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Sounding The Trumpet
A. B. Earle
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TOPIC and SUBTOPIC: Judgment To Come, Thought Of Should Bring Sober Preparation.

TITLE: Sounding The Trumpet

An incident occurred in the Royal Family in Hungary that illustrates, in some degree, the call we shall all have soon, to appear before the judgment seat of Christ. This was the incident.

The King of Hungary had become deeply concerned about his salvation. He saw himself justly condemned before God for his sins. He could make no atonement for them, and might hear the trumpet call at any moment to come to judgment, and he was unprepared. He knew he must be condemned unless he had a deliverer. He manifested great concern for his personal salvation.

His whole court saw his anxiety. His own brother, a gay, worldly man, trifled with his feelings and the whole subject of religion, and indicated that he had no fears, and desired the king to be cheerful, and dismiss the subject from his mind.

The king, to convince his brother that they both had great cause for alarm while out of Christ, caused the death trumpet to be sounded at his brothers door in the dead hour of night. The custom of the country was, that if the executioner came, and sounded the trumpet before any mans door, he was presently led to execution. This gay brother heard this death trumpet at his door, and saw the executioner, who said: "Be ready."

The brother sprang from his bed, and rushed into the presence of the king to plead for mercy and forgiveness.

The king said: "Alas, brother, if the sight of my executioner is so dreadful to you, shall not I, who have so greatly offended God, fear to be brought before the judgment seat of Christ. Have I not the greatest excuse for anxiety? Shall we not both seek the atoning blood of Christ at once? If the sounding of an earthly executioners trumpet is so dreadful, how will the trumpet-call from the high court of heaven sound to one unprepared?"

As the day of judgment was the question of great alarm with the King of Hungary, perhaps the reader of this incident would like to have me answer a few questions, before I leave it, about that great day.

Does the Judgment take place as soon as we die?

I answer, there are two reasons why it cannot take place until time ends. The first reason is, there is no Judge to judge any one yet. Christ, who is appointed the Judge of all, is otherwise engaged, and will be until the end of time. No pardon could come to us but for the mediatorial work of Christ. When that is finished, Christ will leave the mediatorial seat, put on the robes of judgment, then say to the appointed angel:

"Now sound your mighty trumpet. The great court is opened."

Then, and not till then, shall we stand before the judgment of Christ. The resurrected body will join the spirit again.

If you ask me where are the dead, I answer, the saints are in heaven, without their bodies (their bodies are yet with us), yet in a State of sweet, active, conscious rest, praising God. I shall expect to join them in less than five minutes after my body dies.

Death will make no change in our characters. We shall be eternally what we were at death. He that is righteous will be righteous still, and he that is filthy will be filthy still. Like the fallen angels, the wicked will be in a state of conscious condemnation, and each receive the final sentence at the great judgment day, when time ends.

The other reason why the judgment has not, and can not, take place until the end of time, is, no one can tell how much good or how much evil he has done until time ends. God intends that we all shall see and understand this. Has John Bunyans influence ended? How is it with Albert Barnes and Wesley, with Scott, and Henry, and Clark, and Judson, and thousands more? Their influence is widening out every day. Many just get ready to do good when they die. They get the leaven in the meal, and leave it to leaven the whole. I thank God that we may go on doing good after we die until time ends.

The wicked will leave their influence, their books and example behind at death, and go on doing evil until the end of time, and be held responsible for it until the judgment day. It is a fearful thing to live or die without Christ for our advocate and Saviour.

The judgment day will give universal satisfaction. No one will say, God has been partial. I have not had justice done me.

The case of the two thieves crucified with our Redeemer will give us a miniature view of the whole scene.

I will suppose the one converted after he was nailed to the cross was the worst one, the ringleader; the other vile enough, but not as bad as the one converted.

The judgment day will satisfy both of them. As they enter the court room, one in his blood and guilt, and the other in his white robe, then, in the presence of assembled worlds, the books are opened, and both thieves confess that they have committed murder and sedition, and deserve a low place in perdition. Another book is then opened, and God shows both of them that he gave his Son to die for them, and that they had been often urged to accept Christ as their only hope; that one of them, and that one the worst of the two, accepted, and the other rejected him.

The unconverted thief will then see it, and say: "I see, I see, oh, I see it all now! I do not perish because I am worse than my brother thief. And he is not here in a white robe because he was better than I was. I understand now that God had but one way by which he could save either of us, and my brother thief (the vilest man I ever knew), accepted that one way, and I rejected it. I see now that it is too late, and that God can render me no help. The means of grace are all ended, and no Mediator now.

All will be satisfied that God has done what he could to save them. No one will be lost because he was the chief of sinners, or saved because he was so good, and not much of a sinner. The one was saved because he accepted of a finished salvation, and the other lost because he rejected it.

This is salvation and heaven through Christ alone. Oh, how this will glorify God before the eyes of an intelligent universe!

Let me ask you, my dear reader, to accept Christ as your Saviour at once. Won't you bow your head now, and, with the best faith you have, say, Jesus, I accept thee as my Saviour, and begin to serve him from this hour?

A. B. Earle, From: Incidents Usedů In His Meetings, published in 1888.

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