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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. (8)
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 eternal, 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 judge ment, 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 poth 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 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. 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
Future Happiness. 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. ir. 10, 11. But the day of the Lord will come as a thies 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 sil 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 ?
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 lite; 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. 11. 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.
(u) 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 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.
conformed to God in heart and practice, and perfectly happy. (e)
In what does the happiness of heaven consist ?
A. It consists not merely in passive enjoyments, but mostly in positive activity. The inhabitants of heaven dwell in the immediate presence of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Gho and enjoy a glorious, happy, and lasting union and communion with them. They love, serve, worship, and glorify God, continually. They study the character, creation, and providence of God; the character and redemption of Christ; and the character and work of the Holy Spirit. They know, love, and serve each other as brethren, with the highest joy, having a common interest and aim. (f)
Q. 7. Are there different degrees of holiness and happiness among glorified saints ?
(e) 1 John iii. 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. xiii. 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. vii. 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. xvi. 11. Thou wilt show me the path of
in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
($) Rev. vii. 15. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple ; and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.-Rev. xxii. 3. And there shall be no more curse; but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him.Rev. v. 9, 10. 13. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation ; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth. And every creature which' is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sca, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, forever and ever.
A. There are.
Though all the redeemed in heaven are entirely holy and happy, still they possess different degrees of holiness and happiness, according to their capacity.
Q. 8. Will the saints in heaven continue forever to increase in knowledge, holiness, and happiness ?
A. They probably will. If so, a time will come, when they will be as far above what the angels now are, as the angels now are above them.
The angels will also probably be making continual progress in spiritual attainments, and, consequently, the redeemed will never be any nearer to them, in greatness and glory, than when they enter heaven.
Q.9. How does the heaven of the Christian differ from that of the Mohamedan ?
A. The latter consists in carnal possessions and delights; the former in spiritual possessions and joys.
Q. 10. What number from among men will be thus happy?
A. A countless multitude. Many were saved before the flood, many under the Mosaic dispensation, and vastly more will be saved under the Christian dispensation, especially if all the inhabitants of the earth who will live during the millennium are included. It is not improbable that a far greater number will be saved than lost. (8)
Q. 11. How should we be affected at the death of the righteous ?
A. We should not sorrow on their account, for death is their gain. But by it we should be excited to live the life of the righteous, that we may die their death, and our last end be like theirs. (h)
(8) Rev. vii. 9. After this, I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands. (h) Phil
. i. 21. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.-Num. xxiii. 10. Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.