Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Coming of Christ in Judgment

2,000 years ago the Lord Jesus came to earth on a mission; to save his people from their sins. This mission was accomplished when he, now as a man (yet remaining true God), lived a sinless life of perfect obedience to the Father, suffered and died on the cross, bearing our sins, was buried and rose again on the third day. Having accomplished his mission, he ascended back into heaven and since that time he, through the Holy Spirit has been gathering his people from every nation and people-group on earth.

Article 37 from the Belgic Confession is a summary of what we believe the Bible teaches about Christ's second coming to judge the world.

Finally we believe, according to God's Word, that when the time appointed by the Lord is come (which is unknown to all creatures) and the number of the elect is complete, our Lord Jesus Christ will come from heaven, bodily and visibly, as he ascended, with great glory and majesty, to declare himself the judge of the living and the dead. He will burn this old world, in fire and flame, in order to cleanse it.

Then all human creatures will appear in person before the great judge-- men, women, and children, who have lived from the beginning until the end of the world.
They will be summoned there by the voice of the archangel and by the sound of the divine trumpet. (1 Thess. 4:16)

For all those who died before that time will be raised from the earth, their spirits being joined and united with their own bodies in which they lived. And as for those who are still alive, they will not die like the others but will be changed "in the twinkling of an eye" from "corruptible to incorruptible." (1 Cor. 15:51-53)

Then "the books" (that is, the consciences) will be opened, and the dead will be judged according to the things they did in the world, whether good or evil. Indeed, all people will give account of all the idle words they have spoken, which the world regards as only playing games. And then the secrets and hypocrisies of men will be publicly uncovered in the sight of all. (Rev. 20:12; Matt. 12:36)

Therefore, with good reason the thought of this judgment is horrible and dreadful to wicked and evil people. But it is very pleasant and a great comfort to the righteous and elect, since their total redemption will then be accomplished. They will then receive the fruits of their labor and of the trouble they have suffered; their innocence will be openly recognized by all; and they will see the terrible vengeance that God will bring on the evil ones who tyrannized, oppressed, and tormented them in this world.

The evil ones will be convicted by the witness of their own consciences, and shall be made immortal-- but only to be tormented in the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels. (Matt. 25:41)

In contrast, the faithful and elect will be crowned with glory and honor. The Son of God will "confess their names" before God his Father and the holy and elect angels; all tears will be "wiped from their eyes"; and their cause-- at present condemned as heretical and evil by many judges and civil officers-- will be acknowledged as the "cause of the Son of God." And as a gracious reward the Lord will make them possess a glory such as the heart of man could never imagine. (Matt. 10:32; Rev. 7:17)

So we look forward to that great day with longing in order to enjoy fully the promises of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord.


Tom said...

Amen brother.

Anonymous said...

Aside from the fact that you're plainly barking mad, is there anything else I should know in mitigation, before committing to a padded cell a your local funny farm?

Keep taking the pills, for God's sake!

Ps, Pass along my greetings to your lover-boy Jesus! Last time we chatted on the celestial phone, he promised to get back to me, but never did. He's not ill, is he? Probably just a bit overworked what with his 24/7 soul-saving mission on earth! Not to speak of his coumtless missions of mercy in other worlds! He's a pretty dedicated dude! Do you know if He ever gets time off? Or any sleep?

Anonymous said...

errata: see comment...

...before committing (you) to a padded cell (at) your local funny farm.

Keep up the good work Craig! I'm sure you'll be rewarded in Neverneverland for it. If you're lucky, Jacko might even teach you the moonwalk! Now wouldn't that be a win-double! Praise Jesus! said...


Coincidently, just this morning I was reading the passage in Acts where Festus interrupted Paul by shouting, "You are out of your mind, Paul. Your great learning is driving you insane." (Acts 26:24) Now granted, my learning is pretty shallow in comparison to Paul's. But if I am counted as "barking mad" for having the same message as Paul, I am honored.

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