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Greetings to you all in JesusÂ’ precious name. I know some of you; by the end of the weekend, IÂ’ll know all of you. One of the things weÂ’ve enjoyed so much being back on furlough this time is the fellowship with Christians from here and there, with many different backgrounds. ItÂ’s just been so precious. WeÂ’re looking forward to that this weekend also.
IsnÂ’t it wonderful the fellowship that we can have in Christ Jesus? I mean, ex-hippies, ex-Mennonites, ex-Catholics, weÂ’re [all] just Christians, now. Praise God. WeÂ’re all just washed in the blood of Jesus.
I bring you greetings from the Churches in Africa. ItÂ’s been eight months since weÂ’ve been back there, and weÂ’re looking forward to going back in about another two months. I donÂ’t have any fresh news from there, but I do bring you greetings from there. God is blessing His work there, and we appreciate your prayers.
IÂ’d like to read the last verse of the last song that we sang. We didnÂ’t sing that verse. ItÂ’d down here at the bottom of the page. It says (itÂ’s a prayer), Â“Grant us seeing, grant us hearing, grant us hearts, Lord, like thine own. Make us newborn, true, God-fearing, for thy Kingdom, Lord, alone. Yea, do help us to be Christians, Christians ever this worldÂ’s light, Christians salt in all EarthÂ’s distance. Yea, Lord, pleasing in thy sight,Â”. I appreciated this song as we sang it tonight. ThatÂ’s a good prayer for us.
Some day you will stand before God [long pause]. Has that thought ever gripped you? I appreciated the thought that brother Elvin shared, that weÂ’re not afraid of God. God is not angry at us, anymore. God is now our father. Yet there is some holy fear that we need to have towards God, and IÂ’m afraid with our modern Â“ChristianityÂ”, we tend to lose some of that holy fear of God that those men and women of God of ages past had. Yes, God is our Father, but heÂ’s God. HeÂ’s God. You canÂ’t compare him with anything, or anyone! HeÂ’s transcended far above, this God of ours, and our Lord Jesus Christ. WeÂ’re going to stand before Him some day. Does that ever grip you sometimes?
We were sitting in a parking lot, yesterday, at Wal-Mart. I was taking a little nap while my wife was doing some shopping. I woke up from my nap, and the Spirit of God was just working in my heart and I was gripped with that thought, that IÂ’m going to stand before God someday. Once in a while, that thought just grips me, and I thank God for those moments. We get so busy in our lives, we read our Bibles, and we do all of these things, and go to Church (and yes, thatÂ’s right and good, we need to make a living), but sometimes we need to meditate on the fact that I am going to stand before God someday! ItÂ’s going to be reality, someday, brother and sisters! Someday itÂ’s going to be real. IÂ’m going to stand before God my creator someday, and you will too, someday. We need to meditate on that once in a while. We need to let it get a hold of us. That thought puts holy fear in our hearts.
IÂ’d like to read four different passages in the scripture which show judgment scenes, then I want to draw some thoughts from them.
This is a very simple message, IÂ’m sure you all know these things IÂ’m going to share, but I pray the Holy Spirit will somehow use it to get a hold of our hearts and put a holy fear in us, that when that day comes, we need to give account, that we may do it with joy, not grief.
In Romans Chapter 14, verses 10 to 12, Â“But why dost thy judge thy brother, or why dost thou set at naught at thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, Â‘as I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God, so then every one of us shall give account of himself to God,Â”. There it is.
Turn over to Second Corinthians Chapter 5, starting at verse 9, Â“Wherefore we labor, that whether present in the body or absent in the bodyÂ…,Â” (and if you would read the words just previously what Paul is saying there), Â“Â…we may be accepted of Him, for we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men that we are made manifest unto God, and I trust also are manifest in your consciences,Â”. Yes, Paul believed in the grace of God, and he taught the love of our Father God, but Paul also believed in the terror of the Lord, and that holy fear of God! The balance is right here in this chapter. Right here in this chapter he says, Â“The love of Christ constraineth us,Â” just a couple of verses after this. But here in this verse, he says, Â“But knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men,Â” and Paul is taking those thoughts from his meditations on standing before the judgment seat of Christ. And he says, Â“Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men,Â”. A lot of evangelicals wouldnÂ’t want to hear about that, today. [For them] ItÂ’s just, Â“God is our good buddyÂ”. Well, God is our Father, but he is God, and those thoughts that Paul had, that he, the apostle, was one day going to give account before the Lord Jesus, caused a holy terror in heart, and made him walk circumspectly.
Turn back to Matthew 25. Beginning with verse 31, Â“When the Son of Man shall come in His glory, and all of the Holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory, and before Him shall be gathered all nations. And He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divided his sheep from the goats. And He shall set the sheep on his right hand but the goats on his left. Then shall the King say to them on His right hand, Â‘Come, ye blessed of my Father. Inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world, for I was in hunger, and ye gave me meat. I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink. I was a stranger, and ye took me in. Naked, and ye clothed me. I was sick, and ye visited me. I was in prison, and ye came unto meÂ’. Then shall the righteous say to Him, Â‘Lord, when saw we thee hungered, and fed thee, or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger and took thee in, or naked and clothed thee, or when saw we thee sick or in prison and came unto thee?Â’ and the King shall answer and say unto them, Â‘Verily, I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it to one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto meÂ’. Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Â‘Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungered and ye gave me no meat. I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink. I was a stranger, and you took me not in. Naked, and ye clothed me not. Sick, and in prison, and ye visited me notÂ’. Then shall they also answer unto him saying, Â‘Lord, when saw we thee hungered, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?Â’ Then shall He answer unto them, Â‘verily, I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it not to the least of these, ye did it not to meÂ’. And these shall go into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal,Â”. An awesome picture there.
Imagine the joy of those on the right hand, hearing those words, Â“Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,Â”. Oh, the joy that will grip those! But, oh, grief, utter grief that will grip those on the left hand when He says, Â“Depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire,Â”.
Verse 46 is a good verse for those who believe in ahnialism. Ahnialism is the believe that you go to hell, and burn up, and thatÂ’s the end of you. They donÂ’t believe in eternal punishment. You take them to the verses about the fire not being quenched in Mark, and they say, Â“Well, maybe the fire goes on, but the people burn upÂ”. Well, look what this verse says: Â“and thee shall go away into everlasting punishmentÂ”. ItÂ’s everlasting. ThereÂ’s nothing like burning up and then itÂ’s all over. ItÂ’s forever. The Joy and the bliss is forever, and the punishment is forever. Brothers, sisters, someday itÂ’s going to be you and I, standing before God!
Turn to Revelation Chapter 20. In verse 11, Â“And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the Earth and the heavens fled away and there was found no place for themÂ”, (matter will cease to exist some day). Â“Now I saw the dead, small and great, stand before GodÂ…,Â” (Oh? So we donÂ’t die like dogs [sarcastic]? No.) Â“Â…and the books were openÂ…,Â” ( You mean there are books? Yes, there are books. ItÂ’s what GodÂ’s Word says) Â“Â…and another book was open, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged out of those things that were written in the books according to their works,Â”. I donÂ’t fully understand this, but it seems to me that perhaps God has a book for each one, a book for Elvin, a book for Ross, and book for Rachel. There are books in heaven, and the dead will be judged out of those things which are written in the books. Â“And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them, and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hellÂ…,Â” (that is, the grave) Â“Â…were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.Â”
Scholars studying these passages, some of them just see one judgment, where there is one judgment and everybody is there; Some scholars see two judgments, where there is a judgment of the saved before the judgment seat of Christ, apart from this great-white-throne judgment; And some Bible scholars see a third judgment: A judgment of the nations. IÂ’m not sure. I tend to think there are at least two judgments, but IÂ’m not sure. But there are some things that we can be sure of from these passages. ItÂ’s very clear from these passages that all will be judged. All will be judged. Whether believer, or unbeliever, weÂ’re going to face a judgment.
First Corinthians 5:10 (we read that verse) said, Â“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ,Â”. Paul was writing there to the Corinthian Christians, and he says we must all appear.
The verse we read from Romans 14 said, Â“So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God,Â”.
We donÂ’t know a lot about giving account like they do in some countries because weÂ’re so independent here. I guess the closest we come to it here is on April 15th, when you have to file your taxes, or you get audited, and somebody is snooping through your business records. Has that ever happened to you? ThatÂ’s a sort of giving account. But weÂ’re going to give account.
God has blessed us. He has given us a body. He has given us life. HeÂ’s given me 43 years and I donÂ’t know mow many months and days. You could break that down into days. What have I down with every one of those days? God has given me the gospel. So many blessings God has given us! You know, on that judgment day, brothers and sisters, thereÂ’s not going to any rush. How many people live on the Earth now? Some six point something billion? And how many have already died? I donÂ’t know. How many people will be turtles standing in the gateway on the judgment day? I donÂ’t know, but thereÂ’s no Earth, because the Earth has ceased to exist, and time will be no more. ThereÂ’s no rush.
God can take as much time (you can call it time, but it wonÂ’t be time), God can be as thorough as He needs to be, and uncover every aspect of our lives and ask account of everything he has given to us. And there is no rush. So then every one of us shall give account of Himself to God.
Would you be ashamed to give account of the brothers and sisters here? Of what you did with your money this past week? Would you? Of the places you went? Of the things you did? Would you be ashamed if God said to you, Â“Ok, letÂ’s get to itÂ”, and write it all down before you, would you be ashamed? YouÂ’re going to give account before God.
Hebrews 9:27 is a familiar verse that we know, Â“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this, the judgment,Â”.
Revelation Chapter 6 gives us an awesome picture of the events leading up to the return of the Lord Jesus. In verse 12 it says, Â“And I beheld when He had opened the sixth seal, and lo, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sack cloths of hair, and the moon became as bloodÂ…,Â” (I canÂ’t imagine what that day would be like), Â“Â…and the stars of heaven fell unto the Earth even as a fig tree casteth her untimely face when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.Â” (terrific earthquakes), Â“And the kings of the Earth and the great menÂ…,Â” notice this list of people here, Â“the kings of the EarthÂ” today, moving around with bodyguards, in their armored vehicles, limousines, you barely get to see them. Important men. The kings of the Earth. Â“Â…and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty man, and the bondmen, even the slavesÂ…Â” (this covers all classes of people from the top to the bottom) Â“Â…and the free men hid themselves in the dens and the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, fall on us and hide us 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 coming. Who shall be able to stand?Â” ItÂ’s going to be an awesome day when those signs appear in the heavens as God said they will. And it will happen. The sun will become black, the moon will become red, the stars will fall from heaven, and great men will tremble, and will realize that the end is upon us. And anything to them would be better than meeting the Lord Jesus, whom they despise. ThatÂ’s why they crawl to the mountains and rocks and say Â“fall on usÂ”. DonÂ’t they know theyÂ’ll be killed before that a happens? Yes, they know! They want anything to happen except meeting Jesus.
Revelation 20, these verses are read about the great white throne judgment. It says in verse 13, Â“The sea gave up the dead which were in it,Â”. All of the dead are going to be there. Some people scoff and say, Â“Well, how is that going to happen?Â”, because people are buried, they go back to dust, the dust turns into dirt, you plant corn there, and eventually itÂ’s an old grave, and the tree puts down itÂ’s roots, and that dust gets turned into a tree, and that tree gets sawed into lumber, and they say, Â“Well, how can God ever put this thing back together?Â”, and they scoff. The God who made Adam out of dust in the first place, itÂ’s not a difficult thing for Him to put the bodies back together. And itÂ’s not going to be the same old body. ItÂ’s going to be a different body. One that will endure forever, either joy or punishment.
Â“The sea gave up the dead which were in it,Â”. There are people today who when they die, have written in their will that they want to be cremated, and they put their ashes in a container and get a pilot to take their ashes out over the ocean, and dump them out through a tube, and those ashes just get scattered out over the ocean. Who are they fooling? They are just fooling themselves. They are going to stand before God.
All will be judged. ThatÂ’s one of the things that we can see clearly from these passages. Another thing that we can see in these passages is that all will be judged by their works. We need to let that settle down on us: All will be judged by their works. He says that about the believers. The verse we read there in Second Corinthians 5, He said that, Â“Everyone may receive the things done in his body according to that which he has done, good or bad,Â”. And he is talking to the believers, here! And that we must appear before the judgment seat of Christ! Why? That we may receive, that everyone may receive, the things done in his body according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
The verses we read in Revelation 12 and Revelation 20 say that, Â“The dead were judged out of those things that were written in the books according to their works,Â” and the following verse says, Â“And they were judged every man according to their works,Â” he mentions it twice: Â“according to their worksÂ”. God keeps accurate books. I donÂ’t know how God keeps all of those records, but He does.
Matthew 12 tells us that every idle word that man shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the Day of Judgment. Even our words, every one, God keeps track of. The passage in Matthew, the judgment scene in Matthew that we read, how did the Lord decide who went to the right hand and who went into the left hand in that passage? Was it those who said, Â“Lord, LordÂ”, Â“didnÂ’t we cast out demons in your name?Â”, Â“Lord, I taught Sunday school for youÂ”, Â“Lord, I went witnessing for youÂ”? Is that who it was that went on the right hand side? How did the Lord judge? Â“Insomuch as ye have done it unto the least of my brethren, ye have done it unto meÂ”. Again, it was by their works.
Now, weÂ’re saved by faith. I hope we all believe that here tonight. WeÂ’re not saved by works, weÂ’re saved by faith, and weÂ’re saved by faith alone. Ephesians 2:8 and 9, we know those verses: Â“For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast,Â”. ItÂ’s not by works that we are saved. But, God will judge us by our works. Works are an accurate indicator of our faith, and thatÂ’s why God will judge us by our works. Our works show our faith, or our lack of it. How does James say it? LetÂ’s go back to James Chapter 2. Verse 17: Â“Even so, faith, if it have not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Â‘thou hast faith, and I have worksÂ’. Show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my worksÂ…,Â”. How are you going to prove to somebody that you have faith if you donÂ’t have works? ItÂ’s like the wind. You canÂ’t see it, but you can see what it does. Â“Â…If thou believest that there is one God, thou doest well. The devils also believe and tremble,Â”. The devils have faith, but wilt thou know, know, o vain man, that faith without works is dead. And that is why God can rightly, justly, judge you and me by our works, because our works are an accurate indicator or our faith. ItÂ’s not what I say. When I am standing up here in front of you, that is an accurate indicator of my faith. ItÂ’s not what we say when we get together on Sundays, or we come together to worship. So if weÂ’re all sitting together worshiping, and having a good time, thatÂ’s not an accurate indicator of our faith. Who am I at home? Who am I on the job? Who am I twenty four hours a day, day in and day out? ThatÂ’s why I am really. And thatÂ’s who you are really. LetÂ’s stop fooling ourselves. ThatÂ’s how God is going to judge us.
The standard of the judgment is not the ordinum or the rules and regulations of any church. Just the word of God. Hallelujah. Oh, brothers and sisters, it ought to put in us a holy trembling at this word, a trembling at GodÂ’s word. This is whatÂ’s going to judge us.
Christianity today has become so substandard that they look on normal Christianity as abnormal. and they have taken parts of GodÂ’s word, and said, Â“WellÂ… that was for PaulÂ’s day, you know, now we know better. Paul was a woman-hater. ItÂ’s alright to have women preach in Church. God forgives now, so you can divorce and remarry and still be in the church, and even be a pastor,Â”. You can even find Mennonite churches today that accept homosexuals, today. Did you know that? Big controversies are going on right now in the United Methodists and the Lutheran church with lesbians, gays, and sex-changed people who want to be in the ministry (Â“Well, are we going to accept them, or arenÂ’t we? Can we have these people in the ministryÂ”). A member of the Lutheran churches told me that they are spending millions of dollars to do a study on this, to come up with an answer for this question. This is what is going to judge us, brothers and sisters: GodÂ’s Holy Word.
Hebrews 2 is still true when it says, Â“Follow peace with all men and holiness. Without which, no man shall see the Lord,Â”. Yes, we are saved by faith, and faith alone, but the scripture is still true when it says that, Â“Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord,Â”.
Turn to Second Timothy Chapter 2.
Did you know that the Church has a foundation? Did you know that? The Church has a foundation. What is the foundation? Someone tell me. Right, Jesus. Ephesians also says that the apostles and the prophets (which is GodÂ’s Word) [are]. Did you know that there is something written on the foundation of GodÂ’s Temple of the Church. Did you that thereÂ’s an inscription, a seal in the Temple foundation? Look in Second Timothy Chapter 2 verse 16, Â“But shun profane and vain babblings, for they will increase unto more ungodliness, and their word will eat as a canker of whom is Himaneous and Filetus, who concerning the truth have erred, saying that Â‘the resurrection has passed already,Â’ and overthrowing the faith of some,Â”.
Now, look at verse 19, Â“Nevertheless, the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal: The Lord knoweth them that are His,Â” (first part), Â“and let everyone that nameth the name of Christ be turned from iniquity,Â” (second part). The first part is GodÂ’s part. Â“The Lord knows them that are His,Â” IÂ’m thankful for that. In the Church of Jesus Christ, the Lord knows them that are His. IÂ’m glad thatÂ’s not for me to judge. IÂ’m sure IÂ’d throw some people out that ought to be in, and IÂ’d put some people in that ought to be out. God knows those who are His, and IÂ’m not saying that takes all of the responsibility away from Church leader to be discerning. IÂ’m not saying that. But IÂ’m thankful that on the judgment day, itÂ’s God who decided who are His, and who are not. ThatÂ’s GodÂ’s part, too decide that. And the second part it our part, manÂ’s part. And this is stamped on the foundation of GodÂ’s Church. It has this seal: The Lord knows those who are His, and let everyone who nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. ThatÂ’s my part, and your part, brothers and sisters, and that tells me that if IÂ’m allowing anything in my life that I know is contrary to GodÂ’s Word, and IÂ’m just allowing that thing to go on in my life, I cannot fool myself. I cannot fool myself, and say Â“I am part of this buildingÂ”. If I am allowing iniquity in my life, and I say, Â“The blood of Jesus covers it all. I was born such-and-such day and year. GodÂ’s grace is free, IÂ’m going to heaven,Â” and I know I have iniquity in my life, I am fooling myself. Â“Let everyone that names the name of he Lord depart from iniquity,Â”! ThatÂ’s stamped on the foundation of GodÂ’s Church. ThatÂ’s our part. If we say, Â“IÂ’m covered by the blood, IÂ’m going to heavenÂ”, and have iniquity in our life that is not taken care of, we are fooling ourselves.
Another thing that we can see about the passages about the great day when we shall stand before the Lord, is that all knees will bow to Christ, and every tongue shall confess that He is Lord. We read that verse there in Romans 14, where it is written, Â“Every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God,Â”. ThatÂ’s very similar to what we have there in Philippians 2, where he talks about how the Lord suffered, lowered himself more than any man, and God has highly exalted him. In verse 9 It says, Â“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and thing in Earth, and things under the Earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father,Â”. This One is the One is the one that we shall stand before: the Lord Jesus that the Father has highly exalted. And, yes, He is the Son of Man, He is a human being. Hallelujah, and because of that, we have salvation. Because of that, He had blood that He could pour out to be the atoning victim for my sins and yours. Hallelujah, HeÂ’s a human being, HeÂ’s our brother, but HeÂ’s God. HeÂ’s the Son of God.
You know, while the apostle John was here, and Jesus was here on the Earth, they were close. And John was called Â“The disciple who Jesus lovedÂ”. Even at the last supper, John was the one that leaned on JesusÂ’ breast during that meal. They must have really been close. And that same John who loved the Lord so intimately, when he saw the Lord Jesus glorified on the island Patimos, he fell down like a dead man. The same Lord Jesus Christ. Someday you and I are going to stand before that Lord Jesus Christ.
Kneeling in prayer isnÂ’t popular anymore in public worship services. I donÂ’t know how you do here, but I hope you never get away from that old fashioned practice of kneeling in prayer. Yes, itÂ’s right to stand in prayer. ItÂ’s even right to sit in prayer. ItÂ’s right to drive down the road praying, praise God. You can pray anytime, anywhere. But I hope that we never get away from kneeling sometimes in prayer. ItÂ’s right, brothers and sisters, to bow our knees in prayer. You know, itÂ’s a sad thing, but some of the Muslims in Gana, thatÂ’s one of the things that they throw at the Christian churches over there, because many of he churches donÂ’t kneel in prayer anymore. They just sit on the bench and sometimes stand up to pray. But the Muslims say, Â“We kneel down and put our faces against the ground,Â”. How can it be, that they know something about reverence that we donÂ’t know? Â“Every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,Â”.
Well, what about my life and your life now? Does our lives now prove that Jesus Christ is Lord? Does it? Is Jesus Christ my Lord? Your Lord? Does my life show it? And what about this tongue of mine? Does it confess now that Jesus Christ is Lord? Not just when weÂ’re singing a song, but when itÂ’s testimony time, or when youÂ’re with your neighbors, and the people at work, and the clerk at the checkout counter. Is your tongue now confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord? Is it? Or are you ashamed of Him?
IÂ’d like to close on some thoughts on applying this meditation to our lives. In the light of this fact, not a theory, this fact that someday you, I, will stand before God, what should we do? How should we live our lives?
Second Peter, Chapter 3 verse 10, Â“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with ferverent heat, the Earth also, and the works that are therein shall be burnt up. Seeing then, that all thee things shall be dissolved, what manner of man ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness?Â”, (Verse 14), Â“Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such thingsÂ…,Â” (HeÂ’s talking about the new heaven and the new Earth), Â“Â…be diligent, that ye may be found of Him in peace,Â”. Are you in peace tonight? Are there some people that you donÂ’t want to meet? You canÂ’t great them? You couldnÂ’t call them up on the telephone? Are there some people like that? Peter says Â“There is a day coming in which the heavens and the Earth are going to melt with ferverent heat, wherefore be diligent, that you may be found of him in peace,Â”.
The devil is out to destroy everyone he can. He got cast out of heaven, and he doesnÂ’t want any one of us to enjoy the glories of heaven. He wants to drag us all down to hellfire with him. HeÂ’s so slippery. HeÂ’ll come in this way, and if he canÂ’t get you that way, heÂ’ll come in another way. One of the ways heÂ’ll come in is, heÂ’ll stir up strife where youÂ’re not expecting it. Like you know youÂ’re right, and the other guy knows heÂ’s right, and thereÂ’s just this strife there, and thereÂ’s a rift. ThatÂ’s one of his ways.
Romans 12 says, Â“Dearly beloved, as much as life in you, live peaceable with all men,Â”. IÂ’m not talking about if youÂ’ve tried, and tried to make peace, and youÂ’ve prayed about it, IÂ’m not talking about it. But is there anyone youÂ’re not at peace with? It might be someone in your own family. It might even be a husband or a wife. Â“Be diligent, ant you may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless,Â”. Be diligent. He talks about how this Earth and all thatÂ’s in it is going to be burned up. Oh, the folly of living our lives to amass things! We need things, donÂ’t we? We need a shelter over heads, we need clothes to wear, we need schoolbooks to teach our children, we need food to eat, we need something to sleep on, we need some things. But in having food and raiment, let us be there with content. Oh, too often we are bowing down to these gods of the Americans all around us. A little finer here, a little fancier here. There is a terrific pressure all around us to conform, especially in the plain communities. I know it; I live in Lancaster county. There is that pressure. Oh, brothers and sisters, lets lay up our treasures in heaven. Jesus is coming again. What folly to work long hours trying to make the house a little fancier, or a new carpet when you donÂ’t need one, or a new living room suite when you donÂ’t need one. Those hours could be spent with our family, those hours could be spent doing GodÂ’s work. Â“Seeing then, that all of these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness?Â”
Well, God wants us to live holy lives, and in light of that day when you and I will stand before God, are you ready? Are you ready? Answer that questioning your heart tonight. Are you ready?
A number of years ago, there was a heavy meteor shower. To you know what a meteor shower is? When a lot of what we call Â“falling starsÂ” are going across the sky. This was a number of years ago, I think it was before I was on the Earth. But the story said that during that meteor shower, people thought the end of the world was coming. They knew the scripture that talked about the stars of heaven falling, and it was just a terrific meteor shower, just continually. And many people were sure the end of the world was coming. And it was said that that night, you could see though the darkness people crisscrossing the fields to their neighborÂ’s houses, making things right, taking things back, going and asking for forgiveness. Do it now. DonÂ’t wait for a meteor shower.
I guess GodÂ’s just calling us to be honest. IsnÂ’t that it? Honest? To be clear, transparent. On that great day when we stand before God, thatÂ’s how were going to be, right? ItÂ’s all going to be clear and transparent on that day. And what is it that keeps us from confessing our sins? Maybe IÂ’m a pastor, maybe IÂ’m a Sunday school teacher, maybe I lead the songs, maybe IÂ’m a daddy or grandpa, but what are people are going to say about me or thing about me? IsnÂ’t that what keeps us from confessing? ItÂ’s our pride. But listen, on that day, when we stand before God, itÂ’s all going to be out in the open. In that day, it will be too late. How much better to bring it out now? See, how does the word of God say? Â“Some menÂ’s sins are open, going beforehand to the judgment, and some they follow after,Â”.
I think another thing in light of the judgment thatÂ’s coming when we shall stand before God, it should compel us to warn those around us. I think thatÂ’s what Paul was saying there in Second Corinthians 5, those verses we read when he said, Â“Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men,Â”. Are you clear with God? Then start working on your neighbor. Start working on your uncle. Start working on your fellow worker. Are you clear? Do you love those you work around? Does the love of God burn in your heart and my heart? Too often I fall short in this. But oh, that the love of God would burn in our hearts, the same love that moved our Father in heaven to say to His Son the Lord Jesus, Â“You go and be the sacrifice for your sins,Â” when He didnÂ’t owe us anything. The Lord Jesus said, Â“IÂ’ll do it,Â”. Oh, that the same love would burn in our hearts, like Paul said here in that same chapter, Â“For the love of God constrains us,Â”. Oh, that the terror, and the love of God would move us, that we would speak to those around us and worn them, Â“There is a judgment day coming. There really is,Â”. Oh, the sadness on that day if we donÂ’t tell them. And on that judgment day when they stand condemned before God and point your fingers and say to you, Â“YouÂ… I worked with you, and you didnÂ’t tell me this! You didnÂ’t tell me there was a judgment day coming! You didnÂ’t! Why didnÂ’t you tell me?! Now IÂ’m going to hellfire to burn forever!Â”. May God help us. May it be real to us. Brother and sisters, some day this is going to be real. WeÂ’re creatures of time, and once in a while, when a close friend, or a relative, or a young person dies that we knew, weÂ’re bumped up close to reality. But, oh, that we would live in the reality of what God tells us every day. May GodÂ’s spirit move in our hearts.
IÂ’d just like to open it up this evening. If there is anyone here that God has been speaking to your heart, and you know that you are not ready to stand before God, I donÂ’t care who you are, Grandfather, Grandmother, Dad, Mom, deacon, preacher, Sunday school teacher, song leader, it doesnÂ’t matter who you are. It matters that you are right with God. If God has spoken to you heart, why donÂ’t you kneel down and let God break your heart today. Get right with God. If there is anything between you and God, take care of it today so that you donÂ’t need to be afraid of the trumpet blowing.