18 SEPTEMBER (PREACHED OLNEY FAIR DAY)
The majestic Judge
‘And I saw a great white throne, and him that 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, 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.’ Revelation 20:11–12
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Daniel 7:9–14
A throne: intimating the King himself will preside in person. An appeal lies from the judge, but not from the throne. A criminal may sometimes escape by the favour of the judge, or through some defect in the law, or for want of sufficient proof, but nothing of these can happen then. The King is Judge—he of whom it is said, His eyes are a flame of fire [Revelation 1:14; 19:12]—he whose presence none can avoid, whose knowledge none can deceive, whose power none can resist, whose sentence none can revoke. If the pomp and solemnity of an earthly assize is suited to impress an awe upon the spectators, what heart can conceive the terror and majesty of this Judge? My text in one single sentence expresses more than any exposition can reach: before him the heaven fled away.
Can the solemnity be heightened by numbers? See what a concourse—all that ever lived, small and great. The greatest not excused, the least not overlooked. But of all this immense assembly, not one will be a mere spectator, but all parties—every one has a cause of his own, a cause for eternity, before this Sovereign Judge.
Can I bear his awful looks?
Shall I stand in judgement then,
When I see the opened books,
Written by the Almighty’s pen?
If he to remembrance bring,
And expose to public view,
Every work and secret thing,
Ah, my soul, what canst thou do?
SERMON: REVELATION 20:11–12 [3/6] [EASTER MONDAY EVENING]