In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
Secrets of —
I. CONDUCT. Those actions we concealed from friendship and from man, proclaimed on the housetop. How many secrets are now in progress in the world! Secrets of —
1. Ambition, where the man is sacrificing all for it.
2. Covetousness; call them secrets of trade if you like, but there are many practices countenanced which cannot bear the light. How have you held back from the widow, and passed by the orphan?
3. Sensuality. In darkness, not to be named in public. Look in your closets; how have your consciences been contaminated.
4. Envy: I cannot go into your closets; but what has God seen there!
II. CHARACTER. Character is formed by principle. Now this can only be known to Him who searches the heart. I know not the springs of your conduct, nor the principles on which your character is formed. Though Jesus says we may know the tree by the fruit, yet there is not always a faithful correspondence between principles and practice. How few seek only the glory of God. Self is a subtle principle. In private a man will blush at his own hypocrisy; and Satan, helping him, may make him a self-deceiver. But every motive will then start up! How many actions now under the garb of humility will then be seen to have originated in pride! How many blazoned deeds from self-love! How many actions, which seem under the motive of zeal to God, like those of Jehu, are prompted by interest!
III. INATTENTION. A large portion of our actions are thought to be venial, trifling, etc. "For every idle word which men shall speak, they shall give account in the day of judgment."
IV. INFLUENCE. We are members one of another. We are always, when in society, doing either good or harm.
1. Little do we know how many are they on whom we have in some way exerted an unhallowed influence. In that day the author of blasphemous works will answer for all the evil he has done.
2. At the same time, many secrets of prayer will then be found, many tears, etc.Conclusion:
1. This subject requires deep self-examination. What secrets will this night conceal!
2. What will be the effects of this judgment?
(1) The shame of exposure. What would you not give here to avoid exposure?
(2) Besides shame, the agony of remorse, the horror of despair. "Some shall awake to shame and everlasting contempt."
(J. Summerfield, A. M.)
Parallel VersesKJV: In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
WEB: in the day when God will judge the secrets of men, according to my Good News, by Jesus Christ.