#THE GREAT ASSIZE
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he has done, whether it is good or bad."
- 2 Corinthians 5:10
THIS morning we preached—[See #1067, Volume 18—THE RESURRECTION CREDIBLE] concerning the resurrection of the dead, and it seems consistent with order to carry forward our thoughts this evening, to that which follows immediately after the resurrection, namely: the general judgment; for the dead rise on purpose that they may be judged in their bodies. The resurrection is the immediate prelude to the judgment. There is no need that I try to prove to you from Scripture that there will be a general judgment, for the Word of God abounds with proof-passages. You have them in the Old Testament. You find David anticipating that great assize in the Psalms (especially in such as the 49th, 50th, 96th and the three that follow the 96th), for most assuredly the Lord comes; He comes to judge the earth in righteousness. Very solemnly and very tenderly does Solomon in the Ecclesiastes warn the young man, that, let him rejoice as he may and cheer his heart in the days of his youth, for all these things God will bring him into judgment; for God will judge every secret thing. Daniel in the night visions beholds the Son of man coming with the clouds of heaven, and drawing near to the Ancient of Days; then He sits upon the throne of judgment and the nations are gathered before Him. It was no new doctrine to the Jews; it was received and accepted by them as a most certain fact that there would be a day in which God would judge the earth in righteousness. The New Testament is very express. The 25th of Matthew, which we read to you just now, contains language, which could not possibly be more clear and definite, from the lips of the Savior Himself. He is the faithful witness, and cannot lie. You are told that before Him will be gathered all nations, and He shall divide them the one from the other, as the shepherd divides the sheep from the goats.
Other passages there are in abundance, as, for instance, the one that is now before us, which is plain enough. Another we might quote is in the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, the first chapter, from the 7 th to the 10th verse. Let us read it, "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power; when He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day." The book of the Revelation is very graphic in its depicting that last general judgment. Turn to the 20th chapter, at the 11th and 12th verses. The seer of Patmos says, "And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And 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." Time would fail me to refer you to all the Scriptures. It is asserted over and over again by the Holy Spirit, whose word is truth, that there will be a judgment of the quick and of the dead.
Beside that direct testimony, it should be remembered there is a valid argument that so it must be size held. Government cannot be conducted without its days of session and of trial, and inasmuch as there is evidently sin and evil in this world, it might be fairly anticipated that there would be a time when God will go on circuit, and when He will call the prisoners before Him and the guilty shall receive their condemnation. Judge for yourselves; is this present state the conclusion of all things? If so, what evidence would you cite of divine justice in the teeth of the fact that the best of men are often in this world the poorest and the most afflicted, while the worst of men acquire wealth, practice oppression, and receive homage from the crowds? Who are they that ride in the high places of the earth? Are they not those great transgressors who, "Wade through slaughter to a throne, and shut the gates of mercy on mankind"? Where are the servants of God? They are full often in obscurity and suffering; do they not sit like Job among the ashes, subjects of little pity, and objects of much upbraiding? And where are the enemies of God? Do not many of them wear purple and fine linen, and fare sumptuously every day? If there is no hereafter, then Dives has the best of it, and the selfish man who fears not God is, after all, the wisest of men, and more to be commended than his fellows! But it cannot be so; our common sense revolts against the thought! There must be another state in which these anomalies will all be rectified. "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most miserable," says the apostle. The best of men were driven to the worst of straits in those persecuting times for being God’s servants. What do you say, then? Finis coronat opus, the end crowns the work? That cannot be the final issue of life, or justice itself would be frustrated! There must be restitution for those who suffer unjustly; there must be a punishment for the wicked and the oppressor!
Not only may this be affirmed from a general sense of justice, but there is in the conscience of most men, if not of all, an assent to this fact. As an old Puritan says, "God holds a petty session in every man’s conscience which is the earnest of the assize which He will hold by and by, for almost all men judge themselves, and their conscience knows this to be wrong, and that to be right. I say ‘almost all,’ for there seems to be in this generation a race of men who have so stultified their consciences, that the spark appears to have gone out, and they put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter. The lie they seem to approve, but the truth they do not recognize. But let conscience alone, and do not stupefy her, and you shall find her bearing witness that there is a judge of all the earth who must do right." Now this is peculiarly the case when conscience is allowed full play. Men who are busy about their work, or entertained with their pleasures, often keep their consciences quiet; as John Bunyan puts it, they shut up Mr. Conscience; they blind his windows; they barricade his doors, and as for the great bell on the top of the house which the old gentleman was apt to ring, they cut the rope of it so that he cannot get at it—for they do not wish him to disturb the town of Mansoul. But when death comes it often happens that Mr. Conscience escapes from his prison, and then, I assure you, he will make such a din that there is not a sleeping head in all Mansoul! He will cry out and avenge himself for his constrained silence, and make the man know that there is a something within him not quite dead which cries out, still, for justice, and that sin cannot go unpunished. There must be a judgment, then. Scripture asserts it—that should be enough—but by way of collateral evidence, the natural order of things requires it, and conscience attests it.
Now we come to consider what our text says about the judgment. I pray you, brothers and sisters, if I should speak coldly tonight on this momentous truth of God, or fail to excite your attention and stir your deepest emotions, forgive me! And may God forgive me, for I shall have good reason to ask God’s forgiveness seeing that if ever a topic should awaken the preacher to zeal for the honor of his Lord, and for the welfare of his fellow creatures, and so make him doubly in earnest—it is this. But then, permit me to say that if ever there was a theme quite independent of the speaker—which on its own account, alone, should command your thoughtfulness, it is that which I now bring before you. I feel no need of oratory or of well-selected speech; the bare mention of the fact that such a judgment is impending, and will before long occur might well hold you in breathless silence, still the very throbbing of your pulse, and choke the utterance of my lips! The certainty of it, the reality of it, the terrors that accompany it—the impossibility of escaping from it all appeal to us and demand our vigilance!
I. I ask you now, who IS IT, OR WHO ARE THEY THAT WILL HAVE TO APPEAR BEFORE THE THRONE OF JUDGMENT? The answer is plain, it admits of no exemption—"We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ." This is very decisive if there were no other text; we must all appear—that is to say, every one of the human race. We must all appear, and that the godly will not be exempted from this appearance is very clear, for the apostle here is speaking to Christians. He says, "We walk by faith, not by sight; we are confident; we labor," and so on. And then he puts it, "We must all appear," so that beyond all others, it is certain that all Christians must appear there! The text is quite conclusive upon that point; and if we had not that text, we have the passage in Matthew which we have read, in which the sheep are summoned there as certainly as are the goats; and we have the passage in Revelation where all the dead are judged according to the things which are written in the books. They are all there! And if the objection should be raised, "We thought that the sins of the righteous, being pardoned and forever blotted out, they could never come into judgment," we have only to remind you, beloved, that if they are so pardoned and blotted out, as they undoubtedly are, the righteous have no reason to fear coming into judgment! They are the persons who covet the judgment, and will be able to stand there to receive a public acquittal from the mouth of the great judge. Who among us wishes, as it were, to be smuggled into heaven unlawfully? Who desires to have it said by the damned in hell, "You were never tried, or else you might have been condemned as we were"? No, brothers and sisters, we have a hope that we can stand the trial; the way of righteousness by Christ Jesus enables us to submit ourselves to the most tremendous tests which even that burning day can bring forth! We are not afraid to be put into the balances; we even desire that day when our faith in Jesus Christ is strong and firm, for we say, "Who is he that condemns?" We can challenge the Day of Judgment! Who is he that shall lay anything to our charge in that day, or at any other, since Christ has died and has risen again? It is necessary that the righteous should be there, that there may not be any partiality in the matter whatever—that the thing may be all clear and straight—and that the rewards of the righteous may be seen to be, though of grace, yet without any violation of the most rigorous justice!
Dear brothers and sisters, what a day it will be for the righteous! For some of them were—perhaps some here present are lying under some very terrible accusation of which they are perfectly guiltless. All will be cleared up then, and that will be one great blessing of that day! There will be a resurrection of reputations as well as of bodies! Men call the righteous fools; then shall they shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father! They hounded them to death as not being fit to live; in early ages they laid to the Christians charges of the most terrible character which I should count it shame to mention; but then they will all be clear—and those of whom the world was not worthy, who were driven and hunted about, and made to dwell in the caves of the earth—they shall come forth as worthy ones, and the world shall know her true aristocracy, earth shall own her true nobility! The men whose names she cast out as evil, shall then be held in great repute, for they shall stand out clear and transparent without spot or blemish! It is well that there should be a trial for the righteous, for the clearing and vindication of them, and that it should be public, defying the ridicule and criticism of all mankind!
"We must all appear." What a vast assembly; what a prodigious gathering, that of the entire human race! It struck me as I was meditating upon this subject, what would be the thoughts of Father Adam as he stood there with Mother Eve and looked upon his offspring? It will be the first time in which he has ever had the opportunity of seeing all his children met together. What a sight will he then behold—far stretching, covering all the globe which they inhabit; enough not only to people all earth’s plains, but crown her hilltops, and cover even the waves of the sea, so numberless must the human race be if all the generations that have ever lived, or shall ever live, shall at once rise from the dead! Oh, what a sight that will be! Is it too marvelous for our imagination to picture? Yet it is quite certain that the assemblage will be mustered, and the spectacle will be beheld! Everyone from before the Flood, from the days of the patriarchs, from the times of David, from the Babylonian kingdom; all the legions of Assyria, all the hosts of Persia, all the phalanx of the Greeks, all the vast armies and legions of Rome, the barbarian, the Scythian, the bond, the free, men of every color, and of every tongue—they shall all stand in that great day before the judgment seat of Christ!
There come the kings—no greater than the men they call their slaves! There come the princes—but they have doffed their coronets, for they must stand like common flesh and blood! Here come the judges to be judged, and the advocates and barristers needing an advocate on their own account! Here come those who thought themselves too good, and kept the street to themselves; there are the Pharisees, hustled by the Publicans on both sides, and sunk down to the natural level with them! Mark the peasants rising from the soil! See the teeming myriads from outside the great cities streaming in, countless hosts such as no Alexander or Napoleon ever beheld! See how the servant is as great as his master! "Liberty, equality, fraternity," is now proclaimed! No kings, no princes, no nobles can shelter themselves behind their order, or assert a privilege, or claim an immunity; alike on one common level they all stand together to be tried before the last tremendous tribunal! There shall stand the wicked of every sort. Proud Pharaoh shall be there; Senacherib the haughty; Herod, who would have slain the young Child; Judas, who betrayed his Master; Demas, who sold Him for gold, and Pilate, who would gladly have washed his hands in innocence. There shall come the long list of "infallibles"; the whole line of popes to receive their damnation at the Almighty’s hands! And the priests who trod upon the necks of nations, and the tyrants that used the priests as their tools—they shall come to receive the thunderbolts of God which they so richly deserve! Oh, what a scene it will be! These little companies which look to us so large when they are gathered together beneath this roof, how they shrink into the drop of a bucket as compared with the ocean of life that shall swell around the throne at the last great Judgment Day! We shall all be there!
Now, the most important thought connected with this, to me, is that I shall be there; to you young men, that you will be there; to you, you aged of every sort, that you, in propria persona; each one shall be there. Are you rich? Your dainty dress shall be put off. Are you poor? Your rags shall not exempt you from attendance at that court. None shall say, "I am too obscure." You must come up from that hiding place. None shall say, "I am too public." You must come down from that pedestal. Everyone must be there. Note the word, "we." "We must all appear." And still further, note the word, "appear." "We must all appear." No disguise will be possible! You cannot come there dressed in masquerade of profession or attired in robes of state! We must appear; we must be seen through, must be displayed, and must be revealed! Off will come your garments, and your spirit will be judged of God, not after appearance, but according to the inward heart. Oh, what a day that will be when every man, woman, and child shall see himself, and every man shall see his fellow, and the eyes of angels, and the eyes of devils, and the eyes of God upon the throne shall see us through and through! Let these thoughts dwell upon your minds while you take this for the answer to our first inquiry, who is to be judged?
II. Our second question is, WHO WILL BE THE JUDGE? "We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ." That Christ should be appointed judge of all mankind is most proper and fitting. Our British law ordains that a man shall be tried by his peers, and there is justice in the statute. Now the Lord God will judge men, but at the same time it will be in the person of Jesus Christ the man. Men shall be judged by a man! He who was once judged by men shall judge men; Jesus knows what man should be, for He has been under the law Himself in deep humility; He can hold the scales of justice evenly, for He has stood in man’s place and bore and braved man’s temptations. He therefore is the fittest judge that could be selected. I have sometimes heard and read sermons in which the preacher said that a Christian ought to rejoice that his judge is his friend. There may be no impropriety intended, still, it seems to me rather a questionable suggestion; I should not like to put it in that way, because any judge that was partial to his friends when he sat on the judgment seat would deserve to come off the seat immediately! As a judge, I expect no favoritism from Christ; I expect when He sits there He will deal out even-handed justice to all. I cannot see how it is right for any minister to hold it forth that we should find encouragement in the judge being our friend. Friend or no friend, we shall go in for a fair trial, every one of us, and Christ will not be a respecter of persons. Of Him whom God has appointed to judge the world, it shall not be said, when the assize is over, that He winked at the crimes of some and extenuated them, while He searched out the faults of others and convicted them. He will be fair and upright throughout. He is our friend, I grant you, and He will be our friend and Savior forever! But as a judge we must keep to the thought, and believe and maintain it that He will be impartial to all the sons of men. You will have a fair trial; He who judges you will not take sides against you. We have sometimes thought that men have been shielded from the punishment they deserved because they were of a certain clerical profession, or because they occupied a certain official position.
A poor laborer who kills his wife shall be hanged, but when another man of superior station does the same deed of violence, and stains his hands with the blood of her whom he had vowed to love and cherish, the capital sentence shall not be executed upon him. Everywhere we see in the world that with the best intentions justice somehow or other does squint a little! Even in this country there is just the slightest possible turning of the scale and God grant that may be cured before long! I do not think it is intentional, and I hope the nation will not long have to complain about it. There ought to be the same justice for the poorest beggar that crawls into a casual ward, as for his lordship who owns the broadest acres in all England! Before the law, at least, all men ought to stand equal! So shall it be with the judge of all the earth. Fiat justitia, ruat caelum. Christ will by all means hold the scales even! You shall have a fair trial, and a full trial, too; there shall be no concealment of anything in your favor, and no keeping back of anything against you; no witnesses shall be borne across the sea to keep them out of the way; they shall all be there, and all testimony shall be there; and all that is needed to condemn or to acquit shall be produced in full court at that trial; and therefore it will be a final trial. From that court there will be no appeal! If Christ says, "cursed!" Cursed must they be forever! If Christ says, "blessed!" Blessed shall they be forever. Well, this is what we have to expect, then, to stand before the throne of the man, Christ Jesus, the Son of God, and there to be judged.
III. Now the third point is, WHAT WILL BE THE RULE OF JUDGMENT? The text says, "That everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he has done, whether it is good or bad." Then it would appear that our actions will be taken in evidence at the last. Not our profession, not our boasts, but our actions will be taken in evidence at the last, and every man shall receive according to what he has done in the body! That implies that everything done by us in this body will be known. It is all recorded; it will be all brought to light. Therefore, in that day every secret sin will be published. What was done in the chamber; what was hidden by the darkness shall be published as upon the housetop; every secret thing. With great care you have concealed it; most dexterously you have covered it up, but it shall be brought out to your own astonishment to form a part of your judgment! There hypocritical actions as well as secret sins will be laid bare; the Pharisee who devoured the widow’s house, and made a long prayer will find that widow’s house brought against him, and the long prayer, too, for the long prayer will then be understood as having been a long lie against God from beginning to end! Oh, how fine we can make some things look with the aid of paint, and varnish, and gilt! But at the last day, off will come the varnish and veneer, and the true metal, the real substance will then be seen!
When it is said that everything that is done in the body will be brought up as evidence against us or for us, remember this includes every omission as well as every commission; for that which is not done that ought to have been done is as greatly sinful as the doing of that which ought not to be done. Did you not notice, when we were reading that 25th chapter of Matthew, how those on the left hand were condemned, not for what they did, but for what they did not do—"I was hungry, and you gave Me no meat: I was thirsty, and you gave Me no drink"? Where would some of you stand, according to this rule, which have lived in neglect of holiness, and neglect of faith, and neglect of repentance before all your days? Think, I pray you! Recollect, too, that all our words will be brought up. For every idle word that man shall speak, he will have to give an account; and all our thoughts, too, for these lie at the bottom of our actions, and give the true color to them, good or bad. Our motives, our sins of the heart—especially our hatred of Christ, our neglect of the gospel, our unbelief—all of these shall be read aloud and published unreservedly. "Well," says one, "who, then, can be saved?" Ah, indeed, who then can be saved? Let me tell you who; there will come forward those who have believed in Jesus, and albeit they have many sins to which they might well plead guilty, they will be able to say, "Great God, You did provide for us a substitute, and You did say that if we would accept Him, He should be a substitute for us and take our sins upon Himself. And by Your grace we did accept Him, and our sins were laid on Him, and we have now no sins—they have been transferred from us to the great Savior, substitute, and sacrifice." And in that day there will be none who can put in an objection to that plea! It will hold good, for God has said, "Whoever believes on Christ Jesus shall never be condemned." Then will the actions of the righteous, the gracious actions, be brought forth to prove that they had faith; for that faith which never proves itself by good works is a dead faith, and a faith that will never save a soul.
Now, if the dying thief were brought up, he would say, "My sins were laid on Jesus." "Yes, but how about your good works? You must have some evidence of your faith," Satan might reply. Then would the recording angel say, "The dying thief said to his fellow thief who was dying with him, ‘Why are you railing?’ In his last moments he did what he could; he rebuked the thief that was dying with him, and made a good confession of his Lord. There was the proof of the sincerity of his faith!" Dear hearer, will there be any proof of the sincerity of your faith? If your faith has no evidence before the Lord, what will you do? Suppose you thought you had a faith, and went on drinking; suppose you did as I know some have done here—go straight from this place into the public house? Or suppose you joined the Christian Church, and remained a drunk? Yes, and women have done that as well as men! Suppose you professed to have faith in Christ, and yet cheated in your weights and measures, and common dealings? Do you think that God will never require these things at your hands? Oh, sirs, if you are no better than other men in your conduct, you are no better than other men in your character—and you will stand no better than other men on the Judgment Day! If your actions are not superior to theirs, you may profess what you will about your faith, but you are deceived, and as deceivers you will be discovered at the Last Great Day. If grace does not make us differ from other men, it is not the divine grace which God gives His elect! We are not perfect, but all God’s saints keep their eyes on the great Standard of perfection, and with strong desire, aim to walk worthy of their high calling of God, and to bring forth works which prove that they love God. And if we have not these signs following faith, or if they are not put in as evidence for us at the Last Great Day, we shall not be able to prove our faith. Oh, you who have no faith in Christ, no faith in Jesus the substitute—that terrible negative, that treacherous unbelief of yours will be a condemning sin against you! It will be proof positive that you hated God, for a man must hate God, indeed, who will spurn His counsels, give no heed to His reproof, scorn His grace, and dare the vengeance of Him who points out the way of escape, and the path that leads to life!
He who will not be saved by God’s mercy proves that he hates the God of mercy! If God gives His own Son to die, and men will not trust in His Son, will not have Him as their Savior—that one sin, if they had no other, would at once prove that they were enemies of God, and black at heart! But if your faith is in Jesus; if you love Jesus; if your heart goes out to Jesus; if your life is influenced by Jesus; if you make Him your example as well as your Savior, there will be evidence—you cannot see it, but there will be evidence in your favor! For notice those gracious things, when the evidence was brought, and Christ said, "I was hungry and you gave Me meat; thirsty and you gave Me drink," they said, "O Lord, we never knew this." Should any man stand up here and say, "I have plenty of evidence to prove my faith," I would reply, "Hold your tongue, sir! Hold your tongue! I am afraid you have no faith at all, or you would not be talking about your evidences." But if you are saying, "Oh, I am afraid I have not the evidence that will stand me in good stead at the last," yet if all the while you have been feeding the hungry, and clothing the naked, and doing all you can for Christ, I would tell you not to be afraid. The Master will find witnesses to say, "That man relieved me when I was in poverty; he knew I was one of Christ’s, and he came and helped me." And another will come and say (perhaps it will be an angel), "I saw him when he was alone in his chamber, and heard him pray for his enemies." And the Lord will say, "I read his heart when I saw how he put up with rebuke, and slander, and persecution, and would not make any answer for My sake. He did it all as proof that My grace was in his heart." You will not have to fetch up the witnesses—the Judge will call them, for He knows all about your case, and as He calls up the witnesses, you will be surprised to find how even the ungodly will be obliged to consent to the just salvation of the righteous! Oh, how the secret deeds, and the true heart-sincerity of the righteous, when thus unveiled, will make devils bite their tongues in wrath to think that there was so much of grace given to the sons of men with which to defeat persecution, to overcome temptation, and to follow on in obedience to the Lord! Oh yes, the deeds, the deeds, the deeds of men; not their prating, not their profession, not their talk, but their deeds, (though nobody shall be saved by the merits of their deeds)—their deeds shall be the evidence/proof of their grace, or their deeds shall be the evidence/proof of their unbelief. And so, by their works shall they stand before the Lord, or by their works shall they be condemned as evidence, and nothing more!
IV. Now the last point is this—WHAT IS THE OBJECTIVE OF THIS JUDGMENT? Will sentence of acquittal and condemnation be given, and then the whole thing is over? Far from it! The judgment is with a view from then on—"That every man may receive the things done in his body." The Lord will grant unto His people an abundant reward for all that they have done; not that they deserve any reward since God first gave them divine grace to do good works, and then took those good works as evidence of a renewed heart, and then gave them a reward for what they had done! Oh, what a bliss it will be to hear it said, "Well done, good and faithful servant"—to you who have worked for Christ when nobody knew it, to find that Christ took stock of it all; to you who served the Lord under misrepresentation to find that the Lord Jesus cleared the chaff away from the wheat, and knew that you were one of His precious ones; for Him, then, to say, "Enter into the joy of your Lord," oh, what a bliss will it be to you!
But to the ungodly, how terrible! They are to receive the things that they have done, that is to say, the punishment due—not every man alike, but the greater sinner the greater doom. To the man who sinned against the light of God, a greater damnation than to the man who had not the same light of God—Sodom and Gomorrah their place; Tyre and Sidon their place, and then to Capernaum and Bethsaida their place of more intolerable torment because they had the gospel and rejected it—so the Lord Himself tells us. And the punishment will not only be meted out in proportion to the transgression, but it will be a development of the evil actions done in the evil consequences to be endured, as every man shall eat the fruit of his own ways. Sin, after the natural order, ripens into sorrow. This is not a blind fate, but it is the operation of a divine law, wise and invariable. Oh, how dreadful it will be for the malicious man to have to forever gnaw his own envious heart; to find his malice come home to him as birds come home to roost; to hoot forever in his own soul! How terrible for the lustful man to feel lust burning in every vein which he can never gratify; for the drunk to have a thirst which not even a drop of water can allay; for the glutton who has fared sumptuously every day, to be in perpetual hunger! How excruciating for the soul that has been wrathful, to be forever wrathful with the fire of wrath forever burning like a volcano in his soul; and the rebel against God forever a rebel, cursing God whom he cannot touch, and finding his curses coming back upon himself! There is no punishment worse than for a man who is sinfully disposed to gratify his lusts, to satisfy his bad propensities, and to multiply and fatten his vices! Only let men grow into what they would be, and then see what they would be like!
Last Saturday, it may be, there were half-a-dozen broken heads, and wives and children were in one general skirmish. Keep those people together—let their vigor continue unimpaired by age or decay while they keep on developing their characters; why, they would be worse than a herd of tigers! Let them give way to their rage and anger, with nothing to check their passions; let miserly, greedy people forever go on with their greed; it makes them miserable here, but let these things be indulged in forever, and what worse hell do you need? Oh, sin is hell, and holiness is heaven! Men will receive the things done in their body. If God has made them love Him, they shall go on to love Him; if God has made them trust Him, they shall go on to trust in Him; if God has made them to be like Christ, they shall go on to be like Christ, and they shall receive the things done in their body as a reward. But if a man has lived in sin, "He that is filthy shall be filthy still." He that has been unbelieving shall be unbelieving still. This, then, shall be the worm that never dies, and the fire which never shall be quenched, to which shall be added the wrath of God forever and forever!
Oh, that we may have grace, every one of us, to flee to Christ! He is our only safety! Simple faith in Jesus is the basis for the character which will prove at last that you are chosen of God! A simple belief in the merits of the Lord Jesus, worked in us by the Holy Spirit, is the rocky foundation upon which shall be built up, by the same divine hands, the character which shall evidence that the kingdom was prepared for us from before the foundations of the world! God work in us such a character, for Christ’s sake. Amen.
PORTION OF SCRIPTURE READ BEFORE SERMON—MATTHEW 25.