withhold too much, so once we’ve filled out the forms and found what we actually owe; we’re entitled to get the excess payments back. We call the returned money tax refunds, and yes, those of us who expect them are happy.

But refund or otherwise, April 15 is still not a happy day for most people. It reminds them of how much money the government has taken. Even if they’re thankful for the governmental services their money pays for, the paperwork and complicated tax laws remain intimidating.

These things said, April 15 feels good for me. I mailed my tax returns in earlier in the month. I’m getting a modest refund. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to do anything. It’s also the anniversary of my escape from a hated job.

A few years ago, I worked for a tax preparation company and filled out other people’s forms. Some people love the tax business, but I found it stressful. Those five months as a professional tax man were among the most miserable in my life. Unfortunately, I’d committed to working until the end of the tax season. I longed for the release April 15 promised. For me, tax day will never only mean pain and stress. It must also mean freedom.

It doesn’t come every year, but we all look forward to another day of fear and dread. God has promised to call the dead small and great from their graves and judge them for their sins. There is no one who can claim innocence, and the penalty is the second death, a sentence to spend forever in the miseries of Hell. It will be an awful time.

Judgment Day is like April 15 for me. My penalty is already paid. I won’t have to stand in front of God’s great white throne. I don’t have to wonder what Hell feels like. Jesus has already taken my punishment. By simple faith, I’ve laid claim to what Jesus has done. His blood is my payment, and it’s already registered in Heaven. Judgment Day represents freedom.

I earned the right to be free on April 15. The money lying in the U.S. Treasury is money I gained by outdoor physical labor in all kinds of weather. The money in my refund is really my money. Judgment Day is different. I’m even freer than I am with the U.S. government, but I didn’t earn a thing. Jesus earned my freedom outdoors in blood, sweat, and pain on a cross. I’m free because He paid for my salvation.

April 15 is a recurring day of either reckoning or freedom in the United States. Judgment Day is the final day of either reckoning or celebrated freedom for all history and for all the earth. In the case of Judgment Day, we get to choose now how that day will end. That choice lies fully in how we respond to Jesus Christ. As Jesus said:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5:24)

To learn how to be safe and free on Judgment day see How to Have a Relationship with God. 

This work is in the pubic domain and may be copied and distributed freely.


How to Have a Relationship with God

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