Facing God - Part 2

Scripture: Revelation 20:12, Malachi 3:16, Daniel 12:1
What is the judgment day at the end of time all about? Will everyone face their life's record? How is everything recorded? God has kept a careful record of every thought and action of every person who has ever lived.
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In yesterday's broadcast we introduced the impressive subject of the worlds final judgment. We learned that every individual must face an unerring record of his life, including the secret things of the heart. God will be the Judge.

Today we want to learn more about this inevitable event in our future. Since no one can avoid it, we should, at least, try to learn all we can about our case in court. For example, How is the evidence presented? Where do they get the information? How do they know what I have done? Let's read it. In Revelation 20:12 the Bible speaks of the record books. "And I saw the dead, both small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." And so, according to the Word of God, people are going to be judged from the books which the angels keep. Angels keep the records with unerring accuracy. They miss absolutely nothing. There is the Book of Life which we just mentioned in Revelation 20:12. There is the Book of Remembrance: Malachi 3:16; and there is the Book of Death: Psalm 69:28. We must understand this. There will be no arguing with those books. It would be just a waste of time. Now supposing after the broadcast you and I were discussing the sermon outside the studio and you said. "Preacher you said thus and so today." And I said, "No, I didn't." You said, "Well, I think you did." So I finally said, "Let's check the recorder." The recording would tell what I said and there is no arguing with it because it is picking up exactly what was said. Now it will be that way in the judgment. The angels are recording with absolute accuracy every single thing you do, every single thing you say, every thought of yours, good or bad. They will record some of the sins you would have committed if you had had an opportunity. Remember that! It will all be in the books and there will be no arguing with those books because the angels keep a perfect record.

Now here is a solemn question for each of us. Is my name in the Book of Life? What about it? When we surrender to Christ our name is written in that book. Is your name in that book? Only those whose names are found in the Book of Life are going to be pronounced "not guilty." I read that in Daniel 12:1. "At that time shall Michael stand up, the Great Prince which standeth for...thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, everyone that shall be found written in the book." So if your name isn't in the Book of Life (there will be no arguing, friends, it will either be there or it won't be there) at the second coming of Christ you will be lost. Revelation 20:15 says, "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." Do you see how clear and plain the Bible makes it? There is no question about it.

Well, we have been summoned to court. We begin to think of it and we realize that the day of trial is drawing near and so we think,"Maybe we had better go over and talk to the Lawyer a little bit about our trial" and we remember that our Lawyer is the Lord Jesus Christ. We go to the Lawyer and say to Him, "Tell us, just what is going to be considered in this trial, what part of our lives?" I would like to read you His answer from Matthew 12:36,37. "But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." Did you ever read that text before? "Every idle word that men shall speak they shall give account thereof?" Justified by your words? James says "If any man offend not in word; the same is a perfect man." See James 3:2. When we think of that we begin to realize how many things we have said. If we could just keep quiet, when we ought to keep quiet. I think all of us err there some. That is why the Bible warns us of our words. The Lord is going to bring every word spoken very forcibly to our attention in that trial, every single one of them. And as the books are opened and they begin to read, oh, how many times we will say, "Why didn't I keep quiet? Why did I have to say that?" We will all say it. Oh, how careful we ought to be with our words. As he mentions that to us we begin to study a little further and we say, "Well what about our thoughts? You have said our words would be brought in, what about our thoughts?" Eccl. 12:14 "For God shall bring every work into judgment with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." Dear friends, improper thoughts will face you one day in the judgment. And oh, how a person then will wish he had lived a little closer to Jesus.

And so we say to the Lawyer, "We realize that if we do anything wrong, that is sin. Is it true that if we cling to one sin only we will be lost? And His answer is in Exodus 32:33. "Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book." And we say, "Well, of course, if we are not completely satisfied with the decision that the court makes we can appeal to a higher court, can't we?" And the lawyer replies very sadly, "No, I am sorry, but there will be no appeal because this court makes no mistakes. Everyone will receive precisely what he deserves." "He that is holy, let him be holy still (the Bible says) and he that is unjust, let him be unjust still." Revelation 22:11,12. And we begin to see what it means and now we begin to question the lawyer a little bit more excitedly and say "Well, then what can we do? We all say things we shouldn't. We all think things we shouldn't. What are we going to do? Is there no hope? ls there no way of escape? Are we doomed, every one of us?" And then quietly the Lawyer begins to explain. He says in John 14:1, "Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God believe also in Me." I John 1:7,9, "If we walk in the Light as He is in the Light we have fellowship one with the other. And the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

And then with a look of tender compassion the Lawyer invites us to sit down and just talk it all over with Him and He tenderly says,"Come now let us reason together. Though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow. Though they be red like crimson they shall be as wool." Isaiah 1:18. And as He speaks, gradually we begin to see just a little gleam of hope, a way of escape, like the little girl who was studying her Sunday School lesson one day and she got up and went in to her mother and said, "Mommie, haven't you always told me that God could do anything? That there wasn't anything in the world God couldn't do." The mother said, "Yes." She said, "Well, I think I have found something He can't do." The mother said, "Don't talk like that." She said, "No, I mean it." The mother said, "What are you talking about?" She answered, "According to what I have found here in my lesson God can't see my sins at all if they are covered with the blood of Jesus." And you know, she is absolutely right. That is wonderful doctrine. It is a wonderful truth.

The great men of God all down through the ages have been perplexed with that one thing until God helped them understand. There was Martin Luther, a man who had the courage to go out and start the reformation all by himself with his hand in the hand of God. What would we have done without Martin Luther and yet he said, "I am a great sinner." He said it again and again. He said, "I am perplexed, and I get discouraged." One time when he was discouraged the devil was egging him on. (You know how he does. The devil causes you to sin. He follows you around until you commit a sin of some kind and then when you have done it and you feel so terrible and so low and so worthless and so evil, he says, "Yes, aren't you a fine Christian? Aren't you a wonderful Christian? You surely are. You are a great example to unbelievers." And he taunts you, doesn't he? Surely ) Well, he was doing Martin Luther that way one time and Martin Luther was just about ready to quit the whole thing and finally he said, "I think I'll go home and go to bed." He did.

Then he had a dream. In this dream or vision (whatever it may have been) he saw Satan. And Satan had a great blackboard and he had it just filled with writing. He said, "Look here, Brother Martin, I want to show you something." And Martin Luther looked up and he saw sins of all kinds and all descriptions written on the board. Then the devil said, ‘'Do these look familiar to you, Brother? Whose sins are these? Will you admit it? They are your sins, Brother Martin Luther!" "Yes, they are mine," said Martin Luther. "Now let me tell you something," the devil said. "If you think you will ever make the kingdom of God you are completely wrong. I was put out of heaven for one sin. Look at those sins. What chance do you have?" But Martin Luther noticed that he was standing over one corner of the board covering something up and so he asked him to move. He wouldn't move and so Martin Luther (in his dream) got up and pushed him out of the way and do you know what he was covering? He was covering a verse of Scripture that was written in red ink ( or blood, as Martin Luther called it). That text said, "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1 John 1:7.

Oh, I want to turn your attention away from the depressing discouragements of sin to the blood of Jesus, because the blood of Jesus cleanses from sin. Now let me ask you, would you like to see your sins written down? Not a one of you! Now, friends, what are we going to do about these sins? We can't pay that debt. What are we going to do? Ah, thank God, the Lord Jesus is going to help. Isaiah 43:25 says, "I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions." I love that. He blots them out. Thanks be to God, Jesus blots out all of our sins.

Come with me now for the next few moments to the judgment scene. Try to picture, if you can a great throne, high and lifted up. And there on that throne is the Lord God of heaven in all His majesty and glory and brightness, the angels of heaven, an innumerable company, surrounding the throne with glory that would simply stagger a human being, and there standing at the throne is the Lawyer, the one who intercedes for you and the one who intercedes for me, the Lord Jesus Christ. I picture the great books being opened, the first name considered there on that record is perhaps the name of Abel because he was the first Christian who died. He was killed by his brother, you remember. They open the book and begin to go through the records. Sins, sins, sins, sins, over and over again, but he confessed those sins. Follow him right down to the end of his short lifetime and we find him there building an altar and taking the lamb, as God had said, and sacrificing it. And as the blood poured out of that lamb he turned his eyes heavenward and said, "Oh, God this blood represents the blood of Jesus. Through His blood I can be forgiven. Oh, I am so thankful for that. I accept His blood." He bowed his head in prayer and then the club came down upon his head, and he died by the hands of his brother Cain. That is the end of his record there before God. And Christ steps forward and says, "Father behold my hands and the print of nails. I went to the cross and my blood was poured out for people just like Abel. He accepted that sacrifice." And the Father says, "Leave his name on." And righteous Abel's name is left on the record of the Lamb's Book of Life.

And then I see them as they come to another case. The case of Peter, the one who preached so powerfully there on the day of Pentecost. They go down through the record book and they look at this and that and oh, the sins. He was so impetuous, so hardhearted, so apt to do the wrong thing. There is that page just black as coal, where he turned his back on Jesus and swore and said, "I don't even know Him." And oh, how Satan exulted that day and thought, "There is my man. I have him." But that isn't the end of it. With accuracy the angels have traced all the rest until we come right down to the end of Peter's life and we find him once again facing the multitude over his knowledge of Jesus Christ. But this time he doesn't deny it. This time he says, "Yes, I know Him. I love Him." And they say "All right we will put you to death just as we did Him." And Peter said, "No please don't do that. I am not worthy to die that way. If you must crucify me, crucify me with my head down." He died that way and the record ends there. And once again Jesus stands up before the Father and says as Peter's Lawyer, "I plead my blood." His sins are covered because of Calvary. And his name, too, is left on the Lamb's Book of Life and his sins all blotted out.

And then I picture them coming to another name, the name of Judas. Now Judas was a church member. Mark this well, he was not only a church member but he was an ordained minister of the gospel, because the Bible says, "and he ordained twelve" and one of these was Judas. And yet Judas turned his back on the only one that could ever help him and sold Jesus into the hands of the murderous mob that night in the garden. He betrayed Jesus. And just very shortly afterward, the Bible says, he went out and hanged himself. It is an awful record. You ought to read it. It is a terrible thing. He died a suicide's death, with no forgiveness, no pardon, and that is the end of his record. Christ can't plead His blood. What could He say? His blood couldn't cover for Judas because Judas couldn't accept it and so there is silence and tears roll down the cheeks of Jesus as He realizes He did all he could do, but he and Judas will never be together in the kingdom of God. And the Father says, "Blot his name out of the Book of Life and write it in the Book of Death." And there is great sorrow around the judgment throne.

I picture one more name. Far more important to you than any of those names, your name. Picture the book being opened there and your name on the record. How does it read? What does it say? You know. You are the only one that can answer that. If your name came up today before the Great Judge in heaven, what would they decide about you? Are you fully surrendered to Jesus? Are you covered with His blood?

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