“Present Yourself For Final Judgment…”


            “John Doe – present yourself for final judgment.”


            “I am John Doe.”


            “The Book indicates that you heard the gospel preached some 876 times in your life.”


            “That sounds about right.  That ought to be pretty good?”


            “The Book further indicates that you believed what was said.”


            “That is correct.”


            “The Book further indicates that you never once did anything about the message that, in your heart, you knew to be correct.”


            “Well, Lord, you see, it was like this.  I always intended to obey it and deep down I was for You all along.  I just got busy and never did get around to actually walking down the aisle.  You know, crowds made me nervous.”


            “You failed to adhere to the words that I spoke, and now you face them and they face you and with them I will determine your eternal destination.  Depart from me, ye that work iniquity, I never knew you.”


            “But surely there must be something I can………….”


            “Jane Doe – present yourself for final judgment.”


            “I am Jane Doe.”


            “The Book indicates that you heard the gospel preached some 1689 times in your life.”


            “I suppose that is correct.”


            “The Book further indicates that you believed what you heard and proceeded to repent of the sins in your life, confess Me before men, and were immersed into Me.”


            “Yes, Lord, that is most certainly true.”


            “And the Book further indicates that you put forth a great effort to be faithful to My Words – the standard you now face in Judgment.”


            “Well, Lord, I must confess that I was not perfect.  I often thought or said or did things that were wrong – I tried, but sometimes didn’t try hard enough.”


            “But you were penitent and you sought forgiveness and such was granted you.”


            “But I know I could have done better, well, I think I could have anyway.”


            “You walked in the light, and despite momentary failures, you always got back in The Way and were cleansed by My blood.  Enter ye in.”


            “Jerry Doe – present yourself for final judgment.”


            “I am here.  Do I get to go to heaven?”


            “The Book indicates that you heard the true gospel preached 6 times in your life.”


            “Oh, no, Lord; I heard a lot more sermons than that.”


            “But you heard the truth only 6 times.”


            “One sermon is as good as another, right?”


            “Is a sermon that teaches something diametrically opposed to My teaching as good as one that agrees with My teaching?”


            “Surely you aren’t going to hold me responsible for the preacher’s mistakes?”


            “No, I am not.  I am holding you responsible for your mistakes.  You heard a message delivered and, though you had My perfect Word at your disposal, you did not check to see if the message was in harmony with the Book.  For that I hold you responsible.”


            “That’s not fair – I was basically a good man…”


            “A good man, you say?  Is it good to refuse to believe what I really said?  Is it good to refuse to come to Me in the way I prescribed?  Is it good to lend your support in the form of attendance and financial contributions to a system of religion that has been set up in opposition to the church for which I suffered and died and which was purchased with My blood?”


            “Well, Lord, I never looked at it that way.”


            “But you could have – the teachings were plain enough.  The Book I gave you was not so complicated that, with a little study, you could not have grasped the truth.”


            “But, Lord, surely there is some mercy and grace for a basically good man?”


            “That is the second time you mentioned yourself as being ‘good’.  Do you not remember My teaching:  “ As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:  There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.  Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:  Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:  Their feet are swift to shed blood:  Destruction and misery are in their ways:  And the way of peace have they not known:  There is no fear of God before their eyes…  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God?”  These are not the characteristics of a ‘good’ man.”


            “But those describe everybody, not just me.”


            “This is true; but that point does not weigh in your favor, to the contrary, it is your condemnation.”


            “But Lord, I am sorry for my sins.”


            “Indeed, and so shall you be forever.  Did you never hear Isaiah?  “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.  He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities?”


            “But how could I have been responsible for those deeds?  I lived almost two thousand years after they were performed!”


            “Did not My faithful servant write, “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.  He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?  For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God”?  By rejecting Me you chose to cast your lot with those who crucified Me.”


            “Is there no other chance to be given me?”


            “You had even more than Moses and the prophets – and yet they did not move you to avail yourself of the chance I gave you.  It is too late.”


            “But this is not fair……………..”


            And so went the judgment.  One by one all men of all ages were called to give an account of themselves before Him with Whom we have to do.  Some few were rewarded with eternal bliss in the Heavenly City, but few they were indeed.  The vast majority of humanity, in fact – practically all of humanity – were banished to eternal perdition.  It was a sad day, a tragic day, but not an unexpected day.  All men had the opportunity in life to learn of its approach and of its certainty and of its finality.  All men either accepted or rejected the terms of grace.  Most rejected it.  What have you done with it?


Tim Smith 1272 Enon Road Webb, AL 36376 (334) 899-8131 (334) 790-0137

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