“GOD hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained” –“Jesus Christ, the righteous.” “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.” Acts 17:31; 1 John 2:1; John 5:22
A very vague and indefinite idea prevails in regard to the day of judgment. The view generally entertained is that Christ will come to earth, seated upon a great white throne, and that he will summon saint and sinner in rank and file before him to be judged, amidst great convulsions of nature –earthquakes, opening graves, rending rocks and falling mountains; that the trembling sinners will be brought from the depths of everlasting woe to hear their sins rehearsed, only to be again returned to an eternal and merciless doom; and that the saints will be brought from heaven to witness the misery and despair of the condemned, to hear again the decision in their own cases, and to return. According to the prevailing theory, all receive their sentence and reward at death; and this, which by way of distinction is commonly called the general judgment, is merely a repetition of that first judgment, but for no conceivable purpose, since they claim that a decision which is final and unalterable is rendered at death.
The entire time supposed to be assigned to this stupendous work of judging billions is a twenty-four hour day. A discourse recently delivered to a Brooklyn congregation voiced the general view on this subject. It affected to give a detailed account of the work of the Day of Judgment, representing it as completed within the limits of a single literal day.
This is a very crude conception, and is entirely out of harmony with the inspired Word. It is drawn from a too literal interpretation of our Lord’s parable of the sheep and the goats. (Matt. 25:31-46) It illustrates the absurdity of attempting to force a literal interpretation upon figurative language. A parable is never an exact statement, but merely an illustration of a truth by something which is in many respects like it. If this parable were a literal statement of the manner in which the judgment will be conducted, it would apply to literal sheep and goats, just as it reads, and not to mankind at all. Let us now look at a more Scriptural as well as a more reasonable view of the work and the result of the great Judgment Day which God hath appointed, with which reasonable and Scriptural conclusions all parables and figures should and do agree.
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