We are not to forget, my hearers, that these different awards of the judgment day will be irreversible and literally endless. All admit this conclusion, with respect to the righteous. But if the righteous are finally acquitted at the judgment, so are the wicked finally condemned. If the righteous are said to enter into “life eternal,” so are the wicked to “go away into everlasting punishment.” The Scriptures say not one word of any reprieve from this condemnation, or of any other period of merciful visitation. But they close with the most solemn assurance, that, from that awful day, he that is unjust shall be unjust still; and he that is filthy shall be filthy still; and he that is righteous shall be righteous still; and he that is holy shall be holy still. Other passages, of similar import, might be quoted: but if men will pour contempt on a single declaration of Jehovah—if they will make God a liar—they would not be persuaded, though his voice from the heavens were a thousand times repeated. And because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved, most justly may he send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie, and be damned.
I have thus endeavoured, with much brevity, to give a scriptural view of the final Judgment. On a subject so tremendously awful, I have chosen to present simply God’s testimony. A practical inference from the whole is,—that the present life must be regarded as probationary. We are living here as responsible agents, continually adding to the number of actions, for which we must give account to God. How solemnly interesting, then, is this scene of our earthly pilgrimage! How inexpressibly valuable is time! How infinitely precious are the means of grace!—particularly those invitations of mercy, which meet us in the word of God, and address us from the sacred desk.
You, my fellow sinners, are the very individuals who must stand at the judgment-seat of Christ. You must mingle in that vast multitude, which the voice of the archangel and the trump of God shall assemble. And when your characters are all laid open, you must pass off to the right hand, or to the left, accordingly as it shall appear, that you have repented, and believed on the Son of God, or have neglected this great salvation. And are you diligently preparing for that day? Are you working out your salvation with fear and trembling? Are you agonizing to enter in at the strait gate? Are you escaping for your life?