Page images

rection. 4. By the resurrection or change of the body and its re-union with the soul, the wisdom, goodness, and power of God will be illustriously manifested.(e)

Q. 7. By whom will the dead be raised?

A. This supernatural and Divine work is attributed in the Scriptures to the Lord Jesus Christ in His mediatorial character. It will be effected instrumentally by the archangel's trumpet, sounded by Christ's order, and attended with His all-quickening power.

This will be a summons, not only for the dead bodies to arise, but for the souls to be united with them. f)

Q. 8. What will be the nature of the resurrection body?

Å. The bodies of the righteous will be raised spiritual, incorruptible, strong, active, and glorious. They will not be subject to weariness by labor, wasting by disease, or decay by age. The bodies of the wicked will be raised immortal; but in dishonor, deformity, shame, and everlasting contempt.(g)

Q. 9. What will be the feelings of mankind at the time of the resurrection?

A. The righteous will rise with joy and triumph; but the wicked will rise with fear and trembling.

Q. 10. Will persons who were acquainted with each other in this life know each other in the life to come, when clothed with the resurrection body?

A. Undoubtedly they will. The righteous who knew each other on earth will know each other in heaven. The wicked who knew each other on earth will know each other in hell. Even spirits in the separate or intermediate state know each other. Moses and Elijah knew

(e) 1 Cor. xv. 50. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. See also reference b and d.

(f) 1 Thess. iv. 16. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first.—Matt. xxv. 31, 32. 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; and before him shall be gathered all nations.

(g) Philip. iii. 21. Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.—Dan. xii. 2. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some lo everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

each other, and talked with each other, in the mount of transfiguration.(h)

Q. 11. Is the doctrine of the resurrection an important and peculiar doctrine of Christianity?

A. It is; for, though it may appear non-essential to some, incredible to others, and mysterious to, all, yet the whole Gospel stands or falls with the truth of this doctrine, especially with the resurrection of Christ.(i)



Q. 1. What is meant by the general judgment?

A. The general trial of angels and men, whether holy or unholy.

Q. 2. Is there a particular judgment passed upon all, both angels and men, at the close of their probation?

A. There is; but this judgment is individual and secret.

Q. 3. What are the evidences that there will be a general judgment?

A. 1. The dictates of conscience and reason suggest this. 2. The justice of God implies this. And, 3. The Sacred Scriptures explicitly teach this. All that is said in the Bible respecting the probation of angels and men has reference to a general judgment.(a)

(h) Matt. xvii. 3. And behold there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.—Luke xvi. 22, 23, 25. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by angels into Abraham's bosom; the rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy life time receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

(i) 1 Cor. xv. 12, 13, 14. Now if Christ be preached, that he rose from the dead, how say some among you, that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen. And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

(a) Acts xvii. 31. Because he hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man,

whom he hath or

Q. 4. When will the day of judgment be!

A. At the end of the world—when this scene of things shall close.(6)

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!

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)


dained, whereof he hath given assurance unto all men in that he hath raised him from the dead. Rom. xiv. 10, 12. But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.—Jude 6. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

(b) Matt. xxv. 31–33. 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; and before him shall be gathered all nations; and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth bis 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 small we ever be with the Lord.

(d) John v. 22, 27. For the Father judgeth no man, but hash committed all judgment unto the Son; and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

(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.

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 heart-rending anguish and horror.

Q. 10. What is the particular design of the general judgment?

Ă. 1. It is not to furnish the Judge with instruction and information, for He is omniscient, and, consequently, knows the heart and actions of all creatures: But, 2. It is to show all intelligent creatures in general, and every individual in particular, whether holy or unholy, 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. ii. 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

(f) Rom. ii. 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.

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 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 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 time

(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 judgment. 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 both 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 deJivered 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,

« PreviousContinue »