Ninth Sunday after Trinity – Thursday
Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life and some to shame and to everlasting contempt. – Daniel 12:2.
Everything, yes, everything, and for all eternity, depends on the forgiveness of sins – upon justification. Think of the great day of resurrection, the resurrection of all the dead on the Last Day. On that day shall the many, the innumerable many that sleep in the dust of the earth, awake. Some to everlasting life; those, namely, who have been justified through faith in Christ. Some to shame and to everlasting contempt; those who died rejecting the forgiveness of sins in Christ, in their unbelief. God-fearing Lazarus was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom; the ungodly rich man was cast into hell and torment (Luke 16:21-23). The justified shall rise with glorified bodies (Philippians 3:21). Those whose sins were retained shall be an abhorring unto all flesh (Isaiah 66:24; Mark 9:43-48). Those who received the grace of God in Christ by faith shall awake unto everlasting life (John 3:16). The ungodly who spurned God’s grace shall awake unto everlasting shame and contempt; and “shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord” (II Thessalonians 1:9).
O Christian, always think of the awakening on the day of resurrection! At any moment you may fall asleep in death; but your body shall thereafter be awakened! How unutterably awful it must be when one awakes to shame and everlasting contempt! How glorious beyond measure it shall be when you awake to everlasting life!
Christian, every evening let the forgiveness of sins cover you; every morning wrap the robe of salvation about you, the righteousness of Christ. Then, then, shall you be ready to die and to awaken to life everlasting.
PRAYER – My Lord and Savior, in the Gospel Thou dost offer me the forgiveness of sins; by faith I accept. In the Gospel Thou dost give me the robe of Thy righteousness; by faith I put it on. So will I go to sleep when my last hour comes; so will I awaken when Thine hour comes. So will I enter eternal life in both body and soul. Lord, let me never fall away from the true faith and from the comfort it gives. Amen.
Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my head.
When from the dust of death I rise
To claim my mansion in the skies,
E’en then this shall be all my plea:
Jesus hath lived and died for me.
Hymn 371, 1. 6. (TLH)