19 SEPTEMBER (PREACHED OLNEY FAIR DAY)
‘… 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 20:12
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Joshua 1:1–9
When the Judge is seated, and the multitude assembled, the trial will begin. The books were opened—this you will understand is spoken after the manner of men. The Lord needs no book, but it is to represent to us the exactness of his knowledge and the impartiality of his proceedings. But what are these books? There is:
(i) the statute book, the book of the law. Some of you perhaps have this in your houses and it lies by shut up from week to week. You think it not worthy your notice, but it will be opened then and you must hear its contents.
(ii) the book of God’s remembrance. Because he exercises longsuffering now, poor blinded sinners think he regards them not. They say in their heart, at least, Psalm 73:11 [How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High?]. But what says the Lord? Jeremiah 23:24 [Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD]; Psalm 50:21 [These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes]. Then they will find it so.
(iii) the book of conscience. Sinners strive to keep it shut now and too often prevail; they get but a little glance of its contents—they cannot bear to read it—but it is filling every day and O how will they be astonished when they are fully acquainted with its contents! When all their secret sins, their wicked works and words, are revealed to their view. Then they will be struck dumb.
When the list shall be produced
Conscience then, compelled to read,
Of the talents I enjoyed;
Must allow the charge is true;
Means and mercies, how abused!
Say, my soul, what canst thou plead
Time and strength, how misemployed!
In that hour, what wilt thou do?
SERMON: REVELATION 20:11–12 [4/6] [EASTER MONDAY EVENING]