Words of Hope…
In the presence of the assembled inhabitants of earth and heaven the coronation of the Son of God takes place. And now, acknowledged as having supreme majesty and power, the King of kings
pronounces sentence on the rebels who have broken His law and
oppressed His people. “I saw a great white throne and Him who sat
on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there
was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great,
standing before God, and books were opened. And another book
was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged
according to their works, by the things which were written in the
books” (Revelation 20:11, 12).
As the eye of Jesus looks upon the wicked, they are conscious of every sin they have ever committed. They see where their feet left the path of holiness. The alluring temptations that they encouraged by indulging in sin, the messengers of God they despised, the warnings they rejected, the waves of mercy that their stubborn, unrepentant hearts beat back—all appear as if written in letters of fire.
Above the throne they see the cross. Like a panoramic view they watch the scenes of Adam’s fall and the steps that followed it in the plan of redemption. The Savior’s humble birth; His life of simplicity; His baptism in the Jordan; His fasting and temptation in the wilderness; His ministry bringing heaven’s blessings to humanity; the days crowded with acts of mercy, the nights of prayer in the mountains; the plottings of envy and meanness that repaid His benefits; His mysterious agony in Gethsemane beneath the weight of the sins of the world; His betrayal to the murderous mob; the events of that night of horror—the unresisting prisoner abandoned by His disciples, put on trial in the high priest’s palace, in the judgment hall of Pilate, before the cowardly Herod, mocked, insulted, tortured, and condemned to die—these events are all vividly portrayed.
And now the swaying crowd watches the final scenes: the patient Sufferer treading the path to Calvary; the Prince of heaven hanging on the cross; the priests and rabbis mocking His dying agony; the supernatural darkness marking the moment when the world’s Redeemer yielded up His life.
The awful spectacle appears just as it was. Satan and his subjects have no power to turn away from the picture. Each actor remembers the part he performed. Herod, who killed the innocent children of Bethlehem; the evil Herodias, guilty of the blood of John the Baptist; the weak, political Pilate; the mocking soldiers; the raging crowd who shouted, “His blood be on us and on our children!”—all try but fail to hide from the divine majesty of His face, while the redeemed throw their crowns at the Savior’s feet, exclaiming, “He died for me!”
There is Nero, monster of cruelty and vice, watching the exaltation of those Christians in whose dying anguish he found satanic delight. His mother witnesses her own work, how the passions that her influence and example encouraged have borne fruit in crimes that made the world shudder.
There are Catholic priests and officials who claimed to be Christ’s ambassadors, yet used the rack, the dungeon, and the stake to control His people. There are the proud popes who exalted themselves above God and dared to try to change the law of the Most High. Those pretended fathers have an account to settle with God. Too late they are made to see that the All-knowing One is particular about His law. They learn now that Christ identifies His interests with His suffering people.
The whole wicked world stands arraigned on the charge of high treason against the government of heaven. The lost have no one to plead their cause. They are without excuse, and God pronounces the sentence of eternal death against them.
The wicked see what they have forfeited by their rebellion. “All this,” cries the lost sinner, “I might have had. Why was I so blind! I have exchanged peace, happiness, and honor for wretchedness, disgrace, and despair.” All see that God is just in excluding them from heaven. By their lives they have declared, “We will not have this man [Jesus] to reign over us” (see Luke 19:14).
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