“If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.” John 15:22
Suggested Further Reading: Matthew 24:29-31
The liar, the fornicator, and the drunkard shall have their portion with unbelievers. Hell was made first of all for men who despise Christ, because that is the A1 sin, the cardinal vice, and men are condemned for that. Other iniquities come following after them, but this one goes before them to judgement. Imagine for a moment that time has passed, and that the day of judgement is come. We are all gathered together, both living and dead. The trumpet-blast sounds exceeding loud and long. We are all attentive, expecting something marvellous. The exchange stands still in its business; the shop is deserted by the tradesman; the crowded streets are filled. All men stand still; they feel that the last great business-day is come, and that now they must settle their accounts for ever. A solemn stillness fills the air: no sound is heard. All, all is silent. Presently a great white cloud with solemn state sails through the sky, and then—hark! The twofold clamour of the startled earth. On that cloud there sits one like unto the Son of Man. Every eye looks, and at last there is heard a unanimous shout—“It is he! It is he!” and after that you hear on the one hand, shouts of “Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Welcome, Welcome, Welcome Son of God.” But mixed with that there is a deep bass, composed of the weeping and wailing of the men who have persecuted him, and who have rejected him. Listen! I think I can dissect the sonnet; I think I can hear the words as they come separately, each one of them, tolling like a death knell. What say they? They say, “Rocks hide us, mountains fall upon us, hide us from the face of him that sits upon the throne.”
For meditation: What we are going to say about Christ in eternity will be an amplified version of our attitudes towards him in time. In this life we have the opportunity to change our minds and trust Christ; in eternity we will never be able to change our tune (Matthew 25:30,46).
Sermon no. 194
16 May (1858)