Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Judgement Seat of Christ

{Taken from the book "Seven Days Left", By Charles Monroe Sheldon, 1892. Pages 205-215. A message by a Mr.Jones.... I know it's a little lengthy, but I had to share it. Such truth!}

"For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that everyone may receive the things done in His body,
whether they be good or bad."
(referring to 2 Cor. 5:10)

The judgement seat of Christ will not be a dreadful place to a man whose sins have been forgiven in this world.But if he comes up to it seamed and scarred and stained with sins unrepented of and unforgiven because he did not ask God to forgive him, it will be a place of awful fear to his soul.
There are men here in this audience we are as ready to die now as they ever will be. They have made their peace with God. They have no quarrel with their neighbors. Their accounts are all square in business.They are living in lovining relations with the home circle.
They have no great burdens of remorse or regret weighing them down.
And if God should call them this minute to step up to the judgement seat, they would be ready.
"But there are other men here who are not at all ready for such a tremendous event. They may think they are, but they are mistaken. How can they stand before the greatest Being in all the universe and have no fear, when they are unprepared to answer His questions, 'Why did you not confess Me before
men? Why did you not do as I commanded and bear the burdens of the weak instead of pleasing yourself?'
What will the man say then?
 "It is true that Christ is all-merciful, all-loving. But will it make no difference with a soul whether it comes up to His judgement seat out of a life of selfish ease and indulgence or out of a life of self-sacrifice and restraint? When every possible offer of mercy is held out to man on earth and they
will not except it, will it be all the same as if they had, when they come before the judgement seat of Christ? Why, that would be to mock at the meaning of the Incarnation and the Atonement.
It would be to cast scorn and contempt on the agony in the Garden and the Crucifixion.
It would make unnecssary all the prayers and preaching.
What possible need is there that men preach a gospel of salvation unless there is danger of the the opposite?
If we are all going to be saved anyway, no matter whether we except God's love in Christ or not, what use is the church, and why should we be anxious any more about our children, and what difference does it make whether they go to the bad here in this world,
if in the other world they will all be saved?
For eternity will be so much grander and sweeter and enduring than time that we might as well take it easy here and not pay much attention to the message, 'God so loved the world' (John 3:16), that is, if we are going to be saved anyway.
 "And why should we care very much if it does say in the revelation of God's Word that the wicked shall go away into everlasting punishment (matt. 25:46),if we don't believe it?
Why, the wicked will stand just as good a chance of eternal glory as the good,
if the judgement seat of Christ does not mean a seperation of the good from the bad.
 Let us close our churches and go home. Let us eat and drinkl and dance and be merry for tomorrow we die, and after death the judgement (Is.22:13; 1 Cor. 15:32), and after the judgement glory, and joy, and power, and peace and life eternal in the presence of God.
It is true we scorned Him on earth, but that won't make any difference; He will receive us just the same. It is true we refused to believe in His only begotten Son after all He suffered of shame and agony for us, but that makes no difference; He will say, 'Enter into the joy of thy Lord.'
It is true we made fun of Christians, and mocked at prayer, and sneered at faith,
but that is not much to be afreaid of.
It is true we hated our neighbor and would not forgive an insult, but that's a little thing.
It is true when the Holy Spirit pleaded with us a year or six months ago to confess Christ in public, we told Him to leave us, we were ashamed to do it in the presence of men, to confess Him who spread out
His arms on a cross of bitterest agony for us;
but for all that when we march up to the judgement seat of Christ, He will treat us just the same as He
treats His disciples who have laid down their lives for the Master.
Then let us tear out of our Bible punishment or judgement, for we don't like those
passages--they hurt our feelings--and let us leave only those words that speak of love, and mercy, and forgiveness, for those words are the only ones that can be true, for those words don't make us feel uncomfortable.
 Away with everything that hurts our feelings, that makes us anxious, that sends us to our
knees in prayer, that makes us confess Christ and live a life of self-denial and service;
for when the judgement seat is prepared and Christ sits down there and we appear before Him,
He will receive us just as we come before Him, the pure, and the impure, and the selfish, and the proud, and the humble, and the believing, and the disbelieving, and infidels, and scoffers, and cowards, and despisers of God's love on the earth, and all the class of men who fell
back on weak and imperfect Christians for their own week lives, and the drunkards, and the liars, and the oppressors of the poor, and everybody who heard a thousand sermons full of gospel and despised them because of some imperfection in the delivery or elocution, and all those men who went through
life betrayers of the home, and the selfish politicians who betrayed their country, and all the men who read the Bible and believed only the parts that didn't hurt their sensitive feelings, and all the young men who lived fast lives and sowed wild oats because a wicked and false public sentiment made
them think it was excussable and perhaps necessary, and every other man and woman who lived as he pleased regardless of of God and Eternity:
when all these shall appear before the judgement seat of Christ, He will behold them, all as one soul, and with a smile of gracious pardon He will reach out His almighty arm and sweep them all alike into a heaven of eternal bliss, there to reign with Him in glory and power, world without end!
 "But is this what Christ taught the world? Suppose what we have said is true; it turns His whole life into a splendid mockery. Foolishness and absurdity could go no further than to create a life like His and put into His mouth such teachings as we have received, if at the judgement  of all souls,
regardless of their acts in this world, are received on an equal footing and all received into eternal life. And where is there any room in the teachings of Christ for a purgatory? Do we believe that?
Is it not the plain teaching that after the judgement the destiny of souls is fixed forever?
 "But what could man want more? Will he not have an opportunity enough to accept the mercy of God before that time? Does he not have opportunity?
If any soul appears at last and at the judgement complains that he did not have a fair chance,
will that gracious Judge condemn him if his complaint is true? We know He will not.
But the facts of the judgement are these: At that time, whenever it is, the souls of men will have passed upon them, for their acts in the earth life, a verdict that will determine their everlasting destiny.
And that verdict will be just, and it will be merciful. For the Crucified One could not do otherwise. But the men who have despised and neglected and disbelieved and have not confessed shall be seperated from Him forever.
And the men who have confessed and believed and tried to live like Him shall
be in His presence continually. There will be a division of souls.
It will not be based on wealth or position or birth or education or genius, but on
Christ-likeness, on that devine and eternal thing we call character.
Everything else shall go away into destruction, into death, into punishment,
into banishment from God.
And banishment from God will be hell, and it will be a hell not made by God, but by man himself, who had an opportunity, nay, a thousand opportunities every day of his life to accept the bliss of eternal life, and of his own selfish choice rejected every one of them and went to his own place.
 "But some souls starts up and says, 'You are not preaching the gospel.You are preaching fear, hell, torments. Is this your boasted love of God?'
Yes, for what am I preaching, if not the love of God, when I say,
 'God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him
shall not perish but have everlasting life'(John 3:16)?
Is there no danger of perishing? Why did Christ come then? Why did He say the things He did?
Why did He speak about the condemnation of the wicked and unbelieving if that was not a part of the gospel? The gospel is glad tidings. But what makes it glad tidings?
Because of the danger we are in. It is the opposite of being lost. We cannot have one without the other.
So I  am preaching the gospel here today when I say, 'We must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ!' There will be no fear to us then, if we believe in Him, if we have lived His life here, if the things done in the body are good. And more than that.
As long as this earth life continues, God's mercy is with us every moment. It is possible some soul is here who for years has lived selfishly within his own little toys of pleasure. He looks back
on a life of uselessness, of neglecty of all that Christ did for him.
He this day hears the voice of God. He listens; he repents; he cries out, smiting on his breast, 'God be merciful to me a sinner!' (Luke 18:13b)
 And then what will God do? Will He reject Him because he is old in sin, because He has
wasted beautiful years? When he appears before the judgement seat, will Christ say, 'You repented to late on the earth; You cannot be saved now'?
No! Even if a hundred years of shame and sin a soul with its outgoing breath, in genuine repentance and faith in the Son of God, cried out for mercy,
that cry would be answered and he would be saved. What less of glory and power such a soul might experience in the realms of glory, we may not be able to tell. But he himself will be saved.
 "Is not God merciful then? Let no man depart from this house of God fearful or despairing. The earthly life is full from beginning to close with the love of an Almighty Father. Shall men complain bacause they cannot have all of this life and all of the other too in which to repent and be forgiven?
'Now is the accepted time, NOW is the day of salvation. (2 Cor. 6:2b) Today if ye hear His voice harden not your hearts.' (Heb. 3:15, 4:7)
...will you wait until you are old in sin and shame before you will repent and be saved? And how do you know you will live to be old man?
And what a life to live even if you were sure of a hundred years, to pour out the dregs at last as an offering to Christ just to escape hell!
Oh all men,hear ye this day the message of Christ. He is a savior of sinners.
It is not necessary thatr any man go away from His service unsaved. You may believe here
and now. Won't you do it?
 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.' (acts 16:31)
And then go home and pray rejoicing, And if the Almighty calls you out and away from this prison of clay into His resplendant presence this very night, what will you have to fear? Not one thing.
You have put your trust in Him. Your sins are all forgiven.
You can appear before His judgement seat and await your verdict with a calm and joyful soul.
 For you know as you gaze into the loving countenance of your Redeemer and Judge that when He turns and speaksto you, He will say,
'Come, ye beloved of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you
from the foundation of the world' (Matt. 25:34b).
Truly God is Love."

Linking up with:

0 thoughts:

Post a Comment