Reserved unto Judgment!
James Smith, 1859
"How is it," said one, "that some men go on in sin year after year — and yet they prosper in almost all they do?"
Several reasons may be given — but one solemn portion of the Scripture comes to my mind, which may account for it. It is said of some sinners, that they are "Reserved unto judgment," 2 Peter 2:4. The Lord lets them alone now, and allows them to have their own way — intending to deal with them by-and-bye. He has spoken to them in his Word — and they will not hear. He aroused their consciences — but they lulled them to sleep again. He did once put obstacles in their way by his providence — but they broke through all bounds, and were determined to have their own way, and now the Lord seems to say, "Take your own way — and we will settle the account by-and-bye!"
No state can be more dangerous than this, hence said the Psalmist, "Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors!" Psalm 73:18-19
"Reserved unto Judgment!" What a solemn thought! What a frightening prospect at the end of a mirthful giddy, thoughtless life — to have to appear before God's final tribunal in order to give an account of all that has been done, said, and thought through life; and to assign a reason for all our thoughts, words, and actions. "Every one of us shall give account of himself to God!"
What a sad account can we give, many of us? How can we justify our conduct, in one thing out of a thousand? How can we clear ourselves?
The judge will know all.
Our memories will be so strong — that we shall remember all.
Our consciences will be as good as a thousand witnesses, bearing testimony against us, if we die in sin.
Our sentence will be just — so that we shall have our mouths closed forever.
Our punishment will be in exact proportion, to the nature, number, and desert of our crimes. The lightest sentence will be dreadful, for in every case — the punishment will be eternal.
Having gone on sinning to the end — our habits will have become so fixed — that we shall go on sinning forever!
Hell's punishment will never purify the damned.
God will never change.
The sentence will never be rescinded.
Our sufferings will never be mitigated.
For our Savior has declared, "Where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched!" "The smoke of their torment ascends up forever and ever!"
Reader, this places things in a very solemn light. Our circumstances are very serious. Are you mirthful, easy, jovial, and free from all fear about the future? Are you for putting away from you, all serious thoughts, and making up your mind to enjoy carnal things while you can? If so, let me place before you one portion of God s most Holy Word, especially addressed to such as you, "Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, BUT know that for all these things — God will bring you to judgment!" Ecclesiastes 11:9
You see, there is no escaping the judgment, for God pledges his Word, that he will bring you into judgment. In that judgment, the conduct of the sinner will be exposed — and all his crimes will be published. The record of his life will be opened and exhibited. Oh, how will his cheeks burn with shame; how will his heart quake with terror, and how will his soul feel ready to burst with agony — when that exposure is made, and his final sentence is about to be pronounced?
Reader, how could you endure this? But if you live in sin, you must endure it — for there is no possibility of avoiding it.
Let me then exhort you to escape while the way of salvation is open, for you may escape, you may obtain pardon, you may even be justified before God, and by God — if you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. His blood will blot out every sin that is against you in God's book. His blood will remove every stain from your conscience. His blood will silence every accuser that may rise up against you. His blood will give you peace now, and boldness in the day of judgement. O, believe, believe in Jesus, at once! Believe that he came into the world to save sinners. Believe that he has done all that is necessary to save sinners from the wrath to come. Believe that he is both able and willing to save you. Believe, and go to him, cry to him, cast yourself on him — and you shall be saved by him; then, instead of being "reserved to judgment," you will be "kept by the power of God through faith unto eternal salvation."