God . . . hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world. Acts 17:30, 31.
Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time is. Mark 13:33.
. . . If therefore you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come upon you. Revelation 3:3b.
And while they were listening to these things, He went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately. He said therefore, "A certain nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return." Luke 19:11, 12.
"Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps alight. And be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding [ceremony], so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master shall find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them." Luke 12:35-37.
I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked. Eccl. 3:17.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 2 Cor. 5:10.
For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. Eccl. 12:14.
For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God . . . 1 Peter 4:17a.
The court sat, and the books were opened. . . . and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One . . . Daniel 7:10, 22.
. . . the hour of His judgment has come . . . Revelation 14:7.
. . . Jesus Christ, who is to judge the living and the dead . . . 2 Timothy 4:1.
. . . this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. Acts 10:42.
And while [the foolish virgins] were going away to make the purchase [of oil], the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. Matthew 25:10.
And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side; and the Lord said unto him, "Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark on the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof." And to the others he said in mine hearing, "Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary." Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. Ezekiel 9:3b-6.
Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. Acts 3:19-21.
Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and let the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and let the one who is holy still keep himself holy. Revelation 22:11.
Surely the Lord GOD does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets. Amos 3:7.
As the books of record are opened in the judgment, the lives of all who have believed on Jesus come in review before God. Beginning with those who first lived upon the earth, our Advocate presents the cases of each successive generation, and closes with the living. Every name is mentioned, every case closely investigated. Names are accepted, names rejected. When any have sins remaining upon the books of record, unrepented of and unforgiven, their names will be blotted out of the book of life, and the record of their good deeds will be erased from the book of God's remembrance. The Lord declared to Moses: "Whosoever hath sinned against Me, him will I blot out of My book." Exodus 32:33. And says the prophet Ezekiel: "When the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, . . . all his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned." Ezekiel 18:24. The Great Controversy, p. 483.
Solemn are the scenes connected with the closing work of the atonement. Momentous are the interests involved therein. The judgment is now passing in the sanctuary above. For many years this work has been in progress. Soon--none know how soon--it will pass to the cases of the living. In the awful presence of God our lives are to come up in review. At this time above all others it behooves every soul to heed the Saviour's admonition: "Watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is." Mark 13:33. "If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee." Revelation 3:3. Ibid, p. 490.
The righteous and the wicked will still be living upon the earth in their mortal state--men will be planting and building, eating and drinking, all unconscious that the final, irrevocable decision has been pronounced in the sanctuary above. Before the Flood, after Noah entered the ark, God shut him in and shut the ungodly out; but for seven days the people, knowing not that their doom was fixed, continued their careless, pleasure-loving life and mocked the warnings of impending judgment. "So," says the Saviour, "shall also the coming of the Son of man be." Matthew 24:39. Silently, unnoticed as the midnight thief, will come the decisive hour which marks the fixing of every man's destiny, the final withdrawal of mercy's offer to guilty men. Ibid, p. 491.
When God's presence was finally withdrawn from the Jewish nation, priests and people knew it not. Though under the control of Satan, and swayed by the most horrible and malignant passions, they still regarded themselves as the chosen of God. The ministration in the temple continued; sacrifices were offered upon its polluted altars, and daily the divine blessing was invoked upon a people guilty of the blood of God's dear Son and seeking to slay His ministers and apostles. So when the irrevocable decision of the sanctuary has been pronounced and the destiny of the world has been forever fixed, the inhabitants of the earth will know it not. The forms of religion will be continued by a people from whom the Spirit of God has been finally withdrawn; and the satanic zeal with which the prince of evil will inspire them for the accomplishment of his malignant designs, will bear the semblance of zeal for God. Ibid, p. 615.
. . . the image of the beast will be formed before probation closes; for it is to be the great test for the people of God, by which their eternal destiny will be decided. . . . SDA Bible Commentary Vol. 7A, p. 976.
The "image to the beast" represents that form of apostate Protestantism which will be developed when the Protestant churches shall seek the aid of the civil power for the enforcement of their dogmas. The Great Controversy, p. 445.
All Christendom will be divided into two great classes those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and those who worship the beast and his image and receive his mark. Ibid, p. 450.
God means that truth shall be brought to the front and become the subject of examination and discussion, even through the contempt placed upon it. The minds of the people must be agitated; every controversy, every reproach, every effort to restrict liberty of conscience, is God's means of awakening minds that otherwise might slumber. Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 33.