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A. By the means of knowledge, they shall have enjoyed, and the motives to obedience, with which they shall have been favoured. Among mankind, the Heathen will be tried by the light of nature; the Jews will be tried by the light of nature and the Scriptures of the Old Testament; and Christians will be tried by the light of nature, and the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments both.
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 scrutinized and applauded. The conduct of those angels, who have apostatized, will be fully 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 necessity be exhibited and considered. 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.(5)
(f) Rom. 2. 12, 16. For as many as have sinned 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.
(g) 2 Cor. 5. 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. 12. 14. For God shall bring every work into judgment with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. Luke 12. 2. For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Matt. 12. 36, 37. But I say unto you, that every idle word, that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. 1 Cor. 4. 5. Therefore judge nothing before the
Q. 13. When trial is had, what sentence will the Judge pronounce?
A. The wicked He will doom to everlasting perdition in hell; and the righteous He will reward with everlasting felicity in heaven. The sentence thus passed will be irreversible and eternal, and, consequently, the state of all moral creatures will be fixed forever.(b)
Q. 14. How should judgment day be viewed?
A. It should be viewed as the most sublime, interesting, solemn, and momentous of all periods of duration; for then time will close; eternity will commence; the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with the mighty shout of the arch-angel; the heavens will roll together as a scroll; the elements will melt with fervent heat; in the twinkling of an eye 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 then will commence the highest glory and felicity of all holy creatures, and
time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts. Rev. 20. 12, 13. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the books 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. 25. 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.
the deepest shame and wretchedness of all the unholy.
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.(0)
(i) ? Pet. 3.10, 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 burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.
Q. 1. Is there a future state of happiness for the righteous?
A. There is. This truth is taught explicitly in the Bible.(a)
How long will this state continue? A. Forever. There will be no end to it.(5) Q. 3. Where will the saints reside! À. In that part of the world of spirits, called
. heaven, or the third heaven, or heaven of heavens.(*)
(a) Matt. 25. 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. 3.21. Tohim 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. 14. 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 from their labours; and their works do follow them.
(b) Matt. 25. 46. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal.
(c) Matt. 24. 36. But of that day and hour knoweth no man; no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 2 Cor. 12. 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 8. 27. But will God indeed dwell on earth? Behold, the heaven, and the heaven of heavens, cannot contain thee.
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 a building of God, mount Zion, a city, a kingdom, a better country, the heavenly Jerusalem. Indeed there must be some place, in which for the glorified body of Christ, and the embodied spirits of the redeemed, after the resurrection, to dwell.(1)
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; are perfectly conformed to God in heart and practice, and are perfectly happy.(C).
Q: 6. In what does the happiness of heaven consist?
A. It consists not merely in passive enjoyments,
(d) Heb. 12, 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 23. 43. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise: 2 Cor. 5. 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. 25. 34. Come ye blessed of my father inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Heb. 11. i6. “But now we desire a better country, that is, an heavenly.
(e) 1 John 3. 2. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 1 Cor. 13. 12. For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face; now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. Rev. 7. 16, 17. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne, shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters, and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. Ps. 16. 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.