Alfred Place Baptist Church

2:5-10 When God’s Righteous Judgement Will be Revealed

But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God ‘will give to each person according to what he has done’. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honour and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honour and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
Romans 2:5-10

John Lennon might well have sung in his anti-Christian song “Imagine” the words, “Imagine there’s no judgment.” What are the alternatives to judgment? In the end either everyone is snuffed out ceasing to exist or everyone goes to heaven. There is no evaluation of any life at all. The poisoner and the killer and the rapist and the pickpocket and the blasphemer and the idolater and the liar and the bully and the stalker and the thief and the covetous and the violent man and the abuser of his wife and the suicide bomber and the thieving businessman and the dishonest banker and the crooked politician with his enormous expense account and the pornographic film and video maker and the unfaithful husband and unfaithful wife and the drunken driver and the man who sells drugs to children – they all go on living as they have always lived, unchanged evil lives, but now in heaven for ever and ever. You know that there is no sanctifying, transforming power in the act of dying. The stubborn remains stubborn. The unrepentant remains unrepentant. The man who hates God hates God still. The proud and selfish man is still proud and selfish. The man dominated by lust or greed or alcohol or anger is just like that after he has died. Imagine there’s no judgment, no evaluation of a life of hate and cruelty. For ever and ever and ever all of us remain just as we have lived in this world. We go on for ever just as indifferent to others as we’ve ever been.

The great monsters of history, Nero, Attila, Jack the Ripper, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Gadaffi, they are all the same in the world to come. The Artful Dodgers carry on . . . Judge Jefferies carries on . . . the Yorkshire Ripper carries on . . .  Harold Shipman, who killed scores of elderly people, is still the man he was. No judgment. No rebuke. No condemnation. No separation! Little wonder the prospect of such an eternity makes people desire that at death all are going to be annihilated.

But that belief inevitably means that life has the meaning that you impose on it, that you choose to give it because we all have exactly the same fate – we are snuffed out. You choose to give life the meaning of gratification through violence, or drugs or sexual abuse. There is no more severe judgment on the torturer at the end. He has the same identical fate as that of the person who for decades spent it caring for and serving others. Both eventually die – and that is it. The wicked are exactly on the same level as women who have spent many years lovingly caring for husbands with dementia. They both get snuffed out. The evil men who have escaped detection for the most unmentionable crimes which they often did in their lives will simply be annihilated just like the caring mother – one and all snuffed out. Imagine there’s no judgment. Is that good news?  Imagine annihilation for all of us. Nothingness! Is that a prospect you are looking forward to, absence from all that is familiar and lovely? Non existence! Nothing! Or would you want the company and activities of the most reprehensible of men and women for ever – the loudmouths and the cruel and the base for ever. Eternally watching your back, locking your house, careful for ever; grieving over all the wickednesses that will carry on for ever but now no death no suicide delivering you? Immortal wickedness. Isn’t that the triumph of evil?

There is of course another possibility and million believe in it and that is reincarnation, but reincarnation does involve judgments. The person who has lived a good life will live a better life when he is reborn as someone else, while the crook might come back in the next life as a rat. There is an evaluation in reincarnation, but the problem is that there is no way we can know what we did before or why we are suffering for it in the troubles or karma of this present life. Reincarnation cannot live with Christianity. On the Mount of Transfiguration, Moses and Elijah, centuries after they had lived on earth remained as Moses and as Elijah who briefly returned to meet with Christ. Their souls had not transmigrated from one person to another for a thousand years. When Jesus returned from death it was not as a baby newly born in India. The recognisable Jesus returned. The letter to the Hebrews tells us the death is not a process; “It is appointed unto men once to die and after death the judgment.” Death is an event not a process.

Now it is clear that Christianity does not encourage either annihilation or perpetual wickedness or reincarnation. What Paul says of God is typically found in the text before us, “his righteous judgment will be revealed. God ‘will give to each person according to what he has done’” (v.6), and what he gives is either eternal life or wrath and anger.

  1. WE ARE ASSURED OF A COMING JUDGMENT BY THE LORD.

So, I have reasoned with you to begin with. I have argued the case quite simply for the importance of each individual life being evaluated, and of a great separation. I have shown you the grimness of the other possibilities, that they offer no hope, and no redemption. But I want to show you as of first importance the centrality of a future divine judgment in the thinking of the Son of God. Maybe you are restless by my quoting from the words of the apostle Paul. “We want to hear Jesus,” you say. All right. Let’s stick for a moment to Jesus’ words. Listen to him speaking in the shadow of the cross in Matthew 25 and verses 31 through 33: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.” There is a judgment, said Jesus and consequently a great separation.

But will it be all right for you just as long as you have touched your cap to Jesus and cried to him ‘Lord’? What does Jesus say of that in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7 and verses 21 through 23? “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” So there is no hint on the lips of Jesus of a universal destination for all men ending in heaven. There will be judgment and then a separation that will result in many being put away from God for ever.

What does that mean? These are the words of Jesus in John 3 and verse 36; “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him” Away from Christ is being away from the covering that the name of Jesus provides. It means remaining under the wrath of God. Let me illustrate that like this. If you have an up to date passport then you can re-enter the United Kingdom at any time. You are covered. You cannot be kept away from your home. Jesus says that men and women have eternal life for believing in the Son, and they are condemned for not believing in the Son of God. Here is this extraordinary life, holy and perfect, this mind-blowing teaching and those mighty signs, showing his power over the winds and waves, over evil powers, over every kind of disease, and even his power over death itself, and men look at that and they say, “No. We cannot believe in him.” They believe in themselves and in all kinds of superstitions, but not in the Son of God. How fearful to reject him because he says in John chapter 3 and verse 18; “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

So Paul is a good apostle of Jesus Christ his Lord. He believed totally in everything the Saviour said, in all that the Master said about the judgment of God in hell. What did the Saviour say about hell? He threw out a number of startling word pictures. “It’s like being in fire,” Jesus said. “It’s like being in darkness. It’s like being with a worm that does not die,” he said. “It’s like the incessant sound of wailing and gnashing of teeth. It is like perpetual restlessness.” It’s not a place for you to live out all the sinful pleasures you got hooked on in this world. It’s a place God has prepared for the devil and his angels. Hell will be ruled over by Jesus. It is real and terrible. It is eternal. There is no possibility of amnesty or reprieve or release. The Lord Christ prophesied that he would say, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt.25:41).

Did Paul believe that? Wouldn’t it be terrible if Paul thought he knew better than Jesus, and that Paul said, “Tut tut! Jesus got it wrong. There’s no judgment! All will go to glory!” No, thank God, Paul didn’t. Paul taught what his master taught. In one of his earliest letters, the second letter he wrote to the Thessalonians chapter 1 and verses7 through 10 Paul said these striking words, “when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marvelled at among all those who have believed.”

Do you understand my perspective? Do you see where I am coming from? I worship Jesus Christ. For me he can say nothing wrong. I do not think, any more than Paul of Tarsus thought, that I know better than the Son of God. If the preacher of the Sermon on the Mount said that there would be a day of judgment looming up ahead of us, and a great separation, the bifurcation of the family of man, and that some would go to heaven and others would be condemned by our Lord to go to hell, then that is what I believe. And the man who raised the dead taught this. The man who was obeyed by great storms of wind taught this. The man who preached the parable of the Prodigal Son believed this. Then I trust everything he said. I do not trust my own feelings and doubts and fears, but I believe in Jesus, the one who said, “I am the truth.” So his apostle is dead right in what he says in the words of our text today. So secondly let’s see what Christ’s apostle warned he spoke to unbelievers.

  1. YOU ARE PREPARING YOURSELF FOR DIVINE WRATH AT THAT JUDGMENT BY STUBBORNNESS AND AN UNREPENTANT HEART.

That is what Paul says in verse 5. I’m not making all this up am I? “But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.” In other words you hear the gospel of Jesus Christ today, of how you may be delivered in the day of God’s wrath, the day of righteous judgment by putting all your hope in the Lord Jesus. You can be saved from condemnation, I say, if you are in Christ Jesus, if you are joined to him by faith. If you entrust your whole life to him and ask God to save you for Jesus’ sake then God can be righteous and still justify you because of the price paid by the Son of God. Showing mercy to the believer will be a righteous judgment, but if you continue being stubborn and unrepentant what you are doing is storing up for yourself more and more of the anger of God for your sin. You think of a great balloon blown up to bursting point, and every sin and wrongdoing and all your rejections of the gospel are more puffs of air into this balloon. It getting more and more inflated, the skin of the balloon gets thinner and thinner, more and more stretched. It’s another day in your life; your conscience speaks to you once again, but you reject it again. There is another gospel message when Jesus speaks to you and offers you rest and you say no. There is another word of witness from someone you love and yet you still say no, and so your rejection of God gets bigger and bigger and bigger. You are storing up against yourself God’s wrath for the day of wrath. One day God will come with the pin of death and prick the life you have filled to bursting point with sin. Pop! The end.

Remember how it was with Saul of Tarsus, hating Jesus and hating all those who testified to Jesus, arresting them, throwing them in prison, forcing them to blaspheme against Jesus, looking for new areas to go to strangle the infant church in its crib. When he was stopped short on the Damascus road how did this same Jesus describe what he was doing? He told Saul that he was kicking against a goad. The goad was a pointed stick held by a ploughman that prodded the ox pulling the plough to make him go straight and to keep working. The Lord goaded Paul’s conscience as he heard Stephen preach and as he watched the manner of Stephen’s death and he heard him pray for him, “O Lord don’t hold this sin against him.” He heard Stephen’s testimony that as he died he saw Jesus standing in heaven to receive him. Then he discovered that almost all the other Christians whom he arrested to be just the same, full of assurance that Jesus was the Messiah, full of love and forgiveness for those who were persecuting them. Saul heard and saw everything, the most glorious, persuasive testimony to the love of Jesus Christ anyone had heard in the early church, but Saul was stubborn and would not repent. He kicked against the message of Jehovah Jesus, the Messiah, the dying, rising Lamb of God – this man, who later was to write these mighty words that we’re looking at every Sunday. God kept speaking to him through Jesus-loving women and children and brave men who surrendered their women into God’s hands to keep them as they went out to be stoned to death. And every time Saul saw it and every time he heard of their love for Jesus his conscience goaded him deeper and sharper. The Lord commented on Saul’s stubbornness, “Saul, Saul . . . it is hard to keep kicking against the goads.” It is hard life without God and his salvation. It is a hard life to live without Jesus Christ, and to keep rubbishing the gospel, to refuse to stop hating Jesus. Saul wouldn’t let go of his stubborn and unrepentant heart, but Jesus kept loving him, and Jesus set a place and a time when he determined to meet with him and save him.

How long did it last, this personal encounter with Jesus Christ on the Damascus Road? Was it three minutes? When the Lord of glory starts to deal with you how brief it can be, when he gives you repentance, when he makes you willing, when he gives you assurance, when he convicts you of your sinning against him, when he persuades you that the Son of God loved you and gave himself for you? Does it take years? Of course the unbeliever is always telling us about he has ‘wrestled’ with the question of God. How he ‘wrestles’ while we are so superficial and gullible. The reality is that we obeyed Christ when he said, “Come to me,” while they did not.

What happened to many of you? You are going along in another sermon, listening, unmoved, unchanged. Then you realised that this was different, that God was dealing with you, speaking just to you, opening your eyes, enabling you to bow and say, “My Lord and my God.” It was then that everything changed. Afterwards there is a lot of rubbish to deal with. We bring a lot of baggage into the Kingdom of God with us. There are many new lessons to learn and old temptations to overcome and new attitudes to learn, and that is the pattern for the rest of our lives, but the initial life-transforming encounter is not long – like 15 year-old Spurgeon’s hearing the gospel one snowy Sunday morning, like John Newton’s encounter with God in the storm at sea, like Augustine’s reading some verses from Romans – all quite brief. Once Jesus is there, that has to happen, he has to be here and be dealing with you, then nothing is the same again.

How was it with another man named Paul? This is a 21st century Paul, Paul Washer. He has been a missionary in Peru for ten years, but now he is a preacher in the USA, and he has that rare grace, an awakening ministry. He has written four books of his messages and he offered them last year to Joel Beeke for publishing. “What shall I do with them?” Joel asked me, “they are all very good.” “Don’t bring them all out at once. Every six months bring one out,” I counseled.” “Good,” said Joel, and he’s done that, and the first two are out and the others are with the printer and they are full of gospel.

How was Paul Washer saved from a wretched life and an even more wretched eternity? What had he been doing until one life-shattering night? I’ll tell you. He was doing exactly what many of you are doing, he had been “storing up wrath against himself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.” That’s what Paul Washer was doing. I will let him speak in his own words. This is what he says, “Let me tell you about my Jesus. Let me tell you. Let me testify about my Lord. Many years ago I woke up in my apartment half naked, having drunk myself almost to death. I noticed I was cold, and felt something on my face. What was I lying in? I stumbled to my feet and I went to the mirror and I turned on the light and this preacher you see before you today was lost, and without Jesus, having slept the entire night in his own vomit. Let me tell you about my Jesus. He . . . has . . . saved . . . me, when I was such a wretch that you wouldn’t want to run me down in your car. But my Jesus, he bought me with his blood. And my Jesus came to me, and my Jesus took away my sin, and my Jesus took away my shame.

All hail the power of Jesus’ name, Let angels prostrate fall.
Bring forth the royal diadem and crown him Lord of all.

“That’s my Jesus. And I glory in my weakness. And I glory even in my sin. Where did last night’s stars go this morning? Have you ever asked yourself that question?  Did someone pull down a great blind and hide them? No. The stars are still there, but there is so much sunlight they can no longer be seen. We could see the stars last night only because of all the blackness all around them. I glory in Jesus Christ, the light of the world, and I glory in my sinfulness because my sins make him all the more glorious when he saved me from them.

“Sometimes people come to me and they say to me, ‘Brother, what’s the secret? How is it that you preach the way you do? How is it that you speak as you do? What’s the secret?’ Christ found me in a pool of vomit. That’s my secret. There are not many wise, and not many noble who are called. And I am the chiefest of all sinners. I was the lowest of the low. And that’s what Jesus does. That’s my secret. I had nothing. That’s my secret. And you could have much more than me on the outside, but let me assure you that on the inside you have nothing more than I had. We had nothing at all. They ask me, ‘How do you pray like that? How do you preach like that? Did you learn it in your devotional time?’ No you don’t understand. He saved me. He saved ME. They ask me, ‘Where did your powerful motivation come from? Did you get it from some verse you read, was it in ecstasy, or was it speaking in tongues?’ You don’t understand. He saved me . . . from what I was. There’s no silver bullet . . . except that I was the worst, and I had nothing, and he saved me. What else needs to be done to motivate us? What else needs to be said? Isn’t salvation enough?”

  1. EVERYONE WLL GET WHAT GOD CONSIDERS THEY DESERVE.

God’s judgment is a righteous judgment. You will get justice from God. He will bring every factor into consideration. There will be no false witnesses lying about you. There will be no hidden circumstances unknown to God. He can measure all the pressures you were under. He understands exactly how things have been. You will get justice. No one will experience his wrath who doesn’t deserve his wrath. No one in hell has ever pleaded that he or she didn’t deserve hell. Not one will complain that terrible injustice has been done. There are no miscarriages of justice in the pit. Not one. No orders for an instant retrial have come from the throne of the universe, nor ever will. It is a righteous judgment that your dear parents and your dear children, your husband and your wife, your brothers and your sisters are going to receive. God knows them exhaustively. Everything will be fair. Everyone will know the standards by which they are judged. They have all known God and they have known right and wrong and they will be judged by their own standards. You can trust this about the God of light in whom is no darkness at all. “God ‘will give to each person according to what he has done’” (v.7). So Paul brings us the cases of three people who are typical of 3 billion people.

i] There is Mr. Self-Seeking (v.8). Let me Bunyanize Paul’s description. Mr Self-Seeking; what do we know about him? Much in every way. He has lived his life centred on his own values and tastes and desires and pleasures. His anthem is Sinatra singing, “I did it my way.” He never considered what was God’s wishes for how he should live, how he should spend Sundays, how he should relate to members of the opposite sex, how he should spend his money, what sites he should visit on the Web, what he should do with his mind and physical energy and skills. How he should care for his parents when one or both got dementia. Rather he turned everything onto himself. He was Mr. Self-Seeking.

ii] There is Mr. Reject the Truth (v.8). At significant times in his life he came across followers of Jesus Christ. A boy in school told him of his faith in Christ. He was given a Gideon Bible and read it for a while. In college he was invited to a meeting and someone gave him Luke’s gospel. On a journey a passenger spoke to him of how he became a Christian. One day he was cruising through the channels of his TV and he stumbled across an earnest evangelist and he listened to the gospel. He once passed a preacher in the street and heard of Christ dying for our sins. He read a text outside a chapel. His children started to attend church. His wife expressed some wish that they were church going, and so on and on, but he was Mr. Reject the Truth and he brought out well-rehearsed arguments that were as thin and strong as a pancake, and he became an expert in changing the conversation

iii] There is Mr. Follow Evil (v.8). There was his father and mother who never darkened the doors of a church and he followed them. There were friends in school who introduced him to shop-lifting, and smoking grass, and taught him to swear and mock God and he followed them. He got hooked on pornographic magazines and websites. His Saturday nights were spent in getting drunk with the other men and women whom he followed. He said he espoused an open marriage. His business partner and himself cut the corners and cheated a little and lied a little and made a fast buck. Everyone else was doing it and he did just what they did. When a divorcee made some suggestions to him he followed her, because he could never take a stand for truth and righteousness. He was Mr. Follow Evil.

What happens to this trio? Paul tells us; “There will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile” (vv.8&9). You are self seeking and you will eventually meet divine wrath and anger, trouble and distress. You reject the truth and you are bound to encounter the wrath and anger of God, and trouble and distress. That is unavoidable. You follow evil and this is where it will take you, to the place of wrath and anger, to the place of trouble and distress. As sure as God lives and you have to die, then after death there is this judgment. No one is exempt. The Jew with all his knowledge of Scripture, and the covenants, and the promises of God when the Jew does evil then this will be his eternity, and the Gentile with his fine buildings and fledgling democracy, and education, and writings, and philosophy, and architecture, if he has done evil then he cannot escape the fruits of self-seeking, and rejecting the truth and following evil. “Do you think you will escape God’s judgment?” (v.3) asks Paul. Is there one single person here today and he is thinking, “Well, I’ll escape the judgment of God.” Why you? What is so righteous about you? What is so special about your relationship with God that he looks at you and says, “No case to answer”? Every life evaluated. Every life made by God, sustained by God, blessed by God, protected by God, enriched by God will be judged by God. Those amazing lives of fame and fortune and brilliance all end – if they go on rejecting Jesus Christ – in wrath, anger, trouble and distress.

You protest and you say, “But all you want is for a person to raise their hand, and sign a form, and repeat a prayer, and get baptized, and join your group, and then everything comes up roses.” No. It is not like that at all. We are asking people to face up to themselves and their sinning lives, and we are asking people to fairly look at Jesus Christ, to examine his life, and teaching, and mighty works, and claims, and his resurrection. We are asking them to think about what we say about how we understand the Lord Jesus Christ and how important we consider him to be. We want you to put your trust for acceptance with God in who Jesus Christ is and what he has done. He has lived the righteous life on your behalf – that life that you failed to live. He has died the death of the Lamb of God redeeming you from your sin, obtaining eternal forgiveness by taking your condemnation.

Then the proof that this has really, genuinely happened is the totally new life you are now living. You now have a new name. It is no longer Mr. Self Seeking. It is no longer Mr. Reject the Truth. It is no longer Mr. Follow Evil. It might be this . . .

i] Mr. Persistence in Doing Good (v.7). Throughout his entire life this Christian perseveres in doing good, and he doesn’t grow weary in it. He hears of a wife who has been ill and he and his wife take around some food, or they invite her and her husband around for a meal. “Can we shop for you? Is there anything you need? Don’t hesitate to ask.” Mr. Persistence in Doing Good gives to the work of the kingdom of God, to the chapel they attend, to the need of the education of poor children in Kenya. They are thoughtful and generous and kind-hearted and put themselves out to help others all through their lives. Or your new name might be . . .

ii] Mr. Seek Glory (v.7). Here is a Christian and if you ask him what is the chief end of man and so his chief end then he will tell you that it is to glorify God and enjoy him for ever. He seeks the glory of God in everything he does, whether it is what he eats and how he eats it and who he eats it with – it is done to glorify God. His use of his possessions and time and money is all addressed to this one end of glorifying God. When he is asked how are things going he will tell you, “Better than I deserve. I am what I am by the grace of God.” He gives glory to God for everything that he’s ever achieved. His favourite verse is, “Do you seek great things for yourself? Seek them not.”

iii] Mr. Seek Honour (v.7), in other words he is seeking to be honoured by God. He has been told by his Saviour that when Christians seek first the kingdom of God and God’s righteousness that God will honour that glorious high intent and add everything else to him – both in this world and the world to come; great will be his reward in heaven. He has heard from his Saviour that he will say to many in the great day, “Well done thou good and faithful servant,’ and that is the honour that he wants, not his name in the New Year Honours list but Jesus honouring him – “Father, this person served and loved me all his life.”  Or his new name might be . . .

iv] Mr. Seek Immortality (v.7). In other words this Christian is seeking things above where Jesus Christ reigns not on what politicians will achieve. His hopes are on a new heavens and a new earth where righteousness reigns. He is longing to be with the Saviour and his people and be delivered from every trace of sin. He believes that in God’s presence is fulness of joy, and at God’s right hand there are pleasures for evermore. He believes that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed in him. He longs for the sound of the trumpet and the parting of the heavens and Jesus coming to raise the dead and welcome all his people to himself. That is what Mr. Seek Immortality lives for.

These are the people who have no fears of the Day of Judgment, because to them God will give eternal life (v.7). To them alone who do good will be given glory, honour and peace (v.10). God will give it to them. Think of it, the mighty Creator giving such grace and virtue to pipsqueaks. He will not give this to those who claimed they were Christians but who lived for themselves. It will be given to those who do good as proof that they belong to Jesus and Jesus belongs to them. You see the emphasis on ‘doing’ in verse 6 and in verse 7 and in verse 10. It is not that they know what Christian language they can use to impress the religious people watching them. It is not that they admire the Christian ethic in others. They do it. Grace enables them to do it. The life of God in their heart strengthens them to do it. They have illimitable access to an indwelling Spirit and by his enabling they do it. They love the law of God and out of obedience to that law they do it. They want to glorify God in everything and so they really and actually do good and seek glory and honour and immortality and they never stop and God gives them eternal life.

Two paths lie before each of us today. Just two ways stretch on and on. One is very broad and there are crowds walking along it. It is so tempting to go with that flow. It is the path that leads to destruction. At the throne of judgment God will say to all on that path. “Depart from me. I never knew you.” There is the other path and it leads to life. It is a narrow path, and to enter it you have to pass through a narrow gate. It is too narrow for both you and your hypocrisy to pass through. It is too narrow for both you and your deceit to pass through. It is too narrow for both you and your unbelief to pass through. You have to leave all that at the entrance. Just as you are without one plea you have to pass through. It is open now. It is the way of vindication at the last judgment. It is the way to eternal life. The door is open now and it is right here in front of you. You enter and pass through it as the Holy Spirit takes this word and gives you strength to do it. He makes you willing. He will give you the obedience of faith. You come now to the Saviour. You set off with him now on the way to life. You come now.

16th February 2014.   GEOFF THOMAS