Sermon #30 Zechariah Series
Title: Christ – The Builder of His Church
Text: Zechariah 6:12-13
Date: Sunday Morning — April 9, 2006
Tape # Zechariah #30
Reading: Zechariah 6:1-15
1. And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass.
2. In the first chariot were red horses; and in the second chariot black horses;
3. And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses.
4. Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these, my lord?
5. And the angel answered and said unto me, These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth.
6. The black horses which are therein go forth into the north country; and the white go forth after them; and the grisled go forth toward the south country.
7. And the bay went forth, and sought to go that they might walk to and fro through the earth: and he said, Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth. So they walked to and fro through the earth.
8. Then cried he upon me, and spake unto me, saying, Behold, these that go toward the north country have quieted my spirit in the north country.
9. And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
10. Take of them of the captivity, even of Heldai, of Tobijah, and of Jedaiah, which are come from Babylon, and come thou the same day, and go into the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah;
11. Then take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set them upon the head of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest;
12. And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD:
13. Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.
14. And the crowns shall be to Helem, and to Tobijah, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the temple of the LORD.
15. And they that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the LORD, and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. And this shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God.
My subject today is Christ the Builder of His Church. Our text is Zechariah 6:12-13. In these two verses we have the word of the Lord to the Prophet Zechariah concerning the Person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Zechariah 6:12-13) “And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: (13) Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”
We know that this is a prophecy about the person and work of our blessed Savior. There is no one else to whom of these two verses can be applied. — “Behold the man, whose name is the Branch.” That title is applied to no one in Holy Scripture, except the Man who is God our Savior. That Man, whose goings forth are from everlasting, grew up out of his place. In the fulness of time, he came forth from eternity to save his people from their sins. This Man, the God-man, our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, we are told, “shall build the temple of the LORD: Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”
Proposition: Christ himself is the Builder of his spiritual temple, the church; and he alone shall bear the glory of it.
1. The temple of the Lord is the church of God.
2. The Builder is our Savior, “the Man whose name is The Branch.”
3. The glory of the temple is his.
The first thing that must be understood is the temple spoken of here is the church of God. Without question, Zechariah’s prophecy had immediate reference to the rebuilding of Solomon’s physical temple. But the prophecy uses that temple only as a type and picture of God’s spiritual temple, which is the church of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 3:16-17; 2 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:20-23), which the Holy Spirit calls, “the house of God” (1 Tim. 3:15; Heb. 10:21; 1 Pet. 4:17).
(1 Corinthians 3:16-17) “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (17) If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”
(2 Corinthians 6:16) “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
(Ephesians 2:19-22) “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; (20) And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; (21) In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: (22) In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”
Clearly, the gathered assembly of God’s saints for worship in any place is the house and temple of God; and every true gospel church, every true local church is built of God. Every assembly of believers, gathered together in holy bonds of communion in the name of Christ, for the purpose of worshipping God is the house and temple of our God (1 Cor. 3:16-17; Eph. 2:21-22).
And the same thing is true of the church universal, the whole body of Christ, which is built upon that Rock, against which the gates of hell shall never prevail. The church universal includes all God’s elect. Every chosen, redeemed sinner, converted by the grace of God, those in heaven and those upon the earth, make up “The Church of the Firstborn,” whose names are written in heaven (Heb. 12:23). Throughout this message, when I speak of the church and temple of God, I will be talking about all who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity and in truth, the church which was chosen of God before the foundation of the world, which was redeemed by Christ’s own precious blood, which has been called by his Spirit, which is preserved by his grace, and which at last shall be presented by Christ faultless before the throne of his glory, holy, unblameable, and unreproveable in the sight of God, with exceeding joy. It is the church of God’s elect which is “the temple of God,” whose Builder and Maker is God our Savior, “the Man whose name is The Branch.”
Why is the church called “the temple of God”? John Gill, in my opinion, gave several excellent answers to that question. He tells us that the temple was typical of the church in these distinct points.
1. The temple at Jerusalem was built by Solomon, Israel’s king of peace; and the church is built by Christ, of whom Solomon was a type Christ, our King, who is the King of Peace.
2. The temple was built on a mount, suggesting the safety, visibility, and exalted state of the church.
3. The materials of the temple, also, typical. — It was “made of choice stones and excellent timber, to which believers in Christ, who as lively stones are built up a spiritual house, are fitly compared.”
4. The temple typified the church of God in its magnificence and stateliness. The glorious things spoken of it are fulfilled in Christ’s church.
5. And the temple at Jerusalem typified the church “in its strength and firmness, as well as in its holiness, and it is called ‘the temple of the Lord,’ because it is of his building, where he dwells, and where he is worshipped.”
The church is called “the temple of God,” because the temple was the place of God’s dwelling. We know that “the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands” (Acts 7:48). Yet, the Lord God made the temple at Jerusalem his tabernacle and dwelling place in the Old Testament. Between the wings of the overshadowing cherubim, the bright light of the Shekinah shined, as the manifestation of his gracious presence. Yes, the omnipresent God is everywhere. In the highest heaven and in the deepest hell God is found, but he dwelt in his temple. When his people prayed, they were bidden to turn their eye towards the temple as Daniel did, when he opened his window towards Jerusalem, and offered his prayer.
In this gospel day, God’s church is his dwelling place. This is “the house of God.” God is everywhere in creation; but he dwells in his church. If you want to find a man, go to his house, the place of his presence, the place in which he is at home and shows himself most fully. That is the first place you go when you are looking for someone. And if you want to find the living God, if you want to know him, go to his house. If you would know God, you must go where you find the church of true believers. This is the only place on earth where he promises to dwell, where he promises to meet with and reveal himself to men (Ex. 25:22; Isa. 57:15; 66:1-2; Matt. 18:20).
(Exodus 25:22) “And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.”
(Isaiah 57:15) “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”
(Isaiah 66:1-2) “Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? (2) For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.”
(Matthew 18:20) “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
God’s power is seen in creation; and his law is written upon the conscience of every man. We see both his goodness and his judgment in providence. But the glory of God is revealed in the face of his crucified Son, our Savior; and his Son is seen in his house by the preaching of the gospel. God is seen in Mount Zion, in his church, his temple. He is found in the midst of her, helping her, strengthening her, teaching her, protecting her, and guiding her. Here we see God our Savior gloriously, revealing himself to needy sinners, as the Redeemer, Justifier, Forgiver, Sanctifier, Preserver, Blesser and Blessedness of his people.
C. H. Spurgeon wrote, “In holy communion — in the breaking of bread, and in the pouring out of wine, in holy baptism — in the immersion of believers into the Lord Jesus Christ, in the preaching of the Word, in the constant declaration of the great salvation of Jesus, in the lifting up of the cross, in the high exalting of him that died upon it, in the preaching of the Covenant, in the declaration of the grace of God — here is he to be seen, here is his name written in brighter letters and in clearer lines than elsewhere the wide world over. Hence his church is said to be his temple.”
The Triune God dwells in us and walks with us. We dwell in him, and he dwells in us. — “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, and he will show them his covenant” (Psa. 25:14). Here he manifests himself to us, as he does not unto the world. He takes us into his inner chamber, and spreads his banner of love over us. Have you not found it so? Here, in his house, above all places, we lay our heads upon our Savior’s heart, and he communes with us by his Spirit. Well do we sing, with Timothy Dwight…
“I love Thy kingdom, Lord,
The house of Thine abode,
The church our blessed Redeemer saved
With His own precious blood.
I love Thy church, O God.
Her walls before Thee stand,
Dear as the apple of Thine eye,
And written on Thy hand.
If e’er to bless Thy sons
My voice or hands deny,
These hands let useful skills forsake,
This voice in silence die.
Should I with scoffers join
Her altars to abuse?
No! Better far my tongue were dumb,
My hand its skill should lose.
For her my tears shall fall
For her my prayers ascend,
To her my cares and toils be given
Till toils and cares shall end.
Beyond my highest joy
I prize her heavenly ways,
Her sweet communion, solemn vows,
Her hymns of love and praise.
Jesus, Thou Friend divine,
Our Savior and our King,
Thy hand from every snare and foe
Shall great deliverance bring.
Sure as Thy truth shall last,
To Zion shall be given
The brightest glories earth can yield
And brighter bliss of Heaven.”
Place of Worship
The church is called “the temple of God,” because this is the place where God is worshipped. By God’s law, no offering was allowed to be presented to him except upon the altar in his temple at Jerusalem; and that law still stands. — No acceptable service can be offered to Christ except by his church. Only those who believe in Christ can offer songs, and prayers, and praises, that shall be received of God. Whatever ordinances you observe, without Christ in your hearts, apart from faith in Christ, belie and prostitute the ordinance. You do not honor God by your bodily exercise. Rather, you pollute his holy name, eating and drinking, as the Spirit of God puts it, damnation to yourself!
We read in Luke 18:10 that “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.” The one was a believer, the other an unbeliever. The Pharisee’s prayer was an abomination before God. The publican’s feeble cry for mercy was received with smiles of approval and delight by him who sits upon the throne. In verse 18, the Lord Jesus said of the two, “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”;
Two people are baptized. The one trusts Christ as his Savior, and loves his Master. Believing in his name, trusting him, he is baptized; and Christ is honored. He is truly baptized into Christ and put on Christ (Gal. 3:27). Another comes, perhaps an unconscious infant, one who is incapable of faith; or as an adult without faith. He dishonors God and profanes the ordinance of the Lord, as one who has no right to offer sacrifice to the Lord our God.
Two people sit together at the Master’s Table. One loves the ordinance in its outward sign, and reverences it with superstition, but does not know Christ. The other believes on the Son of God. He eats the Savior’s flesh and drinks his blood as a sinner made worthy to worship God in the ordinance; and God accepts his worship, while rejecting the other, just as he accepted Abel and his sacrifice, while rejecting Cain and his offering.
There is only one altar — that is, Christ. There is only one holy priesthood — the church of God, those chosen out of the world and clothed in white robes to minister at his altar. God has no respect to the sacrifices of the unbelieving (Heb. 11:6).
(Hebrews 11:6) “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
It matters not who you are, how old or how young, unless you trust the Lord Jesus Christ, you cannot please God. Your sacrifice will not be accepted by him.
As there was only one temple, so there is only one church. That one church is his holy place, where he dwells, where he accepts worship, where songs of praise are daily uttered, and the smoking incense of prayer continually comes up before him with acceptance, as a sweet-smelling sacrifice, acceptable to God by Christ (1 Pet. 2:5).
(1 Peter 2:5) “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”
Now, let me talk to you about Christ, the Builder of his temple, the church. Look at the last line of Zechariah 6:12 and the first line of verse 13. It is stated twice, as if to emphasize the fact, — “He shall build the temple of the Lord. Even he shall build the temple of the Lord.” The Holy Spirit intends for us to understand that Christ, and Christ alone, is the Builder of his church.
I have often read that this church, or that, was founded by a specifically named and very highly honored man. Whenever I do, I think, “How sad. The church certainly looks like something that man would build.” Yes, men do build churches.
· Baptist churches,
· Presbyterian churches,
· Episcopal churches,
· Methodist churches,
and countless other churches! Each one looks like the kind of mess a man would make. But he who builds the church of Christ is Christ himself (Matt. 16:18). That church which is the house of God, which is the pillar and ground of the truth, is built by him whose house it is.
According to Pattern
Let me draw a parallel between Christ as the Builder of the church, and Solomon, as the builder of the first temple at Jerusalem. Like the tabernacle, the temple that succeeded it was built precisely according to the pattern of God’s purpose (Ex. 25:9; 1 Chro. 28:11-12, 18; Heb. 8:5). And our Lord Jesus Christ builds his temple, the church, precisely according to the pattern agreed to in the covenant of grace made between him and his Father before the world began. The Son of God builds his temple exactly according to the measuring line of God’s eternal purpose. Would you like to see the pattern? Read Romans 8:28-30 and Ephesians 1:3-7.
(Romans 8:28-30) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (29) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”
(Ephesians 1:3-7) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (4) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (7) In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”
Every stone that is in his temple, is put in his temple, in the precise place for which he hewed it from the quarry of fallen humanity, exactly as he ordained it before the world was made. Even those stones that men do not see, and those that appear contemptible in the eyes of men, were put in their places by the hands of God our Savior. There is not a single board of cedar, or a piece polished brass in his house, that is not placed where it is according to the eternal pre-arrangement of the Triune God.
Upon a Mountain
When Solomon built the typical temple, he built it on the mountain God had raised for that purpose, Mount Moriah. The Lord Jesus Christ builds his temple, the church, upon the mountain of his own unchangeable decree, his own eternal love, his own omnipotent grace and his own infallible faithfulness. Its foundation was laid in eternity. The stones, everyone of them, where hewn in the purpose of the eternal God, fixed by oaths, and promises, and blood to make them stand secure, though earth should rock and all creation crumble and vanish away.
Once he had laid the foundation, Solomon had to find trees with which to build; but the trees he needed, the trees God required him to use, were in a place called Tyre. So Solomon made a league with Hiram, the king of Tyre, who provided materials out of Tyre for the building of the temple. Hiram’s servants cut down cedar from the forests of Tyre, hewed stones from the quarries of Tyre, and brought them by sea and by land to Solomon in Jerusalem. They even showed Solomon’s servants where to find gold, taught them the route by which it could be fetched to Jerusalem, and helped them fetch it there (1 Kings 9:26-28; 2 Chron. 8:17-18).
If you read Ezekiel 28, you will find that the king of Tyre is there spoken of as Lucifer himself. I will say nothing about that except this — As the king of Tyre and his kingdom provided materials for the temple, and were used as servants to build the temple, our great King, the Lord Jesus Christ, has made a league with the very beasts of the earth and creeping things of the ground (Hos. 2:18), and sovereignly employs all creation, even wicked men, Satan and the demons of hell, for the building of his church.
Unlike Solomon, our Temple Builder, the Lord Jesus is able to use others as instruments, all the while doing all the work himself entirely. The work is altogether his, as much his work alone as if he employed no instrument at all! The cedars of Lebanon in the house of our God were, each one, cut down and made into planks of sweet-smelling cedar, by Christ himself. He cut them down with the axe of conviction, sawed them into boards, planed them, polished them, and set them as pillars in the house of God by the power of his Spirit and the gospel of his grace. He who walked upon the earth as the carpenter’s son, is the Master Carpenter who builds the church, the temple of God.
That which is said of the timbers in the temple is true of the stones, too (Isa. 51:1).
(Isaiah 51:1) “Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.”
As rough stones are dug from the quarry and hewn from the rock, we were dug and hewn out of that rock by the hand of our Savior. He raised up seed unto Abraham out of the stones of the pit. It was his own hammer that broke the rock in pieces, and his own arm of strength that wielded the mallet, when he broke us out of the rock.
Then, our mighty Solomon, sovereignly and graciously using thousands of workmen puts the stones he has hewn into their appointed place in the temple of God, in exactly the place for which they were hewn. But, remember, the sound of a hammer was not heard in the temple. Each stone was brought to its place, rough-hewn, and fitted in place by being rubbed stone against stone. That is exactly how our Savior fits his people together in his body, the church (Eph. 4:7-16).
(Ephesians 4:7-16) “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. (8) Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (9) (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? (10) He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) (11) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: (16) From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”
Overlaid with Gold
In 1st Kings 6 (vv. 22-32), we are told that Solomon overlaid everything in the temple with pure gold. The gold made the cedar boards and shittim wood staves precious, valuable, and beautiful. And the gold protected them. Nothing could touch the wood that did not first injure and mar the gold. So it is with the church, the temple of God. We are not only overlaid with the gold of Christ’s righteousness, Christ himself is in us. Our union with the Son of God, our Savior, makes every worthless, shittim wood stick in his house pure gold before God! — “And” John tells us, “it doth not yet appear what we shall be!”
Laver of Brass
There was in the temple a great laver of brass. In that laver every priest washed himself as he entered the temple of God. And in the church, the house of God, there is a great laver, in which all who enter the house are bathed. — “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev. 7:14).
· Christ is the Laver.
· Christ blood fills the Laver.
· Christ has washed us in the Laver.
· And he graciously causes us to bathe ourselves in the Laver.
Bear the Glory
In the light of all that we have seen, the next line in Zechariah 6:13 is the only thing that could reasonably follow. — “And he shall bear the glory!” When I think about that, I am like the Queen of Sheba, who came to Solomon after the temple was built and saw him for herself. She said, “Behold, the half was not told me!”
(1 Kings 10:1-7) “And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions. (2) And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart. (3) And Solomon told her all her questions: there was not any thing hid from the king, which he told her not. (4) And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon’s wisdom, and the house that he had built, (5) And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her. (6) And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom. (7) Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard.”
The half of our Savior’s glory never can be told; but I must tell you a little of what I know. The words of verse 13 might be translated, “he shall suffer the weight.” Truly, it was Christ alone who suffered all the weight of his house when he was made sin for us and bore all the weight of the furious wrath of God as our Substitute!
The words might be read, “he shall lift up the glory.” The glory of God has been thrown down by man, but Christ has raised it out of the dust.
The glory Christ bears as the Builder of his church is a weighty glory. Dr. Gill says, “the expression implies, that the glory will be a weighty one, for it said, he shall bear the glory.” Isaiah tells us “They shall hang upon him all the glory of his Father’s house” (Isa. 22:24).
The glory of his house is “an exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. 4:18); but not too heavy for him to bear who upholds all things. The cross was his glory, and he bore that. The crown he wears is an exceeding weight of glory, and he bears that. The government is upon his shoulders, and in it he bears the glory (Isa. 9:6).
The glory of his house, the glory he bears is undivided glory. In the church of Christ no one is glorified but Christ. Our Savior has no rival in his house. He is glorified, and the glory is his alone.
I cannot tell you how weary I am of men glorying in men. I know many who glory in dead preachers so much that they wage war with living brethren over the dead preachers. How I wish all would cease glorying in Hawker, Huntington, and Gill, Calvin, Luther, and Spurgeon, and glory in Christ alone! — Those men did!
All the Glory
Christ shall bear all the glory: — all that can be conceived, — all that can be desired, — all that can be imagined shall be his alone. We have come here today to praise him, and we have; but our faint praise does not even rise to the level of our desire, much less to the level he deserves. We see him magnified, but we do not yet see all things put under him. But there is a day soon coming when every knee shall bow before him, and every tongue shall confess that he is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. In eternity, our blessed Savior shall bear all the glory in all things (Rev. 5:9-14).
(Revelation 5:9-14) “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; (10) And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. (11) And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; (12) Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. (13) And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. (14) And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.”
Christ shall have all the glory alone; and he shall have it continually, forever. Gladly, we shall cast the crowns he puts upon us at our Redeemer’s feet, saying, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created… Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.” In heaven’s glorious bliss, we shall forever adore the matchless splendor of his love, the wonders of his grace, the marvels of his wisdom, the excellence of his power, and the beauty of his person. — Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! The Lord God Omnipotent reigneth! He shall have all the glory, and he shall have it forever. His name shall endure forever; and all generations shall call him blessed!
Every beam of cedar, every slab of gold, and every stone of the temple, was placed in it for Jehovah’s praise. Are we to-day built upon Christ? Are we living stones in the house of our God? If so, let us honor him. My God has so highly honored me that he has made me a living stone in the temple of Christ. Imagine that! When I think of what I am, what I was, and what I would be without Christ, I blush with shame that I honor him so little! But, oh, how I rejoice in the blessed prospect of that eternal day when I shall perfectly show forth the praise of him who first trusted in Christ, when my God shall so forth in me the exceeding riches of his grace and his kindness to me through Christ Jesus!
Let me speak to you who are yet without. It is a small thing that your name is not recorded on the roll of Grace Baptist Church of Danville. But, when we are all assembled around his great white throne in that great day, and the books shall be opened, if your name is not found in the muster roll of the temple of God, the Lamb’s book of life, it will be a matter of unspeakable woe! Name after name will be read; and the Lord Jesus shall say to each one, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,” until all the countless multitudes whose names are written in the book of life have taken there place with him in glory! When the last name in the book has been read, and yours is left out… — The thought is unbearable! When the world is on fire, and you have been cast into hell, it will be no small thing to you!
In that day there will be no deliverance, no grace, no forgiveness, no salvation, no Savior, no hope!— “Who can stand before his indignation? Who can abide the fierceness of his anger?” — Once lost, lost forever! — Once damned, damned forever! Like David of old, I say to you, in the name of him who shall judge the quick and the dead, whose servant I am, the Searcher of all hearts, “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little.” — Believe and live! — Cast yourself at the Savior’s feet, trusting him alone as your Savior and Lord.
Come humble sinner, in whose breast
A thousand thoughts revolve;
Come with your guilt and fear oppressed,
And make this last resolve.
“I’ll go to Jesus, though my sins
Like mountains round me close;
I know his courts, I’ll enter in,
Whatever may oppose.
“Prostrate I’ll lie before his throne,
And there my guilt confess;
I’ll tell him I’m a wretch undone
Without his sovereign grace.”
I’ll to the gracious King approach,
Whose scepter pardon gives;
Perhaps He may command my touch,
And then the suppliant lives!
Perhaps He will admit my plea,
Perhaps will hear my prayer;
But if I perish, I will pray,
And perish only there.
I can but perish if I go,
I am resolved to try;
For if I stay away, I know,
I must forever die.
But if I die with mercy sought,
When I the King have tried,
This were to die (Delightful thought!) —
As sinner never died!”
O Spirit of God, graciously force the perishing sinner who hears my voice to believe on the Son of God, for the everlasting glory of God’s darling Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.