Day of judgment, day of wonders!
Hark! the trumpet’s awful sound,
Louder than a thousand thunders,
Shakes the vast creation round!
How the summons
Will the sinner’s heart confound!
See the Judge our nature wearing,
Clothed in majesty divine!
You who long for his appearing
Then shall say, “This God is mine!”
Own me on that day for thine!
At his call the dead awaken,
Rise to life from earth and sea;
All the powers of nature shaken
By his look, prepare to flee:
What will then become of thee?
Horrors past imagination,
Will surprise your trembling heart,
When you hear your condemnation,
“Hence, accursed wretch depart!
Thou with Satan
And his angels, have thy part!”
Satan, who now tries to please you,
Lest you timely warning take,
When that word is past, will seize you,
Plunge you in the burning lake:
Think, poor sinner,
Thy eternal all’s at stake!
But to those who have confessed,
Loved, and served the Lord below;
He will say, “Come near ye blessed,
See the kingdom I bestow:
You for ever
Shall my love and glory know.”
Under sorrows and reproaches,
May this thought your courage raise!
Swiftly God’s great day approaches,
Sighs shall then be changed to praise:
We shall triumph
When the world is in a blaze.
John Newton, 1774
Read Revelation 20:11-15
(John Newton is best known for “Amazing Grace,” but that wasn’t his only hymn. Of course, this hymn has quite a different tone than his more famous one. God’s wrath and judgment hardly ever find their way into our hymns and worship, but they are an undeniable facet of God’s character. They are as much a part of who He is as grace and love and mercy. Knowing that He will judge and He will display His wrath should make us solemnly aware of what we have been rescued from. It should make the gift of salvation more precious. It should also make us all the more diligent to carry out that message of hope.)