24. When the Son of Man, He says, shall come in His glory, and all the Angels with Him. Matthew 25:31 Behold, O man, before what multitudes you shall come to judgment. Every race of mankind will then be present. Reckon, therefore, how many are the Roman nation; reckon how many the barbarian tribes now living, and how many have died within the last hundred years; reckon how many nations have been buried during the last thousand years; reckon all from Adam to this day. Great indeed is the multitude; but yet it is little, for the Angels are many more. They are the ninety and nine sheep, but mankind is the single one. For according to the extent of universal space, must we reckon the number of its inhabitants. The whole earth is but as a point in the midst of the one heaven, and yet contains so great a multitude; what a multitude must the heaven which encircles it contain? And must not the heaven of heavens contain unimaginable numbers ? And it is written, Thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him Daniel 7:10; not that the multitude is only so great, but because the Prophet could not express more than these. So there will be present at the judgment in that day, God, the Father of all, Jesus Christ being seated with Him, and the Holy Ghost present with Them; and an angel's trumpet shall summon us all to bring our deeds with us. Ought we not then from this time forth to be sore troubled? Think it not a slight doom, O man, even apart from punishment, to be condemned in the presence of so many. Shall we not choose rather to die many deaths, than be condemned by friends?
25. Let us dread then, brethren, lest God condemn us; who needs not examination or proofs, to condemn. Say not, In the night I committed fornication, or wrought sorcery, or did any other thing, and there was no man by. Out of your own conscience shall you be judged, your thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing, in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men Romans 2:15-16 . The terrible countenance of the Judge will force you to speak the truth; or rather, even though thou speak not, it will convict you. For you shall rise clothed with your own sins, or else with your righteous deeds. And this has the Judge Himself declared — for it is Christ who judges — for neither does the Father judge any man, but he has given all judgment unto the Son John 5:22, not divesting Himself of His power, but judging through the Son; the Son therefore judges by the will of the Father; for the wills of the Father and of the Son are not different, but one and the same. What then says the Judge, as to whether you shall bear your works, or no? And before Him shall they gather all nations Matthew 25:32: (for in the presence of Christ every knee must bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth Philippians 2:10:) and He shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. How does the shepherd make the separation? Does he examine out of a book which is a sheep and which a goat? Or does he distinguish by their evident marks? Does not the wool show the sheep, and the hairy and rough skin the goat? In like manner, if you have been just now cleansed from your sins, your deeds shall be henceforth as pure wool; and your robe shall remain unstained, and you shall ever say, I have put off my coat, how shall I put it on ? By your vesture shall you be known for a sheep. But if you be found hairy, like Esau, who was rough with hair, and wicked in mind, who for food lost his birthright and sold his privilege, you shall be one of those on the left hand. But God forbid that any here present should be cast out from grace, or for evil deeds be found among the ranks of the sinners on the left hand!
26. Terrible in good truth is the judgment, and terrible the things announced. The kingdom of heaven is set before us, and everlasting fire is prepared. How then, some one will say, are we to escape the fire? And how to enter into the kingdom? I was an hungered, He says, and you gave Me meat. Learn hence the way; there is here no need of allegory, but to fulfil what is said. I was an hungered, and you gave Me meat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you took Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came unto Me. Matthew 25:35 These things if you do, you shall reign together with Him; but if you do them not, you shall be condemned. At once then begin to do these works, and abide in the faith; lest, like the foolish virgins, tarrying to buy oil, thou be shut out. Be not confident because thou merely possessest the lamp, but constantly keep it burning. Let the light of your good works shine before men Matthew 5:16, and let not Christ be blasphemed on your account. Wear thou a garment of incorruption , resplendent in good works; and whatever matter you receive from God to administer as a steward, administer profitably. Have you been put in trust with riches? Dispense them well. Have you been entrusted with the word of teaching? Be a good steward thereof. Can you attach the souls of the hearers ? Do this diligently. There are many doors of good stewardship. Only let none of us be condemned and cast out; that we may with boldness meet Christ the Everlasting King, who reigns forever. For He does reign for ever, who shall be judge of quick and dead, because for quick and dead He died. And as Paul says, For to this end Christ both died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and living Romans 14:9 .
27. And should you ever hear any say that the kingdom of Christ shall have an end, abhor the heresy; it is another head of the dragon, lately sprung up in . A certain one has dared to affirm, that after the end of the world Christ shall reign no longer ; he has also dared to say, that the Word having come forth from the Father shall be again absorbed into the Father, and shall be no more ; uttering such blasphemies to his own perdition. For he has not listened to the Lord, saying, The Son abides forever. John 8:25 He has not listened to Gabriel, saying, And He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end. Luke 1:33 Consider this text. Heretics of this day teach in disparagement of Christ, while Gabriel the Archangel taught the eternal abiding of the Saviour; whom then will you rather believe? Will you not rather give credence to Gabriel? Listen to the testimony of Daniel in the text ; I saw in a vision of the night, and behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days.....And to Him was given the honour, and the dominion, and the kingdom: and all peoples, tribes, and languages shall serve Him; His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom shall not be destroyed. Daniel 7:13-14 These things rather hold fast, these things believe, and cast away from you the words of heresy; for you have heard most plainly of the endless kingdom of Christ.
28. The like doctrine you have also in the interpretation of the Stone, which was cut out of a mountain without hands, which is Christ according to the flesh ; And His kingdom shall not be left to another people. David also says in one place, Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever ; and in another place, You, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundations of the earth, etc., they shall perish, but You remain, etc.; but You are the same, and Your years shall not fail : words which Paul has interpreted of the Son Hebrews 1:10-12 .
29. And would you know how they who teach the contrary ran into such madness? They read wrongly that good word of the Apostle, For He must reign, till He has put all enemies under His feet 1 Corinthians 15:25; and they say, when His enemies shall have been put under His feet, He shall cease to reign, wrongly and foolishly alleging this. For He who is king before He has subdued His enemies, how shall He not the rather be king, after He has gotten the mastery over them.
30. They have also dared to say that the Scripture, When all things shall be subjected unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subjected unto Him that subjected all things unto Him — that this Scripture shows that the Son also shall be absorbed into the Father. Shall you then, O most impious of all men, you the creatures of Christ, continue? And shall Christ perish, by whom both you and all things were made? Such a word is blasphemous. But further, how shall all things be made subject unto Him? By perishing, or by abiding? Shall then the other things, when subject to the Son abide, and shall the Son, when subject to the Father, not abide? For He shall be subjected, not because He shall then begin to do the Father's will (for from eternity He does always those things that please Him John 8:29 ), but because, then as before, He obeys the Father, yielding, not a forced obedience, but a self-chosen accordance; for He is not a servant, that He should be subjected by force, but a Son, that He should comply of His free choice and natural love.
31. But let us examine them; what is the meaning of until or as long as? For with the very phrase will I close with them, and try to overthrow their error. Since they have dared to say that the words, till He has put His enemies under His feet, show that He Himself shall have an end, and have presumed to set bounds to the eternal kingdom of Christ, and to bring to an end, as far as words go, His never-ending sovereignty, come then, let us read the like expressions in the Apostle: Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam till Moses. Did men then die up to that time, and did none die any more after Moses, or after the Law has there been no more death among men? Well then, you see that the word unto is not to limit time; but that Paul rather signified this —And yet, though Moses was a righteous and wonderful man, nevertheless the doom of death, which was uttered against Adam, reached even unto him, and them that came after him; and this, though they had not committed the like sins as Adam, by his disobedience in eating of the tree.
32. Take again another similar text. For until this day...when Moses is read, a veil lies upon their heart 2 Corinthians 3:14-15 . Does until this day mean only until Paul? Is it not until this day present, and even to the end? And if Paul say to the Corinthians, For we came even as far as unto you in preaching the Gospel of Christ, having hope when your faith increases to preach the Gospel in the regions beyond you , you see manifestly that as far as implies not the end, but has something following it. In what sense then should you remember that Scripture, till He has put all enemies under His feet 1 Corinthians 15:25? According as Paul says in another place, And exhort each other daily, while it is called today Hebrews 3:13; meaning, continually. For as we may not speak of the beginning of the days of Christ, so neither suffer thou that any should ever speak of the end of His kingdom. For it is written, His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom.
33. And though I have many more testimonies out of the divine Scriptures, concerning the kingdom of Christ which has no end for ever, I will be content at present with those above mentioned, because the day is far spent. But you, O hearer, worship only Him as your King, and flee all heretical error. And if the grace of God permit us, the remaining Articles also of the Faith shall be in good time declared to you. And may the God of the whole world keep you all in safety, bearing in mind the signs of the end, and remaining unsubdued by Antichrist. You have received the tokens of the Deceiver who is to come; you have received the proofs of the true Christ, who shall openly come down from heaven. Flee therefore the one, the False one; and look for the other, the True. You have learned the way, how in the judgment you may be found among those on the right hand; guard that which is committed to you 1 Timothy 6:20 concerning Christ, and be conspicuous in good works, that you may stand with a good confidence before the Judge, and inherit the kingdom of heaven:— Through whom, and with whom, be glory to God with the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever. Amen.
Lecture 16: The Prophets Prophesied that Jerusalem would be laid waste before it happened.
18. Esaias lived nearly a thousand years ago; and he beheld Zion as a booth. The city was still standing, and beautified with public places, and robed in majesty; yet he says, Zion shall be ploughed as a field , foretelling what is now fulfilled in our days. And observe the exactness of the prophecy; for he said, And the daughter of Zion shall be left as a booth in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers. And now the place is filled with gardens of cucumbers. Do you see how the Holy Spirit enlightens the saints? Be not therefore carried away to other things, by the force of a common term, but keep fast the exact meaning.
"The glorius second coming from heaven of the only-begotten Son of God, our Lord and Savior Jesus, the true Christ, ...