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The Assurance of Judgment

The Assurance of Judgment

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Published by glennpease

UPPER CANADA TRACT SOCIETY


Whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from
the dead. ACTS xvii. 31.

UPPER CANADA TRACT SOCIETY


Whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from
the dead. ACTS xvii. 31.

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Published by: glennpease on May 18, 2013
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The Assurance of JudgmentUPPER CAADA TRACT SOCIETYWhereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him fromthe dead. ACTS xvii. 31.I ^HE Resurrection of Christ is the turning-point of the world sJL history. From the day when He rose from the tomb a newimpulse was given to the world. The spirit of the Risen One seemedto enter into humanity; men s thoughts have been changed, theirhabits refined, their morals elevated ; the Church has been created,the world has been revolutionised. But it is not of the impulse thusgiven to the history of the world that the Apostle speaks ; his eyereaches across the stream of time, and he beholds the final issue of allthings ; he sees the Judge seated on His judgment-seat ; before whomthe books are opened ; he affirms his persuasion that a day is comingin the which all men shall give an account of their deeds to Himwhose eye is mighty to pierce beneath the plausible aspects of life,and to detect the hidden wrongs which respectability, rank, andreputation have long availed to hide. And when he is asked for theground of this expectation, he points to the Resurrection of Christ.I believe, he seems to say, that a day of judgment is at hand ; anddo you ask me why ? I point to the empty sepulchre, I point to therisen Lord, and I say that here is my witness that God has appointeda day in the which He will judge thee. 1On two thoughts righteousness in God, and responsibility in manthe judgment to come may be said to hinge. And it is to thesetwo thoughts that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ gives the moststriking emphasis, and in this way contributes an assurance of  judgment to come.I. First, it gives emphasis to the righteousness of God. There aremany arguments and illustrations by which we try to assure ourselvesof a life to come. But the one thought which seems more than anyother to have laid hold upon the minds of men is the spectacle of theinequalities and injustices of the world as it now is. It is felt thatwe cannot be looking upon a complete scene. Justice so often miscarries ; wrong is so often triumphant ; merit is not always rewarded ;evil seems to have a premium of success, and Fortune to distributeher honours and emoluments with careless hand and blinded eyes.If Christ remain in the tomb, though the yearning for justice maystill be strong, it lacks the assurance that it will even be satisfied ;for along the tide of time we should look and see that the wise and
 
good perish, as well as the ignorant and foolish ; that the innocentand the poor and the righteous have one and all vanished from thisworld, driven down too often into the land of darkness by the craftand crime of man, and God has never set the seal of His approval119EASTER DAYupon their holiness, vindicated their character, or given the sanctionof His pleasure to their life, till, looking in vain for some token thatGod approved the right, our hearts might have faltered, and ourfaith, like the Psalmist s, might have failed, or at least drooped into apainful hunger. But now is Christ risen from the dead ! And inHis Resurrection God has smiled upon the life of holiness, the deathof heroic love, and has set His seal upon the right, and pronouncedcondemnation on the wrong. He has told us in the Resurrectionof Christ that our faith in the ultimate victory of holiness is notwrong; that our belief that the innocent and pure would yet bevindicated is no hallucination ; that our confidence in the righteouscharacter of our Creator is not misplaced ; that the coming age willsupply the defects, remedy the faults, rectify the judgments, andavenge the wrongs of the present, that He has appointed a day inthe which He will judge the world in righteousness.II. Second, the Resurrection of Christ gives emphasis to the responsibility of man. The second element essential to this idea of a judgment hereafter is to be found in the responsibility of man ;without this, the judgment would be but a fiction and a meremockery of justice. And to this responsibility the Resurrection of Christ gives emphasis.The Resurrection of Christ is the proclamation of the possibilityof the spiritual Resurrection which has been the dream of the ages ;it is the pledge of the power which will be vouchsafed to us to walk in newness of life, the earnest of that Holy Spirit whose presence inour souls is the power of the life of holiness and love. Freely asGod s rain and sun, widely as human need and sorrow, is the gift of that life vouchsafed to man. As far as the deadening influences of hereditary moral taint have spread, may the quickening influences of the risen Christ be realised. The second Adam is made a quickeningSpirit. Let men be oppressed by the thought of the heart-crushingand life-crushing determinism ; there is a compensating power in theGospel. As sin reigned unto death the death of hope, the death of power, the death of love so grace reigns though righteousness unto

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