The Last Judgment!

“The judicial process ends; the books are closed, the Judge rises, and the Supreme Court of the world adjourns. The separate destinies of human beings are now evolved. Collected around the person of their glorious Lord, the jubilant saints begin their triumphal march to the portals of their heavenly home. Onward they sweep in majestic array, hallelujahs are bursting from every lip, and as they come in view of the shining gates, hark! They sing: “Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in!” And, again, as in the ascension from Olivet of the victor of sin, death and hell, the challenge of angelic sentries is shouted from the battlements of heaven: “Who is the King of glory?” And then the response is rolled back in thunder from ten thousand times ten thousand voices: “The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle, the Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory. Lift up your heads, O ye gates, even lift them up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in!
…Then rising and waving their palms of victory in the morning air of an endless day, with a sound like the noise of many waters, or the voice of mighty thunderings,—hark, they chant again: “Glory and honor and power, and might and dominion, and wisdom and thanksgiving and blessing be unto Him that sits upon the throne and unto the Lamb forever!” Redemption is completed, and the pauseless chorus of everlasting praise begins.
…Would that we could say this is all: this is the glorious destiny of an unsevered and unmutilated race! But from the left hand of the judgment-bar a funeral procession of lost human beings, in the train of devils, slowly and reluctantly wend their way to the frowning gates of hell. They defile through those gloomy portals over which despair reads the fatal legend: “Those who enter here leave hope behind.” The irrefragable bolts of the eternal jail are shot by penal justice behind them; and between them and a lost and irrecoverable paradise yawn the terrific jaws of an uncrossable chasm—a gulf wide, deep, and dark as starless midnight, save as the profound abyss is gilded by some mocking rays that may straggle into it from a far distant and inaccessible glory.”

A sermon by Rev John Girardeau, Minister in Charelston, SC

(James R Hamilton, written February 2021)
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