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Q. 5. Do the Scriptures teach how long the judgment day, or the time of judgment, will continue?
A. They do not. A day, as used in relation to this subject, evidently means a period of time; and this period, we must conclude, will be sufficient for all the purposes of final judgment.
Q. 6. Where will be the place of the general judgment?
A. We do not know. It will be, however, in that place which is best suited to the occasion. Probably, therefore, it will not be on the earth, but in the air, the region of clouds, the most capacious place for such vast multitudes of beings to assemble. (c)
Q. 7. Who will be the judge?
A. The Lord Jesus Christ. He will sit in judgment, and render unto all according to their deeds. (d) Q. 8. In what manner will Christ come to final judgment?
A. He will appear in His glory attended by His holy angels. (e).
Q. 9. How will angels and men be affected at His approach?
A. None will then be disposed to deny either the Divinity or humanity of His person, nor the truth of His religion. The holy will have unspeakable joy and delight, and the unholy will have the most heartrending anguish and horror.
Q. 10. What is the particular design of the general judgment?
A. 1. It is not to furnish the Judge with instruction and information, for He is omniscient, and, con
shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left.
(c) 1 Thess. iv. 17. Then we, which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
(d) John v. 22. 27. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son; and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of
(e) Matt. xxv. 31. When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.
sequently, knows the heart and actions of all creatures: But, 2. It is to let all intelligent creatures in general, and every individual in particular, whether holy or unholy, know on what grounds angels and men are approved or condemned, and publicly to justify God in His treatment of all moral beings. It is not only highly important, that God should do right, but that he should display His righteousness, and manifest the glory of His character to all intelligent beings. Without a general judgment, God can make every individual see and feel that He has treated him right; but He cannot make any person see and feel that He has treated others right, without a full exhibition of all their conduct. But in the general judgment all will perceive, most clearly, the equity of every sentence that is passed. This will be the case with angels and men, whether holy or unholy. And in doing this, God will show forth the glory of his perfections, and, especially, the glory of Divinity in the Person of Jesus Christ.
Q. 11. By what rule of judgment will Jesus Christ Judge angels and men?
A. By the means of knowledge they enjoyed, and the motives to obedience with which they were favored. Among mankind, the Heathen will be tried by the light of nature, and those who have enjoyed the Sacred Scriptures will be judged by them. (f)
Q. 12. For what will angels and men be judged? A. For all their moral conduct. The conduct of holy angels, who have kept their first estate, will be examined and applauded. The conduct of those angels who have apostatized will be examined and condemned. The conduct of all mankind will be brought to view, of the righteous as well as the wicked. The sins of both, as they are so intimately connected and interwoven one with another. will of
(f) Rom. ii. 12. 16. For as many as have sinnea without law, shall also perish without law; and as many as have sinned in the law, shall be judged by the law, in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.
necessity be exhibited. This, too, will be necessary, in order to justify the righteous decision of the Judge to manifest His justice in condemning the wicked, and His grace in saving the penitent and believing. In the acquittal of the holy, and the condemnation of the unholy, the consciences of all will justify the decision of the omniscient and righteous Judge. (g)
Q. 13. What sentence will the Judge pronounce in consequence of the trial?
A. The wicked He will doom to everlasting perdition; and the righteous He will reward with everlasting felicity. The sentence thus passed will be irreversible and eternai, and, consequently, the state of angels and men will then be fixed forever. (h)
Q. 14. How should the judgment day be viewed? A. It should be viewed as the most sublime, interesting, solemn, and momentous of all periods; for then
(g) 2 Cor. v. 10. For we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.-Eccl. xii. 14. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.-Luke xii. 2. For there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.-Matt. xii. 36, 37. But I say unto you, that every idle word, that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judg ment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.-1 Cor. iv. 5. Therefore, judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who noth will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts.-Rev. xx. 12, 13. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the bocks were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them; and they were judged every man according to their works.
(h) Matt. xxv. 34. 41. 46. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal.
time will close; eternity will commence; the Lord himself will descend from heaven with the mighty shout of the archangel; the heavens will be rolled together as a scroll; the elements will melt with fervent heat; the nations under ground will start into life; mankind, of all generations, climes and languages, together with all holy and unholy angels, will be assembled to receive an irrevocable sentence, according to the deeds they have done; Jesus Christ will sit in judgment, and seal the destiny of all moral creatures for eternity; and the highest glory and felicity of all holy creatures, and the deepest shame and wretchedness of all the unholy, will commence, to continue forever.
Q. 15. What effect ought the doctrine of the general judgment to have upon all mankind?
A. It should excite them to universal holiness in heart and life. God and their own interest demand it. (i)
Q. 1. Is there a future state of happiness for the righteous?
A. There is. This truth is taught explicitly in the Bible. (a)
(i) 2 Pet. iii. 10, 11. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein, shall be burnt up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness?
(a) Matt. xxv. 34. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.-Rev. iii. 21. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.-Rev. xiv. 13. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth; Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest
Q. 2. How long will this state continue?
Forever. It will be literally without end. (b) Q. 3. Where will the saints reside?
A. In that part of the world of spirits, called heaven, or the third heaven, or heaven of heavens. (c) Q. 4. Is heaven a place, or merely a state?
A. It is a place. It is frequently represented as such in the Scriptures. It is called a paradise, a building of God, mount Zion, a city, a kingdom, a better country, the heavenly Jerusalem. Indeed there must be some place for the residence of the glorified body of Christ, and the embodied spirits of the redeemed, after the resurrection. (d)
Q. 5. What is the condition of the saints in heaven?
A. They are free from all temptations of earth and hell; free from all sin and imperfection; perfectly
from their labors; and their works do follow them.-Ps. xvi. 11. Thou wilt show me the path of life; in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
(b) Matt. xxv. 46. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal.-1 Thess. iv. 17. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we be ever with the Lord.
(c) Matt. xxiv. 36. But of that day and hour knoweth no man; no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.-2 Cor. xii. 2. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth,) such an one caught up to the third heaven. -1 Kings viii. 27. But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, the heaven, and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee.
(d) Heb. xii. 22, 23. But ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first born, which are written in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect. Luke xxiii. 43. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise.-2 Cor. v. 1. For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.-Matt. xxv. 34. Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.-Heb. xi. 16. But now we desire a etter country, that is, an heavenly.