Come to the Lord's Judgement Seat
By: Paul Thompson
Each one of you, come with great joy to the seat of God's judgement, and step forward into the Light of Christ, so that you may be enlightened, cleansed, and guided by it. Christ, who enlightens everyone who comes into the world, is the one and only agency sufficient for your salvation from the sins which run through human nature. He stands at the door and knocks, and anyone who hears him may open and let him in.
It is to Christ that I direct you, away from the many idols which the world adores. Hear him, whom God has sent to be our one, true, inward Teacher. Hear no other, for no other can lead you in the wholesome ways beloved of God, no other can guide you into the Kingdom of Heaven, here and now as you live, no other can command you and give you the power to obey.
To all who would hear! Firstly to those who profess no religion - Christ is the answer to your emptiness. He pursues you and seeks you out even though you may wish to have nothing to do with religion. Fine! Have nothing to do with religion, but have everything to do with Christ!
Next to those who have an outward religion, especially to those who profess Christ. Now is the time to let Christ bring you and your outward practices to judgement. God said to the house of Israel, by his prophet Ezekiel: "Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto me: but pollute ye my holy name no more with your gifts, and with your idols". There are many who claim the name of Christians, who, in their own wills and imaginations, would bring into worship such pollution and who set up idols in their hearts. O Jerusalem! Thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, when thou wast naked and bare, and wast polluted in thy blood, and when the Lord washed thee thoroughly, anointed thee, covered thee with silk and linen, and decked thee with gold and silver! For now thou dost trust in thine own beauty, and playest the harlot because of thy renown, and pourest out thy fornication on every one that passeth by!
So every one of you that claims to be one of the Lord's people, all bring your profession before the seat of his judgement; bring it to the threshing floor, where the grain is separated from the chaff, which is taken and burned; bring it to the refining fire, where the dross will be burned away from the true metal; bring it under the hammer which breaks open hard hearts, and before the sword which cuts away flesh; bring it into the Light which discovers all. Come penitent, begging for mercy, in poverty of Spirit; come, be brought as you are, blind or lame, or in your grave clothes. Come to be washed clean once more, to be anointed and raised up once more, to be clothed in white once more, to receive a crown and gold and silver once more. Come to be washed and to drink at the fountain of living water; come to be healed; come to hear the Law, at the feet of the Master; come without money to buy the heavenly food without price; come and eat the bread from heaven and drink the wine from heaven, which nourishes the newborn of the church; come and receive the daily manna; come into the kingdom of the Prince of Peace, and come to hear the Wonderful, the Counsellor.
Christ, the Shepherd, calls you, each one by name. Heed him, and know his voice, all other voices are false. By this you shall know others of his flock - they will not gather in their own wills [because it may be such-and-such a day, or because they seem to agree about what scripture says!], but in answer to Christ's voice. They will be silent before the Lord and wait upon him, the Head of the Church, whom the Father has set above us as our King and Prophet, and says, "Hear ye him".
This is the testimony of the Christian, that his first joy is to come to worship, to gather in the name of Christ, to feel Christ there among the brethren as he had promised. In worship, he first stands afar off and will not raise his eyes, but asks first for mercy as a sinner. Thus he enters the Sabbath which is inward and true, where all of man's work is set aside, and the Lord of the Sabbath comes to him and to the brethren, to order their worship. In this worship, there is wonder and joy! Praise God! Amen.