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Free Books » Bonar, Horatius » Light & Truth: The Gospels

Chapter 75 - John 12:48 - The Judging Word Light & Truth: The Gospels by Bonar, Horatius




The Judging Word.


"The word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."

-John 12:48.



     1. There is a last day. This world shall not always roll on. There shall be a stoppage, a break. God shall interpose at length. He shall speak and not be silent. He shall make bare his arm. It is God's day that is coming. "He hath appointed a day." Not "the last" in one sense; for there shall be no last day either to righteous or wicked. But in reference to the existing state, and order, and run of things and events, there is a last day, a winding up, a reckoning. The world's great river shall at last reach the sea. "Tomorrow" shall then cease, and that word of mystery, and procrastination, and suspense be known no more.

     2. That day shall be one of judgment. The long unsettled cases of earth shall be settled then. Time's riddles shall all be solved. Time's mysteries shall all be cleared up. Time's wrongs shall all be righted. The oppressed shall be vindicated; the triumphing of the wicked shall cease; the evildoer shall be put to shame. No more error, or unbelief or falsehood, or wrong judgment upon men and things. No calling good evil, and evil good; no putting light for darkness, or darkness for light. No shams, no shadows, no mockeries, no dishonesties, no hypocrisies. All shall be transparency, light, truth, righteousness. The judgment shall be just; undoing the evil; establishing and perfecting the good; no partiality; no respect of persons; no fear of man; no bribery nor corrupt influence; no hesitations nor imperfect decisions. The Judge is righteous, and his sentences will be righteous like Himself.

     3. Christ's word shall judge us. Not that this word is to supersede the Judge, but it will form the test, the ground of judgment. We can imagine, in connection with that word, such questions as these arising.

     (1.) Did that word reach you? Were you within the circle to which that word came? Did it fall on your ears?

     (2.) Did you listen to it? Did you open both ear and heart to it? Or, did you spend your lives in listening to something else,-other words, other persons?

     (3.) Did you treat it as a true word? It is true, infinitely 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?

     (4.) Did you treat it as accurate? It is thoroughly so. 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 cavil at it as not quite satisfactory or sufficient, in order to get quit of the tremendous pressure of responsibility on the conscience arising out of a perfect word.

     (5.) 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, but divine; divine in its origin, in its substance, in its form,-directly (not indirectly like the works of creation) divine. Did you treat it as such? Did you reverence it, submit to it, implicitly receive it? If not, then you are verily guilty,-just as if you refused to worship God. He that 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.

     (6.) Did you accept it as suitable to yourself? It does concern you, very closely and powerfully. It bears on you just now in time; still more so hereafter in eternity. He meant it for you. He spoke it for you. He directed it so as to suit you, and to reach you. It meets your case. 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 acceptation? Or did you pass it by as unneeded and unsuitable? Did you treat it with indifference as if you were not concerned in it? Did you reject it? Did you say, I needed it not, and so I flung it from me?

     By this word, then, let us judge ourselves just now, that so 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 nigh to God? Has it set us in the position of pardoned men? 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 hitherto, 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, upon that reception, immediate forgiveness, and an everlasting salvation. He that receives the word of the Amen, the true and faithful witness, shall be saved. There is no "if," no "perhaps," no doubting about it. It is a present certainty; and a certainty as absolute as it is present. In that word is life, peace, pardon, reconciliation; and the moment that faith touches that word, all these flow out into the soul. Yes; he that believeth shall be saved; but lie that believeth not shall be damned.