1849. Coming Judgment Of The Secrets Of Men

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No. 1849-31:373. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Morning, July 12, 1885, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington. 11/27/2013*11/27/2013

The day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. {Ro 2:16}

1. It is impossible for any of us to tell what it cost the apostle Paul to write the first chapter of the epistle to the Romans. It is a shame even to speak of the things which are done by the vicious in secret places; but Paul felt that it was necessary to break through his shame, and to speak out concerning the hideous vices of the heathen. He has left on record an exposure of the sins of his day which crimsons the cheek of the modest when they read it, and makes both the ears of him who hears it to tingle. Paul knew that this chapter would be read, not only in his age, but also in all ages, and that it would go into the households of the most pure and godly as long as the world should stand; and yet he deliberately wrote it, and wrote it under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He knew that it must be written to put to shame the abominations of an age which was almost past shame. Monsters who revel in darkness must be dragged into the open so that they may be withered up by the light. After Paul has written in anguish like this he remembered his chief comfort. While his pen was black with the words he had written in the first chapter, he was driven to write about his great delight. He clings to the gospel with a greater tenacity than ever. As in the verse before us he needed to mention the gospel, he did not speak of it as “the gospel,” but as “my gospel.” “God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.” He felt that he could not live in the midst of so depraved a people without holding the gospel with both hands, and grasping it as his very own. “My gospel,” he says. Not that Paul was the author of it, not that Paul had an exclusive monopoly on its blessings, but that he had so received it from Christ himself, and regarded himself as so responsibly put in trust with it, that he could not disown it even for an instant. So fully had he taken it into himself that he could not do less than call it “my gospel.” In another place he speaks of “our gospel”; so using a possessive pronoun, to show how believers identify themselves with the truth which they preach. He had a gospel, a definite form of truth, and he believed in it beyond all doubt; and therefore he spoke of it as “my gospel.” Herein we hear the voice of faith, which seems to say, “Though others reject it, I am sure of it, and allow no shadow of doubt to darken my mind. To me it is good news of great joy: I hail it as ‘my gospel.’ If I am called a fool for holding it, I am content to be a fool, and to find all my wisdom in my Lord.”

   Should all the forms that men devise
      Assault my faith with treacherous art,
   I’d call them vanity and lies,
      And bind the gospel to my heart.

2. Is not this word “my gospel” the voice of love? Does he not by this word embrace the gospel as the only love of his soul — for the sake of which he had suffered the loss of all things, and considered them only dung — for the sake of which he was willing to stand before Nero, and proclaim, even in Caesar’s palace, the message from heaven? Though each word should cost him a life, he was willing to die a thousand deaths for the holy cause. “My gospel,” he says, with a rapture of delight, as he presses to his heart the sacred deposit of truth.

3. “My gospel.” Does this not show his courage? As much as to say, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.” He says, “my gospel,” as a soldier speaks of “my colours,” or of “my king.” He resolves to bear this banner to victory, and to serve this royal truth even to the death.

4. “My gospel.” There is a touch of discrimination about the expression. Paul perceives that there are other gospels, and he makes short work of them, for he says, “Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.” The apostle was of a gentle spirit; he prayed heartily for the Jews who persecuted him, and yielded his life for the conversion of the Gentiles who mistreated him; but he had no tolerance for false gospellers. He exhibited great breadth of mind, and to save souls he became all things to all men; but when he contemplated any alteration or adulteration of the gospel of Christ, he thundered without measure. When he feared that something else might spring up among the philosophers, or among the Judaizers, that should hide a single beam of the glorious Sun of Righteousness, he used no measured language; but cried concerning the author of such a darkening influence, “Let him be accursed.” Every heart that would see men blessed whispers an “Amen” to the apostolic malediction. No greater curse can come upon mankind than the obscuring of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul says of himself and his true brethren, “We are not as many, who corrupt the word of God”; and he cries to those who turned aside from the one and only gospel, “Oh foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you?” Of all new doctrines he speaks as of “another gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you.”

5. As for myself, looking at the matter afresh, amid all the filthiness which I see in the world today, I lay hold upon the pure and blessed Word of God, and call it all the more earnestly, my gospel, — mine in life and mine in death, mine against all comers, mine for ever, God helping me: with emphasis — “my gospel.”

6. Now let us notice what it was that brought up this expression, “My gospel.” What was Paul preaching about? Certainly not upon any of the gentle and tender themes, which we are told nowadays ought to occupy all our time; but he is speaking of the terrors of the law, and in that connection he speaks of “my gospel.”

7. Let us come at once to our text. It will need no dividing, for it divides itself. First, let us consider that on a certain day God shall judge mankind; secondly, on that day God will judge the secrets of men; thirdly, when he judges the secrets of men, it will be by Jesus Christ; and fourthly, this is according to the gospel.

8. I. We begin with the solemn truth, that ON A CERTAIN DAY GOD WILL JUDGE MEN.

9. A judgment is going on daily. God is continually holding court, and considering the doings of the sons of men. Every evil deed that they do is recorded in the register of doom, and each good action is remembered and laid up in store by God. That judgment is reflected in a measure in the consciences of men. Those who know the gospel, and those who do not know it, equally, have a certain measure of light, by which they know right from wrong; their consciences all the while accusing or else excusing them. This session of the heavenly court continues from day to day, like that of our local magistrates; but this does not prevent but rather necessitates the holding of an ultimate great assize.

10. As each man passes into another world, there is an immediate judgment passed upon him; but this is only the foreshadowing of what will take place at the end of the world.

11. There is a judgment also passing upon nations, for since nations will not exist as nations in another world, they have to be judged and punished in this present state. The thoughtful reader of history will not fail to observe, how sternly this justice has dealt with empire after empire, when they have become corrupt. Colossal dominions have withered to the ground, when sentenced by the King of kings. Go and ask today, “Where is the empire of Assyria? Where are the mighty cities of Babylon? Where are the glories of the Medes and Persians? What has become of the Macedonian power? Where are the Caesars and their palaces?” These empires were forces established by cruelty, and used for oppression; they fostered luxury and licentiousness, and when they were no longer tolerable, the earth was purged from their polluting existence. Ah me! what horrors of war, bloodshed, and devastation, have come upon men as the result of their iniquities! The world is full of the monuments, both of the mercy and the justice of God: in fact the monuments of his justice, if properly viewed, are proofs of his goodness; for it is mercy on the part of God to put an end to evil systems when, like a nightmare, they weigh heavily upon the heart of mankind. The omnipotent Judge has not ceased from his sovereign rule over kingdoms, and our own country may yet have to feel his chastisements. We have often laughed among ourselves at the ridiculous idea of the New Zealander sitting on the broken arch of London Bridge amid the ruins of this metropolis. But is it quite so ridiculous as it looks? It is more than possible it will happen if our iniquities continue to abound. What is there about London that it should be more enduring than Rome? Why should the palaces of our monarchs be eternal if the palaces of Nineveh have fallen? The almost boundless power of the Pharaohs has passed away, and Egypt has become the weakest of nations; why should not England come under similar condemnation? Who are we? What is there about our boastful race, whether on this side of the Atlantic or the other, that we should monopolize the favour of God? If we rebel, and sin against him, he will not hold us guiltless, but will deal out impartial justice to an ungrateful race.

12. Still, though such judgments proceed every day, yet there is to be a day, a period of time, in which, in a more distinct, formal, public, and final manner, God will judge the sons of men. We might have guessed this by the light of nature and of reason. Even heathens have had a dim notion of a day of doom; but we are not left to guess it, we are solemnly assured of it in Holy Scripture. Accepting this Book as the revelation of God, we know beyond all doubt that a day is appointed in which the Lord will judge the secrets of men.

13. By judging is here meant all that concerns the proceedings of trial and award. God will judge the race of men; that is to say, first, there will be a session of majesty, and the appearing of a great white throne, surrounded with pomp of angels and glorified beings. Then a summons will be issued, ordering all men to come to judgment, to turn in their final account. The heralds will fly through the realms of death, and summon those who sleep in the dust: for the quick and the dead shall all appear before that judgment seat. John says, “I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God”; and he adds, “The sea gave up the dead who were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead who were in them.” Those who have been so long buried that their dust is mixed with the soil, and has undergone a thousand transmutations, shall nevertheless be made to put in a personal appearance before the judgment seat of Christ. What an assize that will be! You and I and all the myriad myriads of our race shall be gathered before the throne of the Son of God. Then, when all are gathered, the indictment will be read, and each one will be examined concerning things done in the body, according to what he has done. Then the books shall be opened, and everything recorded there shall be read before the face of heaven. Every sinner shall then hear the story of his life published to his everlasting shame. The good shall ask for no concealment, and the evil shall find none. Angels and men shall then see the truth of things, and the saints shall judge the world. Then the great Judge himself shall give the decision: he shall pronounce sentence upon the wicked, and execute their punishment. No partiality shall be seen there; there shall be no private conferences to secure immunity for nobles, no hushing up of matters, so that great men may escape contempt for their crimes. All men shall stand before the one great judgment bar; evidence shall be given concerning them all, and a righteous sentence shall go out from his mouth who does not know how to flatter the great.

14. This will be so, and it ought to be so: God should judge the world, because he is the universal ruler and sovereign. There has been a day for sinning, there ought to be a day for punishing; a long age of rebellion has been endured, and there must be a time when justice shall assert her supremacy. We have seen an age in which reformation has been commanded, in which mercy has been presented, in which expostulation and entreaty have been used, and there ought at last to come a day in which God shall judge both the quick and the dead, and measure out to each the final result of life. It ought to be so for the sake of the righteous. They have been slandered; they have been despised and ridiculed; worse than that, they have been imprisoned and beaten, and put to death times without number: the best have had the worst of it, and there ought to be a judgment to set these things right. Besides, the festering iniquities of each age cry out to God that he should deal with them. Shall such sin go unpunished? To what purpose is there a moral government at all, and how is its continuance to be secured, if there are not rewards and punishments and a day of account? For the display of his holiness, for the overwhelming of his adversaries, for the rewarding of those who have faithfully served him, there must be and shall be a day in which God will judge the world.

15. Why does it not come at once? And when will it come? We cannot tell the precise date. Neither man nor angel knows that day, and it is idle and profane to guess at it, since even the Son of man, as such, does not know the time. It is sufficient for us that the Judgment Day will surely come; sufficient also to believe that it is postponed on purpose to give breathing time for mercy, and opportunity for repentance. Why should the ungodly want to know when that day will come? What is that day to you? To you it shall be darkness, and not light. It shall be the day of your consuming as stubble fully dry: therefore bless the Lord that he delays his coming, and consider that his longsuffering is for your salvation.

16. Moreover, the Lord keeps the scaffold standing until he has built up the fabric of his church. Not yet are the elect all called out from among the guilty sons of men; not yet are all the redeemed with blood redeemed with power and brought out from the corruption of the age into the holiness in which they walk with God. Therefore the Lord waits for a while. But do not deceive yourselves. The great day of his wrath comes on apace, and your days of reprieve are numbered. One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. You shall die, perhaps, before the appearing of the Son of man; but you shall see his judgment seat for all that, for you shall rise again as surely as he rose. When the apostle addressed the Greek sages at Athens he said, “God now commands all men everywhere to repent, because he has appointed a day, when he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he has ordained; by which he has given assurance to all men, in that he has raised him from the dead.” Do you not see, oh you impenitent ones, that a risen Saviour is the sign of your doom? Just as God has raised Jesus from the dead, so shall he raise your bodies, that in these you may come to judgment. Before the judgment seat every man and woman in this house shall give an account of the things done in the body, whether they are good or whether they are evil. So says the Lord.

17. II. Now I call your attention to the fact that “GOD WILL JUDGE THE SECRETS OF MEN.” This will happen to all men, of every nation, of every age, of every rank, and of every character. The Judge will, of course, judge their outward acts, but these may be said to have gone before them to judgment: their secret acts are especially mentioned, because these will make judgment to be all the more searching.

18. By “the secrets of men,” the Scripture means those secret crimes which hide themselves away by their own infamy, which are too vile to be spoken of, which cause a shudder to go through a nation if they are dragged, as they ought to be, into the daylight. Secret offences shall be brought into judgment; the deeds of the night and of the closed room, the acts which require the finger to be laid upon the lip, and a conspiracy of silence to be sworn. Revolting and shameless sins which must never be mentioned lest the man who committed them should be excluded from his fellows as an outcast, abhorred even by other sinners — all these shall be revealed. All that you have done, any one of you, or are doing, if you are bearing the Christian name and yet practising secret sin, shall be laid bare before the universal gaze. If you sit here among the people of God, and yet where no eye sees you, if you are living in dishonesty, untruthfulness, or uncleanness, it shall all be known, and shame and confusion of face shall eternally cover you. Contempt shall be the inheritance to which you shall awaken, when hypocrisy shall be no more possible. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; but he will bring the secrets of men into judgment.

19. Our text especially refers to the hidden motives of every action; for a man may do what is right from a wrong motive, and so the deed may be evil in the sight of God, though it seems right in the sight of men. Oh, think what it will be to have your motives all brought to light, to have it proven that you were godly for the sake of gain, that you were generous out of ostentation, or zealous for love of praise, that you were careful in public to maintain a religious reputation, but that all the while everything was done for self, and self only! What a strong light will that be which God shall turn upon our lives, when the darkest chambers of human desire and motive shall be as obvious as public acts! What a revelation will that be which reveals all thoughts, and imaginings, and lustings, and desires! All angers, and envies, and prides, and rebellions of the heart — what a disclosure will these make!

20. All the sensual desires and imaginings of even the best regulated, what a foulness will these appear to be! What a day will it be, when the secrets of men shall be set in the full blaze of noon!

21. God will also reveal secrets, that were secrets even to the sinners themselves, for there is sin in us which we have never seen, and iniquity in us which we have never yet discovered.

22. We have managed for our own comfort’s sake to blind our eyes somewhat, and we take care to avert our gaze from things which it is inconvenient to see; but we shall be compelled to see all these evils in that day, when the Lord shall judge the secrets of men. I do not wonder that when a certain Rabbi read in the book of Ecclesiastes that God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it is good, or whether it is evil, he wept. It is enough to make the best of men tremble. Were it not for you, oh Jesus, whose precious blood has cleansed us from all sin, where should we be? Were it not for your righteousness, which shall cover those who believe in you, who among us could endure the thought of that tremendous day? In you, oh Jesus, we are made righteous, and therefore we do not fear the hour of trial, but if it were not for you our hearts would fail us for fear!

23. Now if you ask me why God should judge, especially the secrets of men — since this is not done in human courts, and cannot be, for secret things of this kind do not come under cognizance of our short-sighted tribunals — I answer it is because there is really nothing secret from God. We make a difference between secret and public sins, but he does not; for all things are naked and open to the eyes of him with whom we have to deal. All deeds are done in the immediate presence of God, who is personally present everywhere. He knows and sees all things as one who is right there, and every secret sin is only conceived to be secret through the deluded fantasy of our ignorance. God sees more of a secret sin than a man can see of what is done before his face. “ ‘Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him?’ says the Lord.”

24. The secrets of men will be judged because often the greatest of moral acts are done in secret. The brightest deeds that God delights in are those that are done by his servants when they have shut the door and are alone with him — when they have no motive except to please him; when they studiously avoid publicity, lest they should be turned aside by the praise of men; when the right hand does not know what the left hand does, and the loving, generous heart devises liberal things, and does it behind the screen, so that it should never be discovered how the deed was done. It would be a pity that such deeds should be left out at the great audit. So, too, secret vices are also of the very blackest kind, and to exempt them would be to let the worst of sinners go unpunished. Shall it be that these polluted beings shall escape because they have purchased silence with their wealth? I say solemnly “God forbid.” He does forbid it: what they have done in secret, shall be proclaimed upon the house-tops.

25. Besides, the secret things of men enter into the very essence of their actions. An action is, after all, good or bad very much according to its motive. It may seem good, but the motive may taint it; and so, if God did not judge the secret part of the action he would not judge righteously. He will weigh our actions, and detect the motive which led to them, and the spirit which prompted them.

26. Is it not certainly true that the secret thing is the best evidence of the man’s condition? Many a man will not do in public what would bring him shame; not because he is not black-hearted enough for it, but because he is too much of a coward. What a man does when he thinks that he is entirely by himself is the best revelation of the man. What you will not do because it would be told about you if you did evil, is a poor index of your real character. What you will do because you will be praised for doing well, is an equally faint test of your heart. Such virtue is mere self-seeking, or base-spirited subservience to your fellow man; but what you do out of respect for no authority but your own conscience and your God; what you do unobserved, without regard to what man will say concerning it — it is that which reveals you, and shows your real soul. Hence God lays a special stress and emphasis here upon the fact that he will in that day judge “the secrets” of men by Jesus Christ.

27. Oh, friends, if it does not make you tremble to think of these things, it ought to do so. I feel the deep responsibility of preaching upon such matters, and I pray God in his infinite mercy to apply these truths to our hearts so that they may be forceful upon our lives. These truths ought to startle us, but I am afraid we hear them with little result; we have grown familiar with them, and they do not penetrate us as they should. We have to deal, brethren, with an omniscient God; with One who once knowing never forgets; with One to whom all things are always present; with One who will conceal nothing out of fear, or favour of any man’s person; with One who will shortly bring the splendour of his omniscience and the impartiality of his justice to bear upon all human lives. May God help us, wherever we rove and wherever we rest, to remember that each thought, word, and act of each moment lies in that fierce light which beats upon all things from the throne of God.

28. III. Another solemn revelation of our text lies in this fact, that “GOD WILL JUDGE THE SECRETS OF MEN BY JESUS CHRIST.” He who will sit upon the throne as the Viceregent of God, and as a Judge, acting for God, will be Jesus Christ. What a name for a Judge! The Saviour-Anointed — Jesus Christ: he is to be the Judge of all mankind. Our Redeemer will be the Determiner of our destiny.

29. This will be, I do not doubt, first for the display of his glory. What a difference there will be then between the babe of Bethlehem’s manger, hunted by Herod, carried down by night into Egypt for shelter, and the King of kings and Lord of lords, before whom every knee must bow! What a difference between the weary man and full of woes, and he who shall then be clothed with glory, sitting on a throne encircled with a rainbow! From the derision of men to the throne of universal judgment, what an ascent! I am unable to convey to you my own heart, a sense of the contrast between the “despised and rejected by men,” and the universally acknowledged Lord, before whom Caesar and pontiffs shall bow into the dust. He who was judged at Pilate’s bar, shall summon all to his bar. What a change from the shame and spitting, from the nails and the wounds, the mockery and the thirst, and the dying anguish, to the glory in which he shall come whose eyes are as a flame of fire, and out of whose mouth there goes a two-edged sword! He shall judge the nations, even he whom the nations abhorred. He shall break them in pieces like a potter’s vessel, even those who cast him out as unworthy to live among them. Oh, how we ought to bow before him now as he reveals himself in his tender sympathy, and in his generous humiliation! Let us kiss the Son lest he is angry; let us yield to his grace, so that we may not be crushed by his wrath. You sinners, bow before those pierced feet, which otherwise will tread you like clusters in the wine-press. Look up to him with weeping, and confess your forgetfulness of him, and put your trust in him; lest he looks down on you in indignation. Oh, remember that he will one day say, “But those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring here, and kill them before me.” The holding of the judgment by the Lord Jesus will greatly enhance his glory. It will finally settle one controversy which is still upheld by certain erroneous spirits: there will be no doubt about our Lord’s deity in that day: there will be no question that this same Jesus who was crucified is both Lord and God. God himself shall judge, but he shall perform the judgment in the person of his Son Jesus Christ, truly man, but nevertheless most truly God. Being God he is divinely qualified to judge the world in righteousness, and the people with his truth.

30. If you ask again, “Why is the Son of God chosen to be the final Judge?” I could give as a further answer that he receives this high office not only as a reward for all his pains, and as a revelation of his glory, but also because men have been under his mediatorial sway, and he is their Governor and King. At the present moment we are all under the sway of the Prince Emmanuel, God with us: we have been placed by an act of divine clemency, not under the immediate government of an offended God, but under the reconciling rule of the Prince of Peace. “All power is given to him in heaven and in earth.” “The Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son: so that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.” We are commanded to preach to the people, and “to testify that it is he who was ordained by God to be the judge of the quick and the dead.” {Ac 10:42} Jesus is our Lord and King, and it is fitting that he should conclude his mediatorial sovereignty by rewarding his subjects according to their deeds.

31. But I have something to say to you which ought to reach your hearts, even if other thoughts have not done so. I think that God has chosen Christ, the man Christ Jesus, to judge the world so that there may never be an objection raised concerning that judgment. Men shall not be able to say — “We were judged by a superior being who did not know our weaknesses and temptations, and therefore he judged us harshly, and without a generous consideration of our condition.” No, God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, who was tempted in all points just as we are, yet without sin. He is our brother, bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh, partaker of our humanity, and therefore understands and knows what is in men. He has shown himself to be skilful in all the surgery of mercy throughout the ages, and at last he will be found equally skilful in dissecting motives and revealing the thoughts and intents of the heart. No one shall ever be able to look back on that august tribunal and say that he who sat upon it was too stern, because he knew nothing about human weakness. It will be the loving Christ, whose tears, and bloody sweat, and gaping wounds, attest his brotherhood with mankind; and it will be clear to all intelligences that however dread his sentences are, he could only be merciful. God shall judge us by Jesus Christ, so that the judgment may be indisputable.

32. But listen well — for I speak with a great weight upon my soul — this judgment by Christ Jesus, puts beyond all possibility any hope of subsequent intervention. If the Saviour condemns, and such a Saviour, who can plead for us? The owner of the vineyard was about to cut down the barren tree, when the gardener of the vineyard pleaded, “Leave it alone this year also”; but what can come of that tree when the gardener himself shall say to the master, “It must fall; I myself must cut it down!” If your Saviour shall become your judge you will be judged indeed. If he shall say, “Depart, you cursed,” who can call you back? If he who bled to save men at last comes to this conclusion, that there is no more to be done, but they must be driven from his presence, then farewell to hope. To the guilty the judgment will indeed be a

   “Great day of dread, decision, and despair.”

An infinite horror shall seize upon their spirits as the words of the loving Christ shall freeze their very marrow, and fix them in the ice of eternal despair. There is, to my mind, a climax of solemnity in the fact that God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ.

33. Does this not also show how certain the sentence will be? for this Christ of God is too much in earnest to play with men. If he says, “Come, you blessed,” he will not fail to bring them to their inheritance. If he is driven to say, “Depart, you cursed,” he will see it done, and into the everlasting punishment they must go. Even when it cost him his life he did not draw back from doing the will of his Father, nor will he shrink in that day when he shall pronounce the sentence of doom. Oh, how evil must sin be since it constrains the tender Saviour to pronounce sentence of eternal woe! I am sure that many of us have been driven recently to an increased hatred of sin; our souls have recoiled within us because of the wickedness among which we dwell; it has made us feel as if we would gladly borrow the Almighty’s thunderbolts with which to strike iniquity. Such haste on our part may not be seemly, since it implies a complaint against divine longsuffering; but Christ’s dealing with evil will be calm and dispassionate, and all the more crushing. Jesus, with his pierced hand, that bears the attestation of his supreme love for men, shall wave the impenitent away; and those lips which invited the weary to rest in him shall solemnly say to the wicked, “Depart, you cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” To be trampled beneath the foot which was nailed to the cross will be to be crushed indeed: yet so it is, God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ.

34. It seems to me as if God intended in this to give a display of the unity of all his perfections. In this same man, Christ Jesus, the Son of God, you see justice and love, mercy and righteousness, combined in equal measure. He turns to the right, and says, “Come, you blessed,” with infinite delight; and with the same lip, as he glances to the left, he says, “Depart, you cursed.” Men will then see at one glance how love and righteousness are one, and how they meet in equal splendour in the person of the Well-Beloved, whom God has therefore chosen to be Judge of the quick and the dead.

35. IV. I will be finished when you have borne with me a minute or two upon my next point, which is this: and ALL THIS IS ACCORDING TO THE GOSPEL. That is to say, there is nothing in the gospel contrary to this solemn teaching.

36. Men gather to us, to hear us preach of infinite mercy, and tell of the love that blots out sin; and our task is joyful when we are called to deliver such a message; but oh, sirs, remember that nothing in our message makes light of sin. The gospel offers you no opportunity of going on in sin, and escaping without punishment. Its own cry is, “Unless you repent, you shall all likewise perish.” Jesus has not come into the world to make sin less terrible. Nothing in the gospel excuses sin; nothing in it affords toleration for lust or anger, or dishonesty, or falsehood. The gospel is as truly a two-edged sword against sin, as the law ever can be. There is grace for the man who forsakes his sin, but there is tribulation and wrath upon every man who does evil. “If you do not turn he will whet his sword; he has bent his bow, and made it ready.” The gospel is all tenderness to the repenting, but all terror to the obstinate offender. It has pardon for the very chief of sinners, and mercy for the vilest of the vile, if they will forsake their sins; but it is according to our gospel that he who goes on in his iniquity, shall be cast into hell, and he who does not believe shall be damned. With deep love for the souls of men, I bear witness to the truth that he who does not turn with repentance and faith to Christ, shall go away into punishment as everlasting as the life of the righteous. This is according to our gospel: indeed, we would not have needed such a gospel, if there had not been such a judgment. The background of the cross is the judgment seat of Christ. We would not have needed so great an atonement, so vast a sacrifice, if there had not been an extreme sinfulness in sin, an extreme justice in the judgment, and an extreme terror in the sure punishments of transgression.

37. “According to my gospel,” says Paul; and he meant that the judgment is an essential part of the gospel creed. If I had to sum up the gospel I should have to tell you certain facts: Jesus, the Son of God, became man; he was born of the virgin Mary; lived a perfect life; was falsely accused by men, was crucified, dead, and buried; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God; from where he shall also come to judge the quick and the dead. This is one of the elementary truths of our gospel; we believe in the resurrection of the dead, the final judgment, and the life everlasting.

38. The judgment is according to our gospel, and in times of righteous indignation its terrible significance seems a very gospel to the pure in heart. I mean this. I have read this and that concerning oppression, slavery, the treading down of the poor, and the shedding of blood, and I have rejoiced that there is a righteous Judge. I have read of secret wickednesses among the rich men of this city, and I have said within myself, “Thank God, there will be a judgment day.” Thousands of men have been hung for much less crimes than those which now disgrace gentlemen whose names are on the lips of rank and beauty. Ah me, how heavy is our heart as we think of it! It has come like a gospel to us that the Lord will be revealed in flaming fire, taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. {2Th 1:8} The secret wickedness of London cannot go on for ever. Even those who love men best, and most desire salvation for them, can only cry to God, “How long! How long! Great God, will you endure this for ever?” God has appointed a day in which he will judge the world, and we sigh and cry until it shall end the reign of wickedness, and give rest to the oppressed. Brethren, we must preach the coming of the Lord, and preach it somewhat more than we have done; because it is the driving power of the gospel. Too many have kept these truths back, and so the bone has been taken out of the arm of the gospel. Its point has been broken; its edge has been blunted. The doctrine of judgment to come is the power by which men are to be aroused. There is another life; the Lord will come a second time; judgment will arrive; the wrath of God will be revealed. Where this is not preached, I am bold to say the gospel is not preached. It is absolutely essential to the preaching of the gospel of Christ that men be warned concerning what will happen if they continue in their sins. Ho, ho, sir surgeon, you are too delicate to tell the man that he is ill! You hope to heal the sick without their knowing it. You therefore flatter them; and what happens? They laugh at you; they dance upon their own graves. At last they die! Your delicacy is cruelty; your flatteries are poisons; you are a murderer. Shall we keep men in a fool’s paradise? Shall we lull them into soft slumbers from which they will awaken in hell? Are we to become helpers of their damnation by our smooth speeches? In the name of God we will not. It becomes every true minister of Christ to cry aloud and not spare, for God has set a day in which he will “judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” As surely as Paul’s gospel was true the judgment will come. Therefore flee to Jesus today, oh sinners. Oh you saints, come hide yourselves again beneath the crimson canopy of the atoning sacrifice, so that you may be ready now to welcome your descending Lord and escort him to his judgment seat. Oh my hearers, may God bless you, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

[Portion Of Scripture Read Before Sermon — Re 20]
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Heaven — Jerusalem The Golden” 863}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Jesus Christ, Second Advent — The Lord Shall Come” 364}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Jesus Christ, Second Advent — Come Quickly” 345}


The Christian, Heaven
863 — Jerusalem The Golden <7.6.>
1 Jerusalem the golden,
      With milk and honey blest,
   Beneath thy contemplation
      Sink heart and voice oppress’d:
   I know not, oh I know not
      What joys await us there:
   What radiancy of glory,
      What bliss beyond compare!
2 They stand, those halls of Sion,
      Conjubilant with song,
   And bright with many an angel,
      And all the martyr throng:
   The Prince is ever in them,
      The daylight is serene;
   The pastures of the blessed
      Are deck’d in glorious sheen.
3 There is the throne of David,
      And there, from care released,
   The song of them that triumph,]
      The shout of them that feast;
   And they, who with their Leader
      Have conquer’d in the fight,
   For ever and for ever
      Are clad in robes of white!
                  John Mason Neale, 1851.


Jesus Christ, Second Advent
364 — The Lord Shall Come
1 The Lord shall come! the earth shall quake;
   The mountains to their centre shake;
   And, withering from the vault of night,
   The stars shall pale their feeble light.
2 The Lord shall come! but not the same
   As once in lowliness he came;
   A silent lamb before his foes,
   A weary man, and full of woes.
3 The Lord shall come! a dreadful form,
   With rainbow wreath and robes of storm;
   On cherub wings, and wings of wind,
   Appointed Judge of all mankind.
4 Can this be he, who wont to stray
   A pilgrim on the world’s highway,
   Oppress’d by power, and mock’d by pride
   The Nazarene — the Crucified?
5 While sinners in despair shall call,
   “Rocks, hide us; mountains, on us fall!”
   The saints, ascending from the tomb,
   Shall joyful sing, “The Lord is come!”
                     Reginald Heber, 1811;
                     Thomas Cotterhill, 1815.


Jesus Christ, Second Advent
345 — Come Quickly
1 Come, Lord, and tarry not;
   Bring the long look’d for day;
   Oh, why these years of waiting here,
   These ages of delay?
2 Come, for thy saints still wait;
   Daily ascends their sigh;
   The Spirit and the bride say, Come;
   Dost thou not hear the cry?
3 Come, for creation groans,
   Impatient of thy stay,
   Worn out with these long years of ill,
   These ages of delay.
4 Come, for the corn is ripe,
   Put in thy sickle now,
   Reap the great harvest of the earth;
   Sower and Reaper thou!
5 Come, in thy glorious might,
   Come with the iron rod,
   Scattering thy foes before thy face,
   Most mighty Son of God.
6 Come, and make all things new,
   Build up this ruined earth,
   Restore our faded Paradise,
   Creation’s second birth.
7 Come, and begin thy reign
   Of everlasting peace;
   Come, take the kingdom to thyself,
   Great King of Righteousness.
                  Horatius Bonar, 1857.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

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Modernized Edition of Spurgeon’s Sermons. Copyright © 2010, Larry and Marion Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada. Used by Answers in Genesis by permission of the copyright owner. The modernized edition of the material published in these sermons may not be reproduced or distributed by any electronic means without express written permission of the copyright owner. A limited license is hereby granted for the non-commercial printing and distribution of the material in hard copy form, provided this is done without charge to the recipient and the copyright information remains intact. Any charge or cost for distribution of the material is expressly forbidden under the terms of this limited license and automatically voids such permission. You may not prepare, manufacture, copy, use, promote, distribute, or sell a derivative work of the copyrighted work without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

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