“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” 1 Peter 4:17, 18.
This world is a training school, and the great object of life should be to obtain fitness for those glorious mansions that Jesus has gone to prepare. Let us remember that this work of preparation is individual work. We are not saved in groups. The purity and devotion of one will not offset the want of these qualities in another. Each case must bear individual inspection. Each of us must be tested and found without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.
We are living in the great antitypical Day of Atonement. Jesus is now in the heavenly sanctuary, making reconciliation for the sins of His people, and the judgment of the righteous dead has been going on almost forty years [written in May 1884]. How soon the cases of the living will come in review before this tribunal we know not; but we do know that we are living in the closing scenes of earth’s history, standing, as it were, on the very borders of the eternal world. It is important that each of us inquire, How stands my case in the courts of heaven? Will my sins be blotted out? Am I defective in character, and so blinded to these defects by the customs and opinions of the world that sin does not appear to me to be as exceedingly offensive to God as it really is? It is no time now to allow our minds to be absorbed with the things of the earth while we give only occasional thoughts to God and make but slight preparation for the country to which we are journeying.
In the typical Day of Atonement, all the people were required to afflict their souls before God. They were not to afflict the souls of others, but the work was between God and their own souls. The same work of self-examination and humiliation is required of each of us now…. Precious, golden moments which should be spent in seeking the inward adorning of a meek and quiet spirit are frittered away in adorning the dress and in other trifling matters not at all essential to comfort…. –From the Heart, p. 365.
Question to think about:
How does my case stand in the courts of heaven?
Will my sins be blotted out?
Am I defective in character, and so blinded to these defects by the customs and opinions of the world?
Does sin strike me as less offensive than it is in the sight of God?