We at once admit that the difficulty, or impossibility even, of answering such questions, is no adequate reason for our denying any fact clearly revealed in Scripture which may suggest them. But if these belong, not to the fact itself, but to what appears to us to be a wrong interpretation of it; if a different view is freed from such difficulties, without others, more numerous and serious, being evolved; if the information afforded by Scripture is to be received as authentic; and if, moreover, while keeping strictly to the letter of Scripture, it is more in harmony with the grand ends to be accomplished by the kingdom of Christ, and discloses more of the glory of the great King, surely a presumption is thereby afforded in favour of its truth, though, perhaps, at first sight it may interfere with preconceived opinions.
Instead, then, of the day of judgment being a day of twenty-four hours merely for the passing of a righteous sentence upon the good or bad, it seems to us to be clearly revealed in Scripture that it will be a period of time long enough for the peaceful and orderly ongoing of all its august proceedings;—when Jesus Christ will summon to His immediate presence all who have been the subjects of His mediatorial kingdom, or have been placed under His authority for accomplishing the purposes of His reign;—when each person will be tried in the presence of the assembled universe, and his true relationship to his King must be proved upon evidence minute, sifting, and unquestionable;—in one word, when the whole government of the Mediator, from the beginning till the end of time, over men, angels, and devils, shall be fully disclosed, and its excellence manifested to the confusion of the wicked, the joy of the righteous, and the glory of the Triune God!
Difficulties will, no doubt, be suggested by the view we have thus so briefly stated, as well as by the others I have been obliged to discard. But instead of attempting to remove these, I shall at present pass them by, leaving them to be tacitly and satisfactorily answered by the positive truth regarding the judgment, which I shall now endeavour to establish.
The Judge will be Jesus Christ:—
“We must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ.”
“Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead, at his appearing and kingdom.”
“The day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ.”
“The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.”
Now, there are several reasons discernible by us why Jesus Christ should thus be “appointed to judge the world.”