“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10. One of these days, the things that have seemed to matter to people are going to suddenly change. When the judgment begins, the only thing that will really matter then is, “Do I have on the wedding garment? Am I ready?” “In the day of final judgment, when every man shall be judged according to the deeds done in the body, nothing will seem to have existence but character and the law of God. Man will be stripped of everything but the character he has formed.” Review and Herald, February 12, 1901
“His eyes were as a flame of fire, which searched His children through and through. Then all faces gathered paleness, and those that a God had rejected gathered blackness. Then we all cried out, ‘Who shall be able to stand? Is my robe spotless?’ Then the angels ceased to sing, and there was some time of awful silence.” Maranatha, 289.
We will either be ready or we will not, and it will be too late to change then.
“When we become children of God, our names are written in the Lamb’s book of life, and they remain there until the time of the investigative Judgment. Then the name of every individual will be called, and his record examined by Him who declares, ‘I know thy works.’ If in that day it shall appear that all our wicked deeds have not been fully repented of, our names will be blotted from the book of life, and our sins will stand against us. If the professed believer becomes self-confident, if in word or spirit he breaks the least precept of God’s holy law, he misrepresents Jesus, and in the Judgment the awful words will be spoken, ‘blot out his name from the book of life; he is a worker of iniquity.’ But the Father pities the self-distrustful, God-fearing soul, harassed though he may be with doubts and temptations. Jesus pleads for him, and confesses his name before the Father and His holy angels.” Signs of the Times, August 6, 1885
“Satan will work to quench the light God has for every soul, by casting his shadow across the pathway to intercept every ray of heavenly light. He knows that his time is short. The people of God must cleave to God, else they will lose their bearings. If they cherish hereditary and cultivated traits of character that misrepresent Christ, while professedly His disciples, they are represented by the man coming to the gospel feast without having on the wedding garment, and by the foolish virgins which had no oil in their vessels with their lamps. We must cleave to that which God pronounces to be truth, though the whole world may be arrayed against it.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1179
Sometimes people think that getting ready has to do with right theology; and while wrong theology can certainly result in wrong actions and, therefore, in a person being lost, theology is not really the determining factor. “Those whom Christ commends in the Judgment, may have known little of theology, but they have cherished His principles.” The Desire of Ages, 638
What are these principles that Ellen White is speaking about? “Christ is ever showing mercy, ever seeking to win by the revealing of His love. He can admit no rival in the soul, nor accept of partial service; but He desires only voluntary service, the willing surrender of the heart under the constraint of love. There can be no more conclusive evidence that we possess the spirit of Satan than the disposition to hurt and destroy those who do not appreciate our work, or who act contrary to our ideas.” Ibid., 487
How do we relate to those who do not appreciate us, or who act contrary to our ideas? James and John wanted to call down fire from heaven on the Samaritans. (See Luke 9:54.) “Oh,” someone says, “I would never do that;” but, “the tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.” James 3:6
There will be many professed Christians in the day of judgment who will be able to profess to having done great things in the cause of God but who will find out that their words have barred them from eternal life.