Ready For Eternity? – Bruce Hales
Gospel news for eternal salvation
Record of preaching in gospel hall by Bruce Hales
Mark 16: 5-7. Luke 23: 43.
This reference to this young man in Mark came to one’s mind thinking of the glory that he was connected with. He was ready, he was really ready for eternity. That’s what made me think of this verse, very wonderful to see the effect, you might say, the effect that Christ had had on him, how Christ had come into his life. That’s the point of the glad tidings, beloved, Jesus coming into your life. Have you, have you known it as a real experience in your history, when Christ came into your life, came into your life? You say, Well, He hasn’t become my life. Yes, but let Him into your life. If you let Him into your life, let Him into your heart, He will then become your life. That is, there’s nothing else that matters except what He is, who He is, His glory and His greatness, the glory of His work, what He has accomplished at the cross in His death.
This young man was in the gain of it, he had responded to it, he had answered to it, he had taken in the majesty of it. And he’s a young man, he’s sitting, sitting in the sepulchre. He’s got a message. He’s clothed in a white robe, it’s like what we’ve just sung. What a thing it is to be washed, having our clothes, as in Revelation, those that were washed in the blood of the Lamb. Think of the immensity of the sufferings of Christ, how we need to be constantly going over them, letting them fill our hearts and fill our minds. These are the ones that come out of the great tribulation, they’re another, another family than ours, than us, it’s a later time. This is after we’ve gone. It’s hard to take it all in in Revelation. It’s, in the main, symbolic and for the future, but it enters into the present time. The bearing of the Revelation for us is not so much really to tell us about the future, but it’s really to tell us how to, how to conduct ourselves now, in view of the glory that’s going to come in in the eternal day, and the glory that’s going to follow the entire overthrow of the world, the complete overthrow of Satan’s world and the binding of Satan. What a wonderful time that will be when Satan will be bound. The false prophet and the beast, they’re taken, it says somewhere. And then finally we get Satan, Satan bound. Yes, the end of chapter 19 it says, the beast was taken, the false prophet that was with him. Alive were both cast into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. They’ll be persons, they’re persons, they’re not beasts as such, they’re persons, and they’re taken. I think it’s very beautiful the way it’s put. They lose their liberty, they lose their freedom, they lose every, every element of power and influence that they ever, ever had or could wield, it’s taken away from them so quickly.
And then we get, Satan was loosed, and then he’s cast, cast into the lake of fire. It says, the devil cast into the lake of fire, lake of fire and brimstone, where are both the beast and the false prophet; and they shall be tormented day and night for the ages of ages. This is the final completion of things, leading on to the great white throne. Very wonderful, you know, Christ will be there as judge. The devil has no part in the great white throne, he’s already confined for eternity. What a wonderful matter that is, beloved. If you ever feel Satan getting at you, think about the final day, think about the day that’s not far off when he will be contained and confined and in torment eternally, eternally; that is, for ever. What a challenge it is for us, what an encouragement it is for us not to give in to Satan, to resist him, just resist him, refuse his temptations, refuse his advances, refuse his seductions, and resist him, knowing what God in Christ is going to finally do.
And then the great white throne, you wouldn’t want to be there, beloved, would you? Would you ever consider, have you ever considered the possibility that you might stand before the great white throne? Think of the summons that will be. That’s persons that have refused the glad tidings, and dying in their sins without getting any gain from the work of Jesus, refusing entirely the work of Christ, and they’re summonsed up for judgement. The book of life will be there. Is your name there? Is your name in the book of life? How would you know? Can you guarantee, can you tell me that you know your name is in the book of life? Let there be no doubt about it, beloved, let none of us have any doubt, even little ones. Parents should instruct them to get your name into the book of life. How can you get that? How can you be sure of it? By becoming a believer in Jesus, believer in His blood, believe that He can save you from your sins, that is, that He can, that you’ve given up your sins, that you confess them. You say, I might go back to them again. Well then, bring them out again. If you go back, bring them out. Don’t think you can keep covering them up, bring them out again. The appeal is not to go back to them. That’s the appeal in the glad tidings, is to give them up for ever. But if you go back, bring them out, keep on confessing them, have the power to confess them, have the courage to confess them. It says, love, love covers a multitude of sins. That’s the love of Christ, that’s the expression of grace in the glad tidings, that’s an administration, that’s an administration, administration of love, administration of grace.
And this young man, he proves it, and he’s in the clear, he’s in a position of power. And Mark, I think, would be speaking of himself, you know. When Mark came back he was ready for service, but I think he was ready for translation. I think when Mark got recovered, and Paul says, he is serviceable to me for ministry, and he brought him back with Timothy, and he’s in the company of Luke, I think you’ll find that Mark would have been ready for translation; that’s how complete his recovery was. Wouldn’t you like to be in that company? Would you like to be in the company of this young man? Couldn’t be anything greater, beloved. Very secure, you know, very safe, completely, completely apart from the enemy, completely secure from any attack from the enemy. And he’s got a message. And he knows exactly what’s preceded. And he has a link with Jesus personally, and he knows about the cross, and he knows about Him coming out of death, he knows about the tomb. And then he knows about Peter, he’s in touch with the administration; he says, go, tell His disciples and Peter. He even knows about Peter. He knows, he under- stands divine sovereignty, he understands his place, and he knows Peter’s place. He would have known everyone’s place. That’s how you find where you fit, you know, when you understand Christ’s place, when you understand the place that Christ has, and where He is, that’s how you find your place in the local assembly. That’s what this man represents.
Just this one verse about the malefactor, because it’s today. Wonderful thing, just like that verse we sang, found before we sought. That’s not the right quotation of it. Found by Thee before I sought. See, this young man was found, he was found by Christ. We call him a young man, because I think he was. The Lord answers him in wonderful grace, and He says, Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise. That is, he was translated to glory that day, that day. The Lord wasn’t putting it off, He didn’t say, When I come back, when I come back for judgement I’ll save you then. He says, Today, today. The Lord was going into death of His own mighty act, He did it Himself, His life wasn’t taken from Him. He was crucified. He could have come down from the cross Himself, but He didn’t, He submitted, and gave up His own life. Who for? For you, for you. What a wonderful matter it is when you come to it in your own experience that there’s nothing we could have done from our own side to, in any way to redeem ourselves. What a day of relief that is in your history when you come to the depths of it, that there’s nothing we could do, there’s nothing we could do to mitigate what our histories have been, and what we are, Christ has done it all, He has taken, taken it away, taken it away.
Here He is, He’s taking this man’s sins away from him, and He says, Today, Today thou shalt be with Me in paradise. Think of the wonder of it, still alive when the Lord died, but he was with Christ that day, that day. You can have that experience today, you can have it. Do you think this is as real as what I’m saying? Or are you doubting me? You doubting me? Don’t doubt, beloved, don’t doubt. Believe, believe in the glad tidings. If you’re going to believe in the glad tidings you’ll get an answer, you’ll get an answer from Christ Himself, directly, personally, as real as this man got. Today thou shalt be with Me in paradise. That’s what you can enjoy as you get the clearance, get this wonderful clearance, wonderful release. May we find it. For His name’s sake.
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