When the roll is called up yonder, where will you be?

‘"When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, and time shall be no more, And the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair; When the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore, And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.’

Those words, the first verse of the famous hymn ‘When the Roll is Called Up Yonder’ were written by James Black, a Sunday School teacher in Pennsylvania, in 1893. One Sunday he called the roll and one girl was absent. She was the daughter of a drunkard. He was disappointed at her failure to appear and commented: ‘Well, I trust that when the roll is called up yonder, she’ll be there.’ Later that day, his heart was filled with sadness at the thought of the girl and when he sat down at the piano, the words and tune of the hymn just came to him. He did not change a single note or word.

For James Black, the morning has long since broken, eternal, bright and fair. Whether the daughter of the drunkard is there as well, no one knows. When the roll is called up yonder, where will you be? You might be wondering how you can make sure your name is on that roll. The Bible tells us there is a book in Heaven called the Lamb's Book of Life. Jesus is the Lamb that was slain for our sins and all those who trust in Him have their names written down in that book.

The Book of Revelation Chapter 20 verse 15 says: 'And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.' You could be the worst sinner in the world and still get your name written down in the book of life this very day. How? By putting your faith in Jesus Christ and His holy blood, shed at Calvary as a sacrifice to pay the penalty for all the sins of those who turn to him.

If you put your hope of Heaven in anything else, your name will not be written in that book. If you are trusting in church membership, forget it. It will not save you. It is only of any value at all if you have first trusted Christ for your salvation. If you put your faith in the 'sacrifice of the mass', forget it. There was only one sacrifice that satisfied God the Father, and that was offered on the cross 2000 years ago.

No sacrifice today has any value whatsoever. The epistle to the Hebrews, Chapter 10, tells us repeatedly that there was one and only one sacrifice and it thoroughly purged all our sins forever. Verse 11 and 12 say: 'Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God...' If you trust in your own goodness, forget it. You won't get in. No one is good enough. All stand guilty before God unless they have been washed in the blood of the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible is clear: 'All have sinned...' Romans 3:23. Will you not bow before the Lord of Heaven and earth today, a guilty sinner, and ask Jesus to wash you clean?


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'Peace (shalom) I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world give do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.'
John 14:27

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