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[by Rev. Wm. Graham, pastor from the June-July 1944 issue of Songs in the
Night, the newsletter of the Village Church of Western Springs, Illinois]
The other day a man asked me why God allowed this war to continue. I imagine
that this question is being asked more than any other question during these
days. “If there is a God, why doesn’t He stop this war?” We
find in the Word of God that the cause of war is sin, and that war is really
a result of man’s own iniquities, lusts, greeds, and sins. In a certain
sense war may be called a judgment of God upon a people for national sin, but
there is also a great judgment in the future for individual sin. The Bible has
declared that the wages of man’s sin is death, that man must suffer eternally
for the sin that is in his heart. We read in the Scriptures over and over again
about a great White Throne where judgment is to take place in the ages to come.
This will be a final judgment. It will take place after the millenium [sic]
and after Satan’s final rebellion. All the unrighteous dead of all ages
will he judged at this Great White Throne of judgment. The last resurrection
will immediately precede this judgment.
As we study the Word of God we find that there are really two resurrections. “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Daniel 12:2. The first resurrection may take place at any moment when the righteous dead shall be raised to meet the• Lord in the air. The last resurrection will be the resurrection of the unsaved dead in order to bring them for sentence before the throne of God. These two resurrections are at least one thousand years apart. No saved person will be judged at the White Throne. Therefore it will be a colossal error for a believer to promise his friends to meet them at the Great White Throne. That will be exclusively the meeting place of the unsaved of all ages. “And I saw a great white throne and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and heavens 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.” Rev. 20:11-12.
The basis of this judgment will be only one thing:—what have you done with Jesus Christ? The purpose of the judgment is really not to determine whether you are saved or lost. That is determined only in this life, and the moment a person dies, his destiny is sealed for all eternity. There is no salvation after death. This judgment will really be to sentence men and to determine the amount of punishment to be meted out to each individual. I think that the Scriptures clearly indicate that there are degrees of punishment for the ungodly, just as there are differences in rewards given to believers. Every man will be condemned on his own records. Thus every mouth will be stopped and the whole world will become guilty before God. No one will be able to point an accusing finger at God and say that He is unjust. Every pang of suffering in the lake of fire throughout eternity will be the result of man’s own sin. God has provided a way of escape through Jesus Christ for everyone. If man does not accept God’s free pardon, he cannot blame God for the eternal doom in the lake of fire. “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20: 14-15.
There are many who try to make punishment temporary by saying that the Greek word means “age long.” Even if the word, did, which it does not, mean “age long,” it would mean “forever,” because that is the final age. Friend, do you realize that some day you are going to have to stand before God? The curtain will have been rung down on time; the wheels of industry will have stopped. Places of amusement will be deserted; skyscrapers will crash to the ground. The earth will be rent. The dead, will come forth from earth and sea and you will be ushered into the presence of God and there at the Great White Throne of judgment you will face the record of your sins and your sentence will be pronounced. Can you meet the record of your sins?
Lost sinner, put your trust in Calvary’s Lamb Who shed His sinless blood to redeem you from your sin. If you will come to Him just as you are, with all your sin, and trust Him for your salvation, He will blot out your sin and record you in the Lamb’s Book of Life and adopt you into His family and save you from the judgment to come. Along with this glorious salvation come peace, assurance, satisfaction and joy in this life. Will you trust Him today?
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Last Revised: June 1, 2010
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