In my latest sermon on John 12:44-50 I quoted the following from a section in J.C. Ryle’s commentary – sobering and thought-provoking words dealing with the reality of the coming day of judgment when Christ comes a second time as Judge.
“There is a last day! The world that is shall not always go on as it does now. Buying and selling, sowing and reaping, planting and building, marrying and giving in marriage – all this shall come to an end at last. There is a time appointed by the Father when the whole machinery of creation will stop, and the present dispensation will be changed for another. It had a beginning and it shall also have an end. Banks shall at last close their doors forever. Stock exchanges will be shut. Parliaments (or, congresses, white houses) shall be dissolved. The very sun, which since Noah’s flood has done his daily work so faithfully, shall rise and set no more. Well would it be if we thought more of this day! Pay-days, birthdays, wedding days, (vacation days, graduation days, anniversary days, holidays), are often regarded as days of absorbing interest; but they are nothing compared to the last day.
There is a judgment coming! Men have their reckoning days, and God will have His. The trumpet shall sound. The dead shall be raised incorruptible. The living shall be changed. All, of every name and nation, and people and tongue, shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ. The books shall be opened, and the evidence brought forth. Our true character will come out before the world. There will be no concealment, no evasion, no false coloring. Every one shall give an account of himself to God, and all shall be judged according to their works. The wicked shall go away into everlasting fire, and the righteous into life eternal.
These are dreadful truths! But they are truths, and ought to be told. Yet, the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ has no cause to be afraid. For him there is no condemnation, and the last judgment need have no terrors. It is the person that rejects Christ, and will not hear His call to repentance – he is the one who in the judgment day will have reason to be cast down and afraid.”
As I said above, these are sobering and (hopefully) thought-provoking words. They are also fearful words that speak of a dreadful day yet to come unless you are found resting/trusting/believing in the righteousness of Jesus Christ alone for your salvation.
Pastor Chris Moulton