The Dying Missionary's Admonition
James Smith, 1856
When the missionary Schwartz was on his dying bed, he said to his physician, "Ah, doctor! doctor! Be sure that you are not missing from the right hand of the Judge on that day!" These were solemn words, and were uttered under solemn circumstances. They were doubtless suited to the person to whom they were first addressed; but they are just as suited to us. The dying missionary would say to each of us, "Ah, sinner, sinner, be sure that you are not missing from the right hand of the Judge in that day!"
"That day!" Who needs be told what day is referred to? We know the reference is to the day of Judgment. The great day. The last day. The deciding day. The declaring day. The day on which our eternal doom will be decided--and the irrevocable sentence passed. The day in which we must give account of ourselves to God--of our conduct, our motives, our aims. Give an account of how we have spent our time, used our bibles, and employed our talents. Give an account of how we have treated the gospel sent to us, the Savior presented to us, and the Holy Spirit who has strived with us. Give an account of ourselves to God, to God who knows all about us--but will hear from us, and out of our own mouths condemn us--if it is found that we have slighted his mercy, neglected salvation, and ruined our own souls!
"That day!" Oh, what a day it will be! We are hastening to it. We must meet it. We are deeply interested in the decisions of it.
"The right hand of the Judge." Here on the RIGHT hand, all are placed who are acquitted. All who are justified. That is, all who . . .
believe on Jesus now,
walk with Jesus now,
work for Jesus now, and
strive to imitate Jesus in all they do.
Such may not be known now. They may be too humble to be noticed--too poor to be regarded. But, then, they will be separated from the rest--as the sheep are separated from the goats, as the wheat is separated from the tares. Then they will be distinguished, and placed at the right hand of the Judge.
Others will see them, envy them--but never be permitted to join them.
Reader, your father, your mother, may be there on the right hand--but not you!
Your wife, or your husband, may be there--but not you.
Your brother, your sister, may be there--but not you.
Your servants, or your workmen, may be there--but not you.
Your master, or mistress, may be there--but not you.
Your friend, or neighbor, may be there--but not you.
There may be some there whom you have despised, reviled, persecuted, hated, sneered at, and reproached--but not you.
Oh, what if you should not be there! Then you will be at the LEFT hand--among the goats, the tares, the enemies of God and Christ. Then . . .
your doom will be dreadful,
your destiny will be awful, and
your punishment will be eternal!
"Be sure," then, "that you are not missing from the right hand of the Judge in that day." Nothing can be more important. Nothing can have an equal claim upon your attention. See to it then. See to it at once. See to it with all possible seriousness and earnestness.
You cannot be there without a new birth, "Unless a man is born again--he cannot see the kingdom of God."
You cannot be there without conversion, for "Unless you are converted, and become as little children--you shall never enter into the kingdom of Heaven."
You cannot be there without sincere faith in Christ, for "He who believes not--shall be damned!"
You cannot be there without repentance, for "Unless you repent--you shall all likewise perish!"
You cannot be there without love, love to God and man, for if "I have not love," said Paul, "I am nothing."
You cannot be there without holiness, for "without holiness, no man shall see the Lord."
Reader, are you born again?
Are you converted to God?
Have you faith in Christ?
Do you repent of sin?
Have you love to God and man?
Are you holy?
Be sure that such is the case, for if it is not, you will be missing at the right hand of the Judge in that day. Schwartz will be there. Patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs--all true believers in Jesus, will be there. But you will not be there! And if you are not--then who will be to blame? God says, "As I live, I have no pleasure in the death of him that dies." Jesus says, "Come unto me--look unto me and be saved!" The missionary, the preacher, the writer, warns you, expostulates with you, and admonishes you.
Heaven allures you to its mansions.
Hell flashes forth its fires to deter you from rushing into its abysses.
God from his throne,
Jesus from his cross,
the Spirit in the gospel,
the preacher in his pulpit,
the writer at his desk,
conscience in your own bosom,
cry out, "Flee from the wrath to come!"
"Be sure that you are not missing from the right hand of the Judge on that day!"