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Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 52

Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 52

Chapter 33 – Of the Last Judgment
I. God has appointed a day, wherein he will judge the world in righteousness by Jesus Christ, to whom all power and judgment is given of the Father. In which day, not only the apostate angels shall be judged; but likewise all persons, that have lived upon earth, shall appear before the tribunal of Christ, to give an account of their thoughts, words, and deeds; and to receive according to what they have done in the body, whether good or evil.
II. The end of God’s appointing this day, is for the manifestation of the glory of his mercy in the eternal salvation of the elect; and of his justice in the damnation of the reprobate, who are wicked and disobedient. For then shall the righteous go into everlasting life, and receive that fullness of joy and refreshing which shall come from the presence of the Lord: but the wicked, who know not God, and obey not the gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast into eternal torments, and punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.
III. As Christ would have us to be certainly persuaded that there shall be a day of judgment, both to deter all men from sin, and for the greater consolation of the godly in their adversity: so will he have that day unknown to men, that they may shake off all carnal security, and be always watchful, because they know not at what hour the Lord will come; and may be ever prepared to say, Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly. Amen.

And Amen.
Thanks for reading along through this series (again) during 2017.


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Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 51

Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 51

Chapter 32 – Of the State of Man After Death, and of the Resurrection of the Dead
I. The bodies of men, after death, return to dust, and see corruption; but their souls (which neither die nor sleep), having an immortal subsistence, immediately return to God who gave them. The souls of the righteous, being then made perfect in holiness, are received into the highest heavens, where they behold the face of God in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies; and the souls of the wicked are cast into hell, where they remain in torments and utter darkness, reserved to the judgment of the great day. Besides these two places for souls separated from their bodies, the Scripture acknowledges none.
II. At the last day, such as are found alive shall not die, but be changed: and all the dead shall be raised up with the self-same bodies, and none other, although with different qualities, which shall be united again to their souls forever.
III. The bodies of the unjust shall, by the power of Christ, be raised to dishonour; the bodies of the just, by his Spirit, unto honour, and be made conformable to his own glorious body.



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Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 52

Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 52

Chapter 33 – Of the Last Judgment
I. God has appointed a day, wherein he will judge the world in righteousness by Jesus Christ, to whom all power and judgment is given of the Father. In which day, not only the apostate angels shall be judged; but likewise all persons, that have lived upon earth, shall appear before the tribunal of Christ, to give an account of their thoughts, words, and deeds; and to receive according to what they have done in the body, whether good or evil.
II. The end of God’s appointing this day, is for the manifestation of the glory of his mercy in the eternal salvation of the elect; and of his justice in the damnation of the reprobate, who are wicked and disobedient. For then shall the righteous go into everlasting life, and receive that fullness of joy and refreshing which shall come from the presence of the Lord: but the wicked, who know not God, and obey not the gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast into eternal torments, and punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.
III. As Christ would have us to be certainly persuaded that there shall be a day of judgment, both to deter all men from sin, and for the greater consolation of the godly in their adversity: so will he have that day unknown to men, that they may shake off all carnal security, and be always watchful, because they know not at what hour the Lord will come; and may be ever prepared to say, Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly. Amen.

And Amen.
Thanks for reading along through this series during 2013.


Leave a comment

Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 51

Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 51

Chapter 32 – Of the State of Man After Death, and of the Resurrection of the Dead
I. The bodies of men, after death, return to dust, and see corruption; but their souls (which neither die nor sleep), having an immortal subsistence, immediately return to God who gave them. The souls of the righteous, being then made perfect in holiness, are received into the highest heavens, where they behold the face of God in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies; and the souls of the wicked are cast into hell, where they remain in torments and utter darkness, reserved to the judgment of the great day. Besides these two places for souls separated from their bodies, the Scripture acknowledges none.
II. At the last day, such as are found alive shall not die, but be changed: and all the dead shall be raised up with the self-same bodies, and none other, although with different qualities, which shall be united again to their souls forever.
III. The bodies of the unjust shall, by the power of Christ, be raised to dishonour; the bodies of the just, by his Spirit, unto honour, and be made conformable to his own glorious body.



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Jesus, Saviour And Substitute – Chapman & Richards Cont.

John Chapman and Kel Richards, courtesy of Gordon Cheng, continue to discuss the end of life and ultimate destinies.
(Part one here, part two here.)
An excerpt:

John: …The judgement of God is real, and our age of course never thinks about death. If you want to bring a dinner conversation to a crashing, grinding halt, just whisper to your hostess, have you given any thought to your death lately? See how that goes down.

Kel: (laughing) You won’t be invited back, will you John.
John: You’ll be struck of the Chrissy card list, brother. But you see, the Victorians, they were so close to death, and every Victorian novel’s got a deathbed scene, and then a scene on the wake. Most people are not with their loved ones when they die now.

Kel: It’s all in hospitals, it’s all medicalized.
John: And they’re removed away, you’re in the way as it were.

Kel: Yes.
John: And our age pretends it’s never going to happen. Which is the great fad of everybody trying to look younger.

Kel: So we need to face the fact that there’s something we need to be saved from.
John: Yes. You see, I am not ready to meet God unless I’m forgiven. If I stand in the presence of God unforgiven, and he says, what is this man’s track record like? they say, in terms of loving you and serving you, he was careless.
Now when you are forgiven, and God says, what is his track record like, they say, there’s nothing written against him.
They say, how is that possible?
And Jesus says, I erased the record when I died for him…

Read the whole post here.


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Funerals And The Resurrection (via Harry Reeder)

A while ago I wrote a post on funerals which some people found helpful.
Harry Reeder (Embers To A Flame, Briarwood Presbyterian Church USA) offers these extended thoughts on his blog about the opportunity to offer the Gospel through funerals, whether for those who did not profess faith in Christ or those who did:

Interestingly, the subject that I have been asked to write upon was in fact one of my greatest fears upon entrance into the ministry. But today I consider it one of my greatest privileges. Why? Because of the historicity and glorious message of the atoning death and triumphant resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Obviously, I do not delight in the fact of someone’s death but in the opportunity that the death of a believer or an unbeliever opens for communicating the majesty of Christ and the glories of the Gospel while comforting the family and friends and also in presenting salvation by grace to those who are lost yet have come to “pay their respects.” But what about an unbelievers funeral? Believe it or not, I also count this an opportunity to appropriately and truthfully yet compassionately share the Gospel. I am constantly amazed at how wide the door opens for effective Gospel communication at the funeral of an unbeliever. Clearly, the preacher cannot “preach someone into Heaven” or give false assurances but there is a way to carefully turn everyone’s attention, in such a moment, to the realities of eternity and their need of a Savior. Let’s address the challenge of an unbelievers funeral first.
The first church I pastored was in Miami, Florida . I had moved to an area where I knew no one and the church I pastored was on the verge of closing. (The complete story can be found in the book From Embers to a Flame which gave rise to the From Embers to a Flame Church Revitalization Ministry.) So, I needed to meet people in Miami who needed to know Christ. I employed numerous strategies. One strategy was to offer my services to local funeral homes for anyone who didn’t have a church home and the family needed a minister for the funeral of their loved one. I was aware how challenging this would be but what I didn’t know was how fruitful this strategy would become in harvesting Gospel blessings in the lives of men and women as well as maturing me in the ministry of preaching and leading funerals for unbelievers while caring for their families.
Preaching the Gospel at the funeral for unbelievers… How do you do that? First, you must be committed to doing it. Second, you have to be compassionate while doing it. Why? The implications will be obvious to anyone who listens to what you are thoughtfully yet pointedly saying about the Gospel. The eternal state of the unbeliever who has died is revealed by the truth of the Gospel. Let’s be clear. We are not called to make eternal pronouncements concerning the soul of their loved one any more than we are allowed to give false assurances concerning their eternal state. Why? Because we do not know their heart and God alone is in the position of knowing their heart and making pronouncements concerning their eternal destination. Furthermore, we do not know if perhaps they had experienced a deathbed conversion. We are to preach the Gospel and direct all in attendance to the realities of their own need of a Savior in light of eternity. The question from some would be, “don’t you have a responsibility to tell them that the unbeliever who died is under the judgment of God?” The answer is, “no.” We have a responsibility to say that any and all who have not put their trust in Christ are rightly under the judgment of God. The individual’s heart, I do not know. God alone is able and positioned to disclose and declare the condition of their heart and their eternal destination. What I must do is make clear that entrance into eternal life is only through Christ. Because the implications of this are so clear I always try to take the time to comfort the family appropriately and relationally. This must be done with integrity (truth) and thoughtfulness (love). The third thought is simply summed up by stating we cannot give any false assurances nor can we trample upon the grief and fragility of family members by being heavy handed.
So, what about the death of believers? I have a confession to make. It is all that I can do to sit in a funeral service where the preacher begins with sentimental clichés that we somehow think will comfort people. I have actually heard preachers say, “God has picked a flower which He needed for His bouquet.” “Don’t think God had anything to do with this.” “The reason we are here today is because God blinked.” Unfortunately, I’ve heard other such, perhaps well meaning but equally destructive and demoralizing statements. Pastors must, in funerals, preach as they would in any preaching opportunity. We are to “speak the truth in love.” To paraphrase a Puritan divine, “truth without love is barbarity and love without truth is cruelty.” Here is a practical suggestion to assist in this objective. Always encourage the family members to ask someone who knows the individual well and can testify to their Christianity as well as their lifetime contributions to give a brief eulogy. While the preacher in the sermon certainly desires to mention personal dynamics, relational incidents and anecdotal events, a well given family eulogy allows the preacher to focus upon the Gospel truth of forgiveness because of the Cross and the bodily resurrection because of the risen Christ whom proclaim as our Blessed Hope. A family eulogy positions the preacher to comfort the family, encourage believers and evangelize any who are lost.
Personal remarks in the sermon are necessary and helpful but remember, all true and lasting comfort comes in the Gospel promises of redemption and resurrection fulfilled in the death and bodily resurrection of Christ. Because Christ is risen the one who has died is “home.” Everyone sitting in the funeral service is not. The question to them is, “Where will your eternity be spent?” One other practical suggestion. I love to use the Bible of the one who has gone to be with the Lord. I enjoy searching through it, securing notes from it and noting places in it where they have underlined or written thoughts. Then, I love to use it and let everyone know that I am using it in the funeral. At the graveside, after the benediction I always place the Bible into the hands of the spouse or closest relative while giving words of personal comfort.
The preeminence of Christ, our Redeemer and the truth of the Gospel with the glorious promise of the resurrection must be simply, thoughtfully and clearly articulated with compassion and conviction. Your challenge is that everyone in attendance has to undergo a paradigm shift. Most of your listeners’ believe their loved one or friend has just gone from “the land of the living” to “the land of the dying”. You must proclaim to them in the power of the Holy Spirit, through the truth of the Gospel based upon the historic reality of the vicarious atonement and victorious resurrection of Christ, that the exact opposite is actually true. They have not left the “land of the living” to go to the” land of the dying;” they have left the” land of the dying” to go to “the land of the living.” As stated by D.L. Moody to a New York journalist concerning the truth of the Gospel and his approaching death in light of declining health, “Some day you will read in the papers that D.L. Moody of East Northfield, is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it! At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now;”


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Bell’s Hell And Bin Laden

To paraphrase Rob Bell: Bin Laden’s in hell? And you know this for a fact?

If I understand the thesis that Bell floats in his book Love Wins, all the wrong doing of Osama Bin Laden was atoned for by the death of Jesus Christ, so God holds nothing against him; the life of privilege he enjoyed and the purposes of suffering he inflicted upon thousands of others was his personal experience of hell; and after his death, faced with the stark choice between God’s accepting love or self-induced suffering, he may well have already chosen for God to win and be in heaven now. And if not now, maybe tomorrow, or next week.

That, according to Rob Bell, is love winning.

Update: Matt Viney, Presbyterian pastor from Brisbane interacts with Bell’s theology and offers a biblical response.