“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”
Revelation 20 v 11 – 15
When you face God on the Day of Judgement what are you going to say to him? What defence will you use to justify yourself before him? What line will you take? What angle will you go for? Maybe you’ll excuse yourself by saying that you never believed in God. But standing before him saying that is going to sound a little pathetic. Maybe you’ll try and point to all the good deeds you have done and how you are too good a person to go to Hell. But when faced with absolute, perfect and infinite holiness of God you’re deeds are going to be thrown into sharp relief.
It had been on my mind for quite some time that was something about the Christian faith I just wasn’t getting. That is to say I understood well my complete brokenness before God, I grasped more fully than I had before the extent, depth and width of my sinfulness. I got that I was a sinner. That point was clear. I got as well that my heart was wayward, idolatrous and proud. To a large degree I could cry “What wretched man I am” and mean it. My heart was cold towards God and I was unmoved by what I knew should move me. And so I prayed about it. I asked God that he would teach me what I need to learn.
It never occurred to me that the very thing I needed to learn was nothing less than the very gospel that saved me. But I’ll get to that in a minute. First let me quote from Jerry Bridges’ book “The Disciplines of Grace”.