THE GREAT DAY
THE hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth: they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." John 5: 28, 29. "I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." Rev. 20: 11, 12.
Sinner, are you flattering yourself with a hope of escaping that day of trial? that out of the countless millions who shall appear, you may be able to avoid the eye of the Judge? Vain thought! His eye will be as fully upon you as if you were the only one to be tried. How altered the tone of bold blasphemers and presumptuous sinners in that day! In this life they could laugh at every thing sacred, and sport with the Saviour's name. Hear them now, "Calling on the rocks and the mountains to fall on them, and hide them from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?"
If you cannot escape the eye of the Judge, will you be able to justify yourself before him? Do you allege, that you do no harm, that you have a good heart? Hear what the Judge says of your heart. "The
heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jer. 17: 9. The law by which you must be judged
is so strict and holy, that the secret wish or look is a transgression. "Whosoever hateth his brother, is a murderder." 1 John, 3: 15. "Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." Gal. 3: 10. When the book shall be opened by the Judge, which contains a countless number of evil thoughts, words, and actions, recorded against you, and conscience, awakened by then thousand recollections, shall do her office, you will stand speechless and self-condemned.
If you can neither escape nor justify yourself, will you be able to contend with the Judge? Vain thought! "Can thy heart endure, or can thy hands be strong, in the day that I shall deal with thee?" Ezek. 22: 14. He who bore so long with your provocations, will then ascend the throne of judgement, to avenge the insulted Majesty of heaven, and to vindicate his holy law. Hear the blessed Judge addressing the sinner. "How often would I have gathered you, as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not. How often did I, as if in humble suit, knock at the door of your heart, beseeching you to be reconciled; but ye refused. How often, when my hand has been lifted up to execute my wrath upon you, did my patience and long-suffering prevail, and another trial was afforded you. Yea, how often did I follow you by saying, Turn ye, turn ye, why will ye die? By my holy incarnation, my life of sorrows, my bloody sweat, my pierced hands and feet, and wounded side, did I plead with you; but all in vain. Take now these mine enemies, who would not that I should reign over them, bind them hand and foot, and cast them into outer darkness, where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth."
And should you be neither able to escape nor justify yourself, nor contend successfully with the Judge, will you be able to
endure the dreadful sentence? Are you prepared for an immortality of woe? It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living
God. Who can conceive the full meaning of these words, The wrath of the Lamb? Ye fallen
spirits, thrones, and dominions, who kept not your first estate, and who have been long confined in chains of darkness, say what it is? Ye who have sunk deepest in the fiery lake, tell us what the wrath of the Lamb is! And ye sinners of mankind, condemned before the flood, declare, if ye can, what is meant by quenchless fire and the ever-gnawing worm.
Sinner, let me entreat you to stop, before your feet stumble on the dark mountains. Oh sinner, stop! Why in such haste? Do not madly press forward in thy career of sin. Say not, There is no hope. There is hope—hope for the most abandoned sinner on the face of the earth. Hear the heart-affecting address of that God, whose laws you have broken, whose threatenings you have defied, whose patience you have insulted, whose offers of mercy you have rejected. Hear him addressing you as by name: "As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye, from your evil ways; for why will ye die?" Ezek. 33: 11. And lest you should count your guilt too great to be pardoned, listen to the gracious invitation, "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." Isa. 1: 18. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved." John 3: 16, 17. "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." 2 Cor. 5: 19-21.
How sweet is the voice of mercy to the miserable and the guilty? What a crowd of promises are pressing, as it were, to stop the sinner in his evil course! Unfeeling, indeed, must be the heart which is unmoved, on hearing such gracious tidings as these. "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!" Hear him, with his dying breath, pleading for the pardon of his murderers. See him with extended arms, ready to receive you. Come, sinner, to the Gospel feast; come, for all things are now ready. "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." Isa. 55: 1. Blessings of infinite value, which cost a sum so great that an angel cannot estimate the value, are offered to all who will receive them, without price. You are guilty: Jesus shed his blood as an atonement for sin. You are unholy and polluted: there is a fountain opened for all uncleaness. Hear the gracious promise of the Holy Spirit: "A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh." Ezek.36:26. "Ask, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened. If ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" Luke 11:9, 10, 13. Without delay, hasten to the Saviour; the door of mercy is now open. "The Spirit and the Bride say, Come; and let him that heareth say, Come; and let him that is athirst come; and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Rev. 22: 17.
PUBLISHED BY THE AMERICAN TRACT SOCIETY.