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Magazine - Revival? - March 2015
The Judging Word.
By Horatius Bonar.
The word that I have spoken,
the same shall judge him in the last day (John 12 v48).
There is a last day. This world will not always roll on, it will stop, a break. God will come at last. He will speak and not be silent. He will make bare His arm. It is God’s day that is coming - “He has appointed a day”. Not “the last” in one sense, for there will be no last day, but in reference to the existing state of things and events there is a last day, a winding up, a reckoning. The World’s great river will at last reach the sea.
That day will be one of judgment. The long unsettled cases of earth will be settled then. Time’s riddles will all be solved. Time’s mysteries will all be cleared up. Time’s wrongs will all be put right. The oppressed will be vindicated, the triumphing of the wicked will cease and evil-doer will be put to shame. There will be no more error, or unbelief, or falsehood, or wrong judgment. No calling good evil and evil good, no writing light for darkness or darkness for light. All will be transparency, light, truth, righteousness. The judgment will be just, undoing evil and establishing and perfecting good. No discrimination, no fear of man, no bribery or corruption, no hesitations or imperfect decisions. The Judge is righteous, and His sentences will be righteous like Himself.
Christ’s word will judge us. Not that this word is to supersede the Judge, but it will form the test, the ground of judgment. We can imagine such questions as these arising:
(a) Did the word reach you? Did you hear it?
(b) Did you listen to it? Or did you spend your life listening to something else, other words, other persons?
(c) Did you treat it as a true word? It is true, altogether true, did you treat it as such? Or was the treatment you gave it that of one who saw no truth in it? Did you profess to receive it as true and yet treat it as untrue?
(d) Did you treat it as accurate? There is no flaw, no mistake, no imperfection in it. Did you treat it as such or did you try to find fault with it to prove it to be incorrect and imperfect, perhaps contradictory? Did you feel it was not quite satisfactory or sufficient, to be rid of the tremendous pressure of responsibility on the conscience arising out of a perfect word?
(e) Did you treat it as divine? It is divine, for He who spoke it is the Son of God. His word is not merely perfect and superhuman, it is divine. Did you treat it as such? Did you reverence it, submit to it, receive it? If not, then you are guilty - just as if you refused to worship God. He who does not treat Christ’s words as divine is in the same sense guilty of blasphemy as he who denies His person to be divine. Men are to honour Him and His words even as they honour the Father and His words.
(f) Did you accept it for yourself? It does concern you, closely and powerfully. It concerns you now in time and still more so in eternity. He meant it for you. He spoke it for you. He directed it to reach you. It meets your condition. It contains what you need, peace with God and life eternal. Did you accept it as such? Did you receive it not only as a faithful saying but as worthy of all acceptance? Or did you pass it by as unneeded and unsuitable? Did you treat it with indifference as if you were not concerned? Did you reject it? Did you say, I didn’t need it, and so I flung it from me?
By this word let us judge ourselves now, so that we may not be condemned by it in the great day. It is a living word, quick and powerful, like Him who spoke it. Let us apply it. What has it done for us? Has it brought us near to God? Has it brought us pardon? Has it poured in peace and light? Has it done, and is it doing, for us, such things as these? It was meant to do so. Is it doing so?
If not, shall it not do so now? Remember, it is a judging, testing, discerning word with which you have to do. It is sharper than a two-edged sword. It will not allow itself to be trifled with. It carries its own judgment, its own vengeance within it. It demands immediate reception and it promises immediate forgiveness and everlasting salvation. He that receives the word of the Amen, the true and faithful witness, shall be saved. There is no “if”, no “perhaps”, about it. It is a present certainty. In that word is life, peace, pardon, reconciliation, and the moment that faith responds all these flow into the soul. Yes, the one who believes will be saved.
From ‘Studies in the Gospel of John’.
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The Editor’s Letter.
As I write this it is still the first month in 2015, and although by the time you read this it will probably be well into March, may I wish you God’s peace and blessing in yet another year of His patience.
In Joel 2 v1, God proclaims, through His prophet, “Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming . . . a day of darkness”.
The last few editions of the magazine have sought to be very positive about the wonder of our Lord and all He has done for us. Some may feel that the contents of this edition is sombre but I trust that the articles will make us think, set our eyes on Him, and Him alone, and encourage us to live in the victory that He has won for us at Calvary.
May the Lord, keep, bless and empower you as you go forward, with Him.
Yours in His precious Name,
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