Dr. S. Lewis Johnson expounds the moment of judgment during the Second Advent of God the Son on the earth.
[Message] The Scripture reading for today is again from Revelation chapter 14, and we are reading verse 13 through verse 20, which is the conclusion of this chapter. Next week, the Lord willing, we will go on to chapter 15. In verse 13, the apostle writes,
“And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ (Incidentally, this of course is related to the context and the “from now” on suggests that this text has primarily reference to the martyrs who die in the period just preceding our Lord’s Second Advent, but the principle of course is stated throughout the word of God. “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord,” and we will make comment on the text from that standpoint in a few moments.) “Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them. And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and a sharp sickle in his hand. And another angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle and reap, because the hour to reap has come because the harvest of the earth is ripe.” (You’ll remember if you look back at verse seven, we read, “He said with a loud voice, Fear God and give him glory because the hour of his judgment has come.” This is evidentially a reference to that. And verse 16.) “And He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped. And another angel came out of the temple, which is in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle. And another angel the one who has power over fire came out from the altar, and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Put in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe.” (As you can see the two figures that are used in these sections that have to do with judgment are the figures of a harvest and now a vintage. Verse 19,) “And the angel swung his sickle to the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood came out from the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles.”
That is an attempt to render the original text, which reads sixteen hundred stadia. A figure of distance, and it is roughly the distance from one end of the land of Palestine to the other that is the ancient land. There’s question about this last. Is this hyperbole? In other words, is John speaking in things that are not to be taken literally because he wants to stress the severity of this judgment, or is this to be taken in the normal sense? The commentators differ on this point, probably more than others believe that this is hyperbole, expression of the severity of the judgment put in this way. We use hyperbole constantly as you well know. We say, for example, if we are listening to a comedian, some of things he said just killed me, but they really didn’t, as much as your friends might hoped they had, [laughter] but they really didn’t. You were just cracked up by them. Well, this may be hyperbole, there are some instances in history in which statements are made by ancient writers that would suggest there’s some support for a more literal interpretation. I’ll leave that up to you. I confess that I cannot speak with authority on that point. May the Lord bless this reading of his word, and let’s bow together in a moment of prayer.
[Prayer] Father we give Thee thanks for the word of God, and we thank Thee for the privilege that is ours to gather on the Lord’s day, to open the text of Scripture which thou hast preserved for us by thine almighty power, and read and ponder the truths that have to do with our Lord and savior Jesus Christ and the mediatorial mission in which he had been engaged and which he has accomplished to this point, and which he will bring to it’s completion in the future.
We thank Thee for the confidence we that we have that the atoning work of the cross is sufficient for our sins, and that through him we may have eternal life, and we know, Lord, that as the Scriptures say, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord,” and, Lord, we ask that every individual in this auditorium, from the young people to the elderly people, that there may be a genuine trust in him, and therefore this promise may pertain to them.
We thank Thee for the whole church of Jesus Christ, wherever the gospel is proclaimed. We pray Thy blessing upon that body and the individuals that make it up. May, Lord, today be a day in which each member of this magnificent body of our Lord is edified and strengthened and built up, and if it please Thee may their be additions to the body through the preachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ today.
We thank Thee for our country. We pray for our President, and we pray for others in authority. We know they are according to Scripture ministers of God for our physical good, and we pray, Lord, that by Thy grace, thou wilt enable this country to continue to be a place where there is freedom to proclaim the gospel and freedom to live under just laws.
We thank Thee for this particular assembly, for the believers in it, for our elders, and for our deacons, we pray for them, and Father we particularly pray for the sick. We ask Thy blessing upon them, those who’ve asked our prayers whose names are in our calendar of concern. We pray especially for them if it please Thee lord, give healing. Bless Lord the singing of the hymn, the ministry of the word that follows in Jesus name. Amen.
[Message] The subject for today, as you will notice from your bulletin, is “Judgment, the Unwelcome Truth.” I think that’s really understating it to say that judgment is an unwelcome truth. For surely when we seriously contemplate to the fact that there may be an ultimate divine judgment, it should bring more than the feeling of unwelcome, but should really, within our spirits, produce some spiritual trembling. The thought that we, each one individually, shall be called to account before the Lord God is one of the greatest things that we should ever ponder. Our weaknesses will all be made plain and clear. Our inadequacies will be made plain and clear, and if you know your heart as I know mine, there are many weaknesses, many inadequacies, and to think of being called to account is a serious matter, but not only is judgment unwelcome because we are to be called to account, you might even think, thinking about ordinary judgment, that you don’t like the idea of judgment because there may be misjudgment in this life, there is misjudgment, unfair judgment, but in the case of the Lord God, that of course is not true.
Dean Stanley of Westminster Cathedral was the dean of that great cathedral, and his favorite text, or the text that applied to him most, was the fact that the dead were judged out of the books, and specifically out of the book of the lamb slain from the foundation of the world, the book of life, or the lamb’s book of life, and what that means is that the judgments of God are terribly deliberate, very careful. There was a preacher who once went to visit in London with his father. His father asked him what he would like to see or do, and he suggested that since he had been there before, and he was fond of reading the reports of famous trials, that he would like to go a place where a trial was being held, that is to the law courts. He said afterwards it was a bitter disillusionment because he saw the judge seated on the bench. He saw the lawyers, the witnesses, all the principle parties to the suit, but the proceedings themselves were, for him, extremely boring.
He heard the lawyer ask a question. He said, “I couldn’t discern the sense of it too well. I heard a mumbled reply, but failed to catch the answer. I saw the judge bend over his desk and carefully write something down, another question, another inaudible reply,” he said, “another pause while the judge wrote something down in his book.” He said he came away very disgusted. His boyous dream was shattered of finding something really exciting in the law court, but now as an older person the years have dispelled the disappointment. He said, “I now like to think that justice is calm. It’s passionless. It’s deliberate,” and not only that, when we think of God’s judgment, not only is it calm and passionless and deliberate, but it is also scrupulously accurate. Every thing in God’s judgment is absolutely true, no misjudgment, no unfair judgment. It will be as Paul says, “Judgment according to truth.”
According to our deeds of course, but according to truth, and furthermore the judgments of God are wonderfully comprehensive and complete. Dean Stanley said that he never wondered through Westminster Cathedral without looking at all those plaques and statements made about various people, and reflecting upon the fact that many of the people whose names were there and concerning whom much had made, were individuals who should never have been immortalized in the Abbey. They should have been permitted to parish and then to pass into anonymity, but others of course, it was different. He loved to ponder then, he said on another scroll, in which there was no anonymity, and everything was justly there, and that was the scroll of the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Another thing that makes us fearful of judgment is the fact that there we will be found out. All the years that we have hidden the things that either we have thought, we have said, or we have done, all of them will come to light ultimately in the future. It will be absolutely impossible that our attitudes and our actions shall not be perfectly known by the Lord God. He will find us all out.
Judgment is an unwelcome truth. To think of the fact that we must be judged, and we shall be judged, it’s surely an unwelcome thing from the human standpoint, and what makes it further a problem is that we have nothing to gain from judgment, we think. That is it seems to be all negative as far as we are concerned, and so what do we do? Well, we try to not take it seriously. Don’t take judgment seriously. Don’t think about it very much because you don’t have much to gain from it. That’s the tendency of many of us. The struggle is useless. You are going to be judged. You are going to be judged according to truth. You are going to be judged according to your deeds. You shall be judged according to righteousness, and every one of us will have to render account.
The Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians chapter 5, in verse 10 says, “For we,” (He’s talking about Christians.) “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body according to what he has done, whether good or worthless,” but if you were to say, “Well, that’s a judgment of our works.” That of course is correct, but if you should be an individual who does not know our Lord as your own personal Savior, you too must stand before the judgment throne of God, but then the issues are even more solemn. The issues of the possession of eternal life. We shall be judged.
The root of judgment is found in the cross of Jesus Christ because that was a judgment. That was the judgment of human sin. It was there that our Lord was punished for sinners. It was there he poured out his blood unto death that sinners might be saved. It was a judgment. It was a judgment of sinners, and so the root of judgment lies in the cross of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. It’s the very texture of the gospel message that Christ died for sinners. He bore their judgment, we say, they’re penalty, so when we talk about judgment, we ultimately come back to the cross and the death that our Lord died.
As Isaiah puts it in chapter 53, in verse 6 of his great prophecy of the Messiah, “All of us, like sheep, have gone astray. Each of us has turned to his own way, but the Lord hath caused a meet upon him, the iniquity of us all.” The fact of judgment is stated so often, in Scripture is seems foolish to even turn to passages to express it. Perhaps one further passage might be brought to our attention. Our Lord in the Sermon on the Mount in the second verse of the 7th chapter says, “For in the way you judge, you will be judged, and by your standard of measure, it shall be measured unto you.” So the final verdict, my friend, is coming. God will give the final verdict. It may differ from the verdict you think should be given, but you can be sure of this, that it will be according to truth, and it will be according to righteousness.
Paul Helm, a British philosopher Christian theologian, has a little book in which he talks about judgment, and in it he talks about the fact that the whole of our lives ought to be lived with this final divine assessment in mind. He says, “The attitude of worldliness ought be defined. It’s dominate characteristic is that it seeks human satisfaction and fulfillment in this life to the inclusion of any thought of judgment in the life to come,” but Christ’s verdict upon the worldly minded religious leaders of his day, is devastating.
He says, “Whatever they do now with the idea of the approval of the world, that is their reward. They will not receive a reward in the future, but the sense of approval that the world gives to the worldly religious, is the only approval that they shall receive. The problem is that we live our lives,” Mr. Helm says, “in a perspective that is bounded by this life, life before the grave. The question of whether there is an afterlife or not is often popularity debated,” he says, “and if there is such a life the world usually thinks of it as a ghostly continuation of the present life.
“Have you ever noticed the cartoons of individuals who are pictured as having died? They’re usually pictured as clothed like an angel. They have wings. They have little halos around their head, and they talk about football games, and they talk about going to the shopping mart, and they talk about all the kinds of things that characterized life down here. That’s the only kind of perception that the world has of life after death. It’s really something of a continuation of the present life.” Mr. Helm says that’s to be associated with spiritualism more than with the Christian faith. Life after death, which is the Christian’s concern, has a definite shape and character that’s a personal entrance into the presence of God to receive the reward of the deeds done in the body. It’s the final verdict.
Some of us, if the Lord does not come, will face it much sooner than others. Some of you sitting in the audience may think that’s so far down the line that I’m not concerned about it at all. I look back on my life, and I remember so many times preaching and saying similar things and then learning occasionally, a week or two later, that individuals in the congregation were no longer with us. I can remember many of my former students in the theological seminary, when I was relatively young teaching them, and they’ve been with the Lord for thirty five years, so life is something of which we have not the final answer unless, by God’s grace, we are prepared for that judgment.
Now, the apostle is talking about the future primarily, but these great principles pertain, he begins this section by talking about the blessedness of death in the Lord. He states in the 13th verse, “And I heard a voice from heaven saying, Right blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on,” but now of course when he says “from now on” we are not think that those who have died in the Lord in the past are not blessed. There are other passages in Scripture that make it plain that those who die in the Lord, whenever they die in the Lord, are blessed. “Yes says the spirit, that they may rest from their labors for their deeds follow with them.”
Therese’s a marvelous little story about R.W. Dale who was a congregational minister in the city of Birmingham in England for many years. Mr. Dale was sixty-six years of age. He had had a wide influence. Generally, an evangelical man, although he also believed in conditional immortality, maybe that accounted for his experience, but when time came for him to be in his final sickness, as he was lying upon his bed and realizing that perhaps this would be the end for him. He had an individual who sat by the side of his bed, and he went on to tell this individual who sat by the side of his bed of an experience he had had just before that. He said, “It was a distressful night in the early stages of my illness. The house was quite. The members of the family were in their beds and soon after midnight,” he said, “I awoke in great pain, and a terrible distress crept over me. I was full of fear.” This of a man who had preached the gospel for many years, and had been an unusual influence in his country.
He said, “I didn’t want to disturb my wife and daughters. They were worn out with anxious watching, so I lay silently struggling against the indescribably horror of an unknown dread. When the conflict reached its worst, it seemed as though the Lord Jesus Christ himself came and stood by my bed, and standing close beside me that Lord said, ‘Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God believe also in me. In my father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.’ And Dr. Dale said, “That steadied me, and I felt strong and safe in the love of Christ.” Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. There may be times of trial. There may be difficult times, but those whose faith is steadfast in our Lord will find that it’s a blessed thing to die in the Lord and to enter into his prescience.
Now, the rest of this particular chapter is a study in divine judgment. The future is the time. The days and months before our Lord’s Second Advent in the time of what Scripture calls in one place, “the great tribulation,” the last part of that seven year period of time in which the judgments come down from heaven upon the unbelieving ones of those days. All judgments up to this time are simply rehearsals of those judgments. They are terrible outpourings of divine wrath from heaven, so Scripture says.
Now, there are different interpretations of these two visions. One, of a vision of the son of man reaping, and then a vision of the son of man gathering. The vision of the son of man reaping in verses 14 through 16, and then the remainder of the verses 17 through 20, the vision of the son of man gathering. Interpreters have interpreted these verses, and I say in different ways. Some of them take both of these visions as being of our Lord gathering the saved, the Christians, and then there are interpreters, equally respected, who take both of these particular visions as visions of the judgments of the unsaved, and then there are those who take one of the saved and the other of the unsaved. Just generally, and not because I feel that I have been given by the Holy Spirit the authorized interpretation, I am going to suggest that we take the first of these visions of the Son of man reaping as a comprehensive figure for the whole process of the winding up of the ages, before our Lord’s Second Advent, and thus it is the son of man reaping and the son of man gathering simply to make the point, I presume, that we do have both of these things going on at the same time, and perhaps it may be illustrated by the parable of the wheat and tares, as commentators have noted, for in the parable of the wheat and tares, which you may remember in Matthew chapter 13, this is picture that our Lord gives of the last days. That is the wheat is sown, but then the devil sows tares among them, and at the time of the end when the time comes for reaping, it is discovered that the tares are there with the wheat, and so in order to reap the wheat, the tares are gathered out, and they are burned, but the wheat is preserved, and perhaps it’s something like that in this opening vision, but let me read the text and maybe just a few comments as we go along.
“And I looked,” John says in verse 14, “And behold a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a Son of man,” That clearly is the Messianic King the Lord Jesus Christ in his position of executing judgment. All judgment has been committed our Lord said to him as the messianic king and he will carry it out. One of the amazing things that Scripture says is that we shall judge together with him, but he is the judge and here he’s pictured as “a son of man having on his head a golden crown on his head because has overcome” (As read in chapter five) “and a sharp sickle in his hand.”
Another angel comes out of the temple, evidentially with a word from the Father for remember our Lord is still carrying out his mediatorial work, his Second Advent as part of his mediatorial work. He said he does not know the time of the Second Advent. That’s in the hand of the father, so as the mediator, he waits for direction from the father as he did when he was here carrying out his earthly ministry, and he will do that until at the end of the kingdom, he turns it over to the father that God may be all in all. His mediatorial work has to do with the past. It also has to do with the future, and it has to do with the present, as he at the right hand of the father ever lives to make intercession for us at the present time, so we read here in verse 15, “And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, put in your sickle, and reap: because the hour to reap has come because the harvest of the earth is ripe.”
And then we read a very solemn statement in verse 16, “And he that sat on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth; and the earth was reaped.” What brevity of description, “The earth was reaped.” The details are left to the imagination, someone has said. Tremendous words, “The earth was reaped.” Not simply Believers Chapel, not simply some local territory, but “the earth was reaped.” What an experience for the human race in those days, and what plagues are involved in the reaping of the earth?
The rest of the Book of Revelation details some of the parts of what is involved in all of this, but here it’s simply, “And the earth was reaped.”
And now we read in verse 17 through 20, the Son of man gathering. The figure now is the figure of a vintage and not a harvest. This stresses the violent carnage of that judgment. The time is the time of the return of the son in his second advent when he smites the nations, treading the wide press of God’s fierce wrath, and so we read,
“And another angel, came out of the temple, which is in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle. And another angel, the one who has power over the fire, came out from the altar, and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, Put in your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth; because her grapes are ripe.” (And we have no question about whether this is a gathering for heavenly life, or whether it’s a gathering for judgment because we read in verse 19) “And the angel swung his sickle to the earth, and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great winepress of the wrath of God.”
The son is involved in the execution of the wrath. The beast and his armies are overthrown by his advent, and those who have the mark of the beast upon their head are thrown into the great winepress of the wrath of God. We keep stressing this fact that we look at this text in a particular context, and so it is the context of the future with the beast and the false prophet, the antichrist and the false profit, and the things that are happening during that time that lies in the future, the indefinite future, none of knows exactly when that time is, and at the same time, great principles of the word of God are illustrated in the future.
One of the problems with, to mind, the interpretation of prophecy on the part of some, is that individuals frequently are tempted to read to great prophetic word found in the prophets of the Old Treatment, found also in the law, for that matter, and in the sums, but in the prophetic sections, and then in New Testament and prophetic epistles, the Olivet Discourse, the Book of Revelation is to read them only as outlines of things that are going to happen on the earth. We should never forget that prophecy is not designed simply to satisfy our curiosity with regard to the future, proper curiosity, godly curiosity, but prophecy is intended to reveal the great principles of God in his dealings with men, and so here we have some of the great principles of God’s dealings with men.
One of the things that comes to my mind immediately, as was brought up by Dr. Curt Daniel in a recent Wednesday night, I forgot whether it was the last of the studies or the one before that, but the question of the existence of God and the presence of evil in our society was raised. In other words, with the evil that exists in our society, how can there be such and individual as a good God, or turn it around, if there is a God who is love then how can evil exist in our universe? These are familiar philosophical arguments made by philosophers of religion, as well as philosophers in attempts to seek to find answers to some of those questions, and often to seek to make a case for no God existing, but fundamental to those questions is the idea that if a God exists he must be a God of love.
Now, of course we Christians, we believe that God is a God of love, but we must not stop there. We must say, “What is your definition of love?” Now if you mean sentimentality, as our world seems to mean when they use they term love, if you think of romantic love or sentimental love, and if you then use the expression, “God is a God of love,” in that context, you have not spoken true truth. You have not spoken truly of the word of God. Remember, when we were expounding 1 John, how the apostle gave us definitions of love. He spoke of the fact that the love of God was manifested in the gift of his only son. He further went on to define love that way. That love is to be defined by the propitiation that he made for our sins.
Now, think of that for a moment. This is what he said, “In this is love.” Not that we love God, but he loved us and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins, so to John, and I think he being the apostle of love knew a little thing about biblical love, when he says that love is Christ offering a propitiation for our sins, he’s defining what the Bible means primarily by love. It’s the propitiation that was offered, and then if you look at the propitiation and look at the cross, and you say, “What does the propitiation mean?” It means God loves sinners. That’s what it means. It doesn’t mean God is semimetal. It doesn’t mean God is a romantic. It means he loves sinners, so when we say, “God is love,” as we read in Scripture, and in that epistle as well, that “God is love,” we’re not talking at all about what the world talks about when it says, “God is a God of love.” They think of it as God is a God of love, and therefore everything will ultimately be all right for every individual who’s ever been born. That’s not biblical. That is utter heresy, Christian speaking as a Christian.
Universalism is not taught in Scripture from the book of Genesis through the Book of Revelation. Conditional immortality, in my view of the Scriptures, is not taught, even though some evangelicals, a very small minority, have embraced that doctrine, annihilation to you, so when we read of the great events of the future, let us not loose this fact, that these great events show plainly that God is a God of love, of love defined by Scripture, and, and this is so important, he is a God of wrath and justice. Never forget that. Never forget that God is a just God.
One of favorite individuals was Horatius Bonar and his brother Andrew. Andrew’s diary is a very interesting diary. It’s been republished by the Banner of Truth Press. You’ll find it, I think interesting, if you’ve read it. I read through it. Night after night I would sit and read his diary. He lived in the 19th Century. Lived in Scotland. Had a pastorate at several places. He lived in the days of some of the great Scottish preachers. One of them was W.C. Burns. He was an evangelist in the Scottish church, and also was a foreign missionary, and ultimately, if I remember correctly, went to China, and had contact with Hudson Taylor there. He talks at one place, in his diary, of going to hear Mr. Burns preach at Scargreen, and he said, he describes the service. He describes the hymns that were sung. He said, “We started out by singing Psalm 85.”
Now, we don’t usually sing Psalm 85, but they sang, of course, the Psalms, and he said, “The last of that Psalm, Mr. Burns stressed later that’s the text in which we have these well known words, loving, kindness and truth have met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed each other, and from that he went on to Isaiah chapter 53, and then he went to Ephesians chapter 1, and he preached on that, but he made reference to this particular text. Lovingkindness and truth have met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed each other in the cross of Christ, for righteousness was manifested there. Our Lord justly died for sinners’ sins, and at the same time loving-kindness gave the son as the gift to perform that sacrificial work, and the result was peace.
So he describes how mercy and truth met together around the dead body of the Lord, so Mr. Burns said, and then around the dead body of the Lord, justice comes up and delivers the prisoners from the prison because Christ has justly paid the debt.” Oh, how wonderful it is to know that my debt is justly paid. No one can ever say that what Christ did is not sufficient for my sins. Justly, the prison doors are opened, and justly in God’s righteousness the believer in Christ goes free. How wonderful that is. We find these things in the prophetic word. That’s why we talk about the things that are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
We read here in verse 20, “And the winepress was trodden outside the city,” (The reference of course to Jerusalem, it seems.) “And blood came out from the winepress, up to the horses bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles.” So in the valley of Jehoshaphat, whether that means simply that the Lord judges, whether it’s a particular valley or not, or whether that’s the term to suggest the final battle before the gates of Jerusalem, we know that there, there shall ultimately be a victory in this earth, historically of our Lord who had made the sacrifice that saves on Calvary’s cross two thousand years ago. Those who refuse that first judgment of the cross, must take part in the second, or the one in which they stand before the Lord at the great white throne and are found to fall short of the divine standard. Nothing can stand ultimately against the lamb. Safety exists only in a book, in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Is your name there? Are your hopes found there? What would the dupes of the beast not give for rest, but we have rest in the book of the lamb.
I also read this past week another account of a British Canon. His name was Canon Hoare, and he was the rector of Holy Trinity in Tunbridge Wells in southern England. Many of you perhaps have been to Tunbridge Wells. It’s very easy to drive through. He was a man very highly esteemed in the south of England, and the individual who was speaking about him said, “I can see him now. He was tall, stately and gray.” That means he had hair. I thought I could fill up that picture, but I cannot. He said, “He was as bold idea of all that a minister should be, and he said in his study there was hanging a very beautiful and telling picture. It represented a shipwreck, and in the shipwreck there was one life being saved.”
And he said, “The Canon, if you were in his study, and you were having an ordinary conversation, and if you remarked about it, you might hear him explain how it came to be there. It seems that a very wealthy individual called the Canon, and said that he would like to talk to him about a place where his body might be buried, and so he came. They went out. They walked through the churchyard, and they inspected several positions in the church cemetery about where his body might be placed, and finally the gentleman at last selected the spot in which he wished his bones to rest.
Well, when they’d completed this business, he said they paused for a second or two, and they listened to the birds in the cemetery, and then the Canon turned to his companion, the wealthy man, and he said, ‘Well, now you’ve chosen a resting place for your body. Have you found a resting place for your soul?’ It sat the man thinking, and no decision was made then, but he thought through it for sometime. He found the resting place. The only resting place in the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, and he sent the Canon that picture, as a token of his gratitude. He felt that this was his life. The one life saved from the shipwreck by our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.”
“Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” You may the one-person in the shipwreck, but you are shipwrecked, and the only solution is our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. We invite you to come to him, and trust in him. If you are here today, and you’ve never believed in Christ, you do not have rest. You may think you have rest, but you have no rest, and when the time comes for your death bed or however you may come to the end of your life you, will find that the missing ingredient by which you may have rest and peace, you do not have. That is found only in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. Whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”
May God in his grace touch your heart. May you see that you are that person in the shipwreck. That’s what you are heading for. You are heading for death, spiritual death, and spiritual death’s end is eternal death. May God in his marvelous grace touch your heart. May you recognize that that judgment is sure to come. It’s not something you can avoid. It’s certain. It’s according to truth. It’s according to righteousness. Flee to Christ. Believe in him. Trust in him and receive through him the gift of eternal life. Let’s stand for the benediction.
[Prayer] Father we are grateful to Thee for the warnings and admonitions of the word of God, as we look into the future and reflect upon these great judgments that are to be poured out from heaven, upon those who have turned away from the gospel of the grace of God, in Jesus Christ.
We thank Thee that Thou hast enabled us to understand the way of deliverance through the lamb’s blood shed for sinners. Lord, if there still some in this audience who have never believed in him, give them no rest nor peace until they rest in Christ, we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.