by Archibald Alexander
And is it certain that I must appear at the judgment?
Yes! "We must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ." And
must I there give an account of my actions? Undoubtedly! Everyone
will be judged "according to that he has done, whether it be good or bad."
And will my most secret iniquities be revealed in the light of that day?
They will! "For God will bring every work into judgment, with every secret
thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil."
Must I render an account of my words as well as my
actions? Assuredly! "But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall
speak, they shall give account thereof, in the day of judgment." Will any
account be taken of our thoughts, and of the desires
and imaginations of the heart, on that day? Most certainly! For the
heart is the source of all wickedness, and God knows and remembers every
evil thought which ever passed through the minds of men: these come under
the class of "secret things;" and it is written, "God will judge the secrets
of men," in that day, "by Jesus Christ." Perhaps this relates to secret
actions. Not alone; for it is written, "Therefore judge nothing before the
time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of
darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts."
Will all sinners fare alike on that day? All impenitent
sinners will be condemned to everlasting misery; but there will be a wide
difference between the punishment of those who sinned in ignorance, and
those who sinned in the midst of light and against light. It will be more
tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah than for Bethsaida and Capernaum. "That
servant that knew his Master's will, and committed things worthy of stripes,
shall be beaten with many stripes; while he that knew not his
Master's will, and committed things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with
few stripes." Every man shall receive according to his work. "This is
the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men chose darkness
rather than light, because their deeds were evil."
Is the judgment day determined? Yes. "For he has
appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness by that
man whom he has ordained." Is there reason to think that that day is near at
hand? It is nearer now than ever before. It comes on apace; but of that day
and that hour knows no man, nor the angels in heaven.
Will any man be able to stand in the judgment? None but
such as are clothed in the righteousness of Christ: these shall not only be
acquitted, but their imperfect works of faith and labors of love shall be
richly rewarded. All others shall be condemned. No man's morality or good
works can stand the scrutiny of that day. All without saving faith in Christ
will be cast into outer darkness; they will hear the Judge's sentence,
"Depart, accursed, into everlasting fire!"