Triumphant Through Grace

 •  9 min. read  •  grade level: 6
Death has justly been called “the King of Terrors.” It is truly such to those who know there is a heaven and a hell, and an eternity to be spent in one or the other, but who know not the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior.
For the believer, death has no terror; its sting is gone through the death of Jesus; victory is His, and death becomes but the gateway by which he passes into the presence of his triumphant Savior. But to the unbeliever, it is the gateway that conducts beyond the reach of mercy, and leads on to judgment and the lake of fire, where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched. “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Mark 9:43,4443And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 44Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. (Mark 9:43‑44); Heb. 9:2727And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (Hebrews 9:27)). Unspeakably solemn, then, and dreadful, must be the thought of death to those who know these things and yet are not saved. Let me ask the reader of this little paper, how is it with you?
Are you saved? Have your sins been forgiven? Have you eternal life? Or, are you still in your sins and unsaved, with death and judgment, and the lake of fire before you?
Oh! if the latter be your condition, how can you rest for a single moment? How can you leave this question of questions unsettled? If there be such a thing as assurance, from God’s own Word, of a full, present, eternal salvation, to be obtained without money and without price, and to be obtained now, how can you rest until assured that this salvation is yours? Such assurance may be obtained and obtained now, filling the soul with perfect peace. And, oh! what peace it gives, to know that our sins have been blotted out; that we have been washed and made whiter than snow in the blood of Jesus, and that we shall never come into judgment; shall never have to account for one sin in the presence of a throne of judgment.
Would you know this peace, dear reader? Would you be able to meet the king of terrors with a smile, instead of fear and trembling? If so let me bring you to the dying bed of one who knew this peace; who knew the saving power of the name of Jesus, and whose soul, in the very presence of death, and amid deep suffering, overflowed with a joy not of earth — “joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:88Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: (1 Peter 1:8)).
Dear A.H.S— was converted at the age of thirteen, while on a sick bed, and between ten and eleven years afterward passed triumphantly into the presence of the Lord Jesus. In this short paper it would be impossible to recount the many precious lessons he learned in the furnace of affliction, especially during the two closing years of his life, which were years of much trial and suffering. But we may sit down by his bedside and hear him tell of the peace and joy which filled his soul and lighted up his countenance in the very presence of eternity. And, remember, as you hear his testimony, the same peace and joy may be yours, if you will receive them; “For there is no difference” (Rom. 3:2222Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: (Romans 3:22)); “And whosoever will” may “take the water of life freely” (Rev. 22:1717And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. (Revelation 22:17)).
On one occasion Mr. N—, a servant of the Lord, who had been reading the Scriptures to him, asked, “What would you like to have me ask the Lord for you?” “That He will manifest Himself to me,” was the reply.
Three days after, the answer to this request was given. Looking up, he said, “Oh, it’s all bright above. I see the Lord Jesus standing, one hand outstretched, and He is beckoning me to come.” Along with this he spoke of “a deep sense of the Lord’s presence with him.” And this never left him. After this he slept a few minutes, and on awakening he said, “I am still here; how disappointed I am! Now I can say with G.V.W. I was so happy I wish I had died.”
At another time he said, “The sense of what the Lord has done for me is so great, it is almost overwhelming. My peace is intense.”
At one time he seemed to desire restoration to health, so as to be used in the Lord’s service; but afterward he said, “I feel now that the Lord sees He can better glorify Himself in my death than in my life; and if I could choose between being raised up to perfect health, or to go home, I should choose to go home. I am longing to go.”
On Lord’s day, the day before he fell asleep, he said, “This is the happiest day of my life.” The next day, his last day on earth, he asked the doctor, “How long will I last?” The doctor answered, “You may last till tomorrow night.” He replied, “Doctor, that is not good news to me; but that is not saying I may not go sooner.” The doctor then said, “You look bright this morning, Mr. S—, but your pulse is very weak.” He answered, “Yes, I am bright, because I am going home. I did not ask you because I feared it, but because I am longing to go. Doctor, meet me where I am going; I will not see you again here.” That day he bade “Good-bye” to the loved ones, saying, “I am going to be with Himself,” and after a few short, faint breaths, fell asleep in Jesus.
And now, dear unsaved reader, what would you not give, if, when the body is wasted with disease, and racked with pain, and you are about to be launched into eternity, you could say like dear Albert, “This is the happiest day of my life”?
Would you know the secret of this happiness? It was this: he knew the Lord Jesus; he knew Him as a Savior who loved him, and gave Himself for him, and who had washed him from his sins in His own blood; and he knew Him as One who was going to have him with Himself, an object of His love forever. “Goodbye, I am going to be with Himself,” were the words he uttered just before his happy spirit took its flight.
But you say, I am a sinner, and I am afraid to meet the Lord Jesus. I am not fit for His presence. True; but dear Albert had been a sinner, too, just like you, for Scripture says, “there is no difference,” and yet his fears were all gone. For him death had lost its sting and judgment had no terror. I ask again, Would you know the secret? Listen, then, once more, to the dying testimony of that dear boy.
Two days before he fell asleep he repeated these lines:
“Since Thou hast borne sin’s heavy load,
My trembling all is o’er;
Made Thine by virtue of Thy blood,
I’m sealed forevermore.”
condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus — and you have the foundation on which I am resting, laid from all eternity, made good to us through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Here, then, was the foundation on which he was resting. Jesus had borne sin’s heavy load for him, and now his trembling all was o’er. He had believed the testimony of God to the cleansing power of Jesus’ blood, and had been sealed by the Holy Spirit and was now in Christ Jesus, beyond the reach of condemnation. He had believed the gospel, and all was his. He had believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, and His atoning work had canceled all his guilt. God had accepted him according to the value of that work, and the peerless worth of His beloved Son, just because, as a lost sinner, he had believed in Him and in His precious blood. Thus he stood before God a confessed sinner, but justified by faith, and accepted in God’s beloved Son. He knew by the Word of God, which he had believed, that he was pardoned and saved, and that he was destined to be conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus, and to be His companion in glory forever. Thus we see the ground on which he stood and the secret of all his peace and joy. His peace was founded on the atoning work of the Lord Jesus, and his joy was sustained in communion with Him in whom he had believed, to whom he was going, and with whom he now is.
Would you know the same peace? Would you drink at the same fountain of joy? Believe, then, in Jesus; believe God’s testimony to His precious blood. “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:77But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)). Believe the message. Trust not to your works, or to your righteousness. Your works cannot save you. It is “Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:99Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:9)). “To him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Rom. 4:55But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. (Romans 4:5)). “We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isa. 64:66But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isaiah 64:6)). An “unclean thing” and “filthy rags” will not do for God. But He has accepted the Person of His beloved Son on behalf of all who put their trust in Him. He has raised up Jesus from the dead, and set Him on His own throne, crowned with glory and honor.
This is the proof that He is satisfied with His atoning work, and that there is eternal salvation for all who believe in Him. “Be it known unto you... that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by Him all that believe are justified from all things.” Believe the message; believe, and as surely as God is true, you are forgiven. Your sins have been borne by another. The cup Justice had filled for you is now empty. Jesus drank it for you, and judgment is past. And now you may say: “Since Thou hast borne sin’s heavy load, My trembling all is o’er; Made Thine by virtue of Thy blood, I’m sealed forevermore.”