by John R. Rice
“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”Every sensible man should weep to see a sinner who knew all the facts, knew he was lost and still chose to remain lost. But that is not so tragic as the case of multiplied thousands who are confident they are going to Heaven, though they have never personally trusted Christ for salvation, and go unwarned and unsuspecting to eternal torment.
If a man went weeping and fearfully, yet determinedly, to Hell, that would be sad. Then how much sadder is it when one lies down in death, depending on baptism or on confirmation or on good deeds, and in horror wakes up in Hell!
In the stockyards at Fort Worth, Texas, a packing company had a goat named Judas. He deserved the name, for when he was turned in with each new flock of frightened sheep, he confidently led them through a passage into the slaughterhouse. The unsuspecting sheep followed the goat. Always the goat was spared and sent back to lead others to their doom.
Those sheep, blindly following their new friend, Judas, hoping again to find the pasture or meadow, are not nearly so pitiful as sinners who go on to Hell right merrily, feeling confident that with holy water put upon their heads they cannot be lost, or with the catechism and confirmation over, they surely are saved, or with confession made to the priest and penance done, the church will surely see to their salvation!
Sad, sad it is when religious people wake up in Hell because they would not come to Christ and personally trust Him for salvation.