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12. Who were the witnesses of this event?
He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: after that he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once. (I. Cor. 15. 5, 6.).
13. Is the resurrection of Christ a pledge of our rising again?
Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept. (I. Cor. 15. 20.)
14. Will the saints of Christ be blessed at the resurrection?
If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.-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. 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. (I. Thess. 4. 14, 16, 17.)
15. What contrast will there be between the body of the saint when committed to the grave, and when it is raised from the dead?
It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption :—it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory:- it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power:-it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. (I. Cor. 15. 42, 43, 44.)
16. Will death be then abolished?
When this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. (I. Cor. 15. 54.)
17. How do Christians triumph over death and the grave?
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law, but thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1. Cor. 15, 55, 56, 57.)
XXXVIII. THE DAY OF JUDGMENT.
The Judge-The circumstances of the day-All will be judged-The judgment of the righteous and the wicked.
1. Are righteousness and judgment essential to the character of God?
Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne. (97 P. 2.)
2. Who is our Judge?
The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son. (5 Jn. 22.)
God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ. (2 Ro. 16.)
3. What assurance have we that God has appointed Christ to judge the world?
He hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained, whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. (17 Ac. 31.)
4. How will Christ proceed to judgment?
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 his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left. (25 Mt. 31 to 33.)
5. What did Enoch prophecy?
Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints to execute judgment upon all. (Jd. 14, 15.)
6. What did Solomon say?
God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. (12 Ec. 14.)
7. How does Daniel describe the day of judgment?
I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. (7 Dan. 9, 10.)
8. How does St. John describe the solemn day?
I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from. whose face the earth and the heavens fled away, and there was found no place for them. 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. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (20 Rev. 11 to 15.)
9. How does St. Peter describe the day of judgment?
The heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment, and perdition of ungodly men.-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, looking for and hasting unto
the coming of the day of God; wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we according to his pron:ise look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. (II. Pet. 3. 7, 10 to 13.)
10. What is after death?
It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. (9 Heb. 27.)
11. Shall we all stand before the judgment seat?
We shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ. Every one of us shall give account of himself to God. (14 Ro. 10, 12.)
12. For what purpose must we appear there?
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. (II. Cor. 5. 10.)
13. Are the rebel angels reserved by God till the day of judgment?
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. (Jd, 6.)
14. How did Christ warn those cities in which he performed many mighty works of the day of judgment?
Wo unto thee, Chorazin; wo unto thee, Bethsaida: for if the mighty works which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee. (11 Mt. 21 to 24.)
15. Does abused mercy peculiarly aggravate the sinner's guilt and punishment?
Despisest thou the riches of his goodness, and forbearance, and long-suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart, treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God. (2 Ro. 4, 5.)
16. How will God fix the state of the righteous and
the wicked, in the day of judgment?
Who will render to every man according to his deeds. To them, who by patient continuance in well-doing, seek for glory, and honor, and immortality, eternal life: but unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath; tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil.-There is no respect of persons with God. (2 Ro. 6, 7, 8, 9, 11.) 17. Will all deeds of darkness be then discovered?
Who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts. (I. Cor. 4, 5.) 18. Will our characters on earth decide our state then?
Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (6 Gal. 7.)
19. What punishment awaits the sinful?
A certain fearful looking for of judgment, and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries,- Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompence, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (10 Heb. 27, 30, 31.) 20. How did the Apostle rejoice in looking forward to the day of judgment?
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous Judge shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (II. Tim. 4 8.)