(William S. Plumer, "The Rock of Our Salvation" 1867)
"For God will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." Ecclesiastes 12:14
God has appointed a day in the which He will judge the world. Respecting this day several things are noticeable. All shall be judged.
Saints and sinners,
great and small,
living and dead,
the servant and his master,
the prisoner at the bar and the judge who sat on his trial,
the assassin and the assassinated,
the seducer and his victim,
the invader and the invaded,
the hireling and his oppressor,
the king and his subjects,
the fool and the wise man,
the persecutor and the persecuted,
the child of God and the child of the devil, shall all be there!
No one shall be so mighty, and no one shall be so lowly--as to elude the eye or the sentence of Him who shall sit upon the throne of judgment! What a massive multitude will this be--when
prophets, apostles, martyrs, confessors, saints of all ages;
when sinners, liars, infidels, blasphemers, moralists, and murderers--shall all be there;
when the sea and the dry land shall give up their dead;
when death and hell shall deliver up the dead who are in them;
when all who lived before the flood, all who have lived since the flood, and all who shall have lived to the end of time shall stand before God!
This will be the first and the last assembly--in which are found every person whom God ever made. To God, it is a certain and fixed day. He has appointed it. Acts 17:31. Nothing can hasten it; nothing can retard it. The purpose of God concerning it is fixed, unalterable. To all creatures, it is an unknown day. "Of that day and hour knows no man; no, not the angels of heaven." The day of judgment will be THE great day. It will be the greatest day in the annals of the universe! It is the day for which all other days were made. This day is so well known to inspired men, that they call it the day, that day--as preeminent over all others.
It will be the LAST day. After it, time will be no more--time will cease to exist. Duration will no more be measured by seconds, minutes, days, months, years, centuries, cycles; but all will be boundless, shoreless, fathomless, unmeasured eternity!
It will be a day of astounding exposures. Villainy will be covered up no more. Every disguise will be taken away. There is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; neither hidden, that shall not be known.
It will be a day of intense excitement. There will be no listless spectators of those scenes. Every faculty of the intellect and of emotion will be aroused to the highest possible exercise. Men may sleep under sermons concerning the judgment, but they will not be dull when they go to judgment!
It will also be a day of final separation. The precious and the vile; the wheat and the tares; the sheep and the goats; saints and sinners--shall no longer mingle together. The separations of this day will be final. The righteous and the wicked shall part that day to meet no more.
It shall be a day of despair to all the unregenerate. Everywhere sinners will be crying to the rocks and the mountains: "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb!" Was ever despair more dreadful than this? This will be a day full of surprise. Not only will it come unexpectedly, but its awards will fill both saints and sinners with astonishment. So Christ teaches at length in Matthew 25. The wicked will be amazed that they are lost. They will be especially surprised that God sets no value on their self-righteousness. The sons of God will receive more honor than they ever asked or thought of. The sons of Belial will receive more wrath than they ever feared. Christians will marvel why they are saved. Sinners will wonder why they are not saved. Many will be lost--contrary to the opinions formed of them by their neighbors. Many will be lost--contrary to the opinions they had formed of themselves!
The judgment is coming!
The Judge stands at the door!
The time is short!