The judgment will come; but he who preaches the Gospel in truth must say, "The hour of God's judgment is come." Rev. 14:7. In other words, the books are now open, and all cases, both of the dead and of the living, are to be decided for eternity before Christ can close His work in the heavenly sanctuary, and return to the earth to bring the promised deliverance and reward to His servants.
The Savior has kindly sent us this message, not that we should be left to wonder when the judgment will begin with the living, or when our case will appear, but that we may "come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Heb. 4:16.
God is not an arbitrary ruler or judge, but in all His dealings with man he invites man to cooperate with God in His work, as it is written, "Surely the LORD God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto his servants the prophets." And thus in the matter of the judgment, the LORD has sent a message to His people, in order that they may know of the work that is being done, and that they may come and present their cases before the throne, and have them decided at once for eternity.
The first angel's message (Rev. 14:6, 7) is not given for the dead, but that the living may recognize their great privilege to come and present their cases for judgment after having made preparation.
There are but three steps necessary to prepare us to come before the judgment seat with perfect confidence, and with the assurance that the verdict will be satisfactory.
Firstly, acknowledge the claims of God's law. "So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty." James 2:12.
Secondly, recognize our own unrighteousness. "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags." Isa. 64:6.
Thirdly, accept of the perfect righteousness of Christ. "And this is His name whereby He shall be called, "YAH is OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS." Jer. 23:6. (See also Ps. 68:4, KJV.)
After having taken these steps by faith, we are ready to pray the prayer, "Save me, O God, by Thy name, and judge me by Thy strength." Ps. 54:1. And the verdict will come back at once, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Rom. 8:1. Advancing daily in the Divine Life you are secure.
"Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." Rom. 8:33, 34. When we have received this message by faith we can go on our way rejoicing, with our "faces lighted up and shining with holy consecration," for we shall realize that we have "passed from death unto life." 1 John 3:14. "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Eph. 2:10.
The Father is waiting for us to receive His precious truth in all its fullness, which will be followed immediately by the out-pouring of the latter rain, ripening our fruit for the earth's final harvest. Won't you receive His saving judgment today and be prepared for the soon coming of our blessed Master?