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Catechism Class. L D 19D, Q52

17/05/2022

Catechism Class. Lord’s Day 19D, Q52

From Whence He Shall Come!

The Apostle’s Creed states, ‘from whence He shall come, to judge the living and the dead.’  Our instructor seeks to understand this phrase, not in a cold objective way, but to apply it us, as Christian believers.  He assumes that Christ’s coming will be a COMFORT to we who long to see Him.

Q.52 asks, “What comfort is it to you that Christ will come to judge the living and the dead?”  The answer we must give is, “In all my sorrow and persecution I lift up my head and eagerly await as judge from heaven the very same person who before has submitted himself to the judgment of God for my sake, and has removed all the curse from me.  He will cast all his and my enemies into everlasting condemnation, but he will take me and all his chosen ones to himself into heavenly joy and glory.” 

READ Titus 2:13-14 How will Christ’s return, on the last day, be a comfort to ME – to YOU, personally?

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

1. Our Earthly Miseries Will End.  “In all my sorrow and persecution I lift up my head and eagerly await.

Here’s a really practical comfort for believers in this life. Let’s acknowledge that…

  • Christians SUFFER in this life. There are some preachers and television evangelists who go on and on about how Jesus gives us wealth and prosperity and good health. Jesus never promised Christians a bed of roses in this life.  READ John 16:33  Christians suffer just like everyone else, we suffer from illness, and depression and injury and disease and death. In addition we suffer persecution, and we always have, right throughout the history of the church.  So, what makes us difference from the world?  It’s this…
  • We Have HOPE! Romans 8:22-25 When the ungodly suffer setbacks, and sadness and injury and distress, they have no comfort. But for the Christian, there is hope. We know that this life is not all that there is, and we know that one day our Saviour will return, and all of the woes and evils of this age, all the worries and concerns and illnesses will be gone forever.  Philippians 3:20-21  So, while the ungodly look down into a descending spiral of hopelessness, we will lift up our heads, for our redemption draweth nigh! Luke 21:28 In fact…
  • We Are ENTHUSIASTIC about the Future.  We are optimistic, so we eagerly await the day that the Lord will return.  We sing about it and we pray for it to be soon, and we say with the saints of old and the Apostles Paul and John, “Maranatha!””Even so, come Lord Jesus!”  

So, there’s our first comforting thought.  When Jesus returns, all the miseries inflicted upon us in this life will be over for ever.  READ Romans 8:16-18 Let’s think of another of those comforts.  

2. Our Status in Christ Will Be Openly Declaredeagerly await as judge from heaven the very same person who before has submitted himself to the judgment of God for my sake, and has removed all the curse from me.

We often hear it said in sermons in church, that when Jesus returns to this earth, his second advent, that he will not come again as Saviour, as he did, at Bethlehem, when the Son of Man came into the world to seek and to save that which was lost.  When he comes again he will come as JUDGE. That’s true, and it is the very reason why sinners must come to Christ, before the end of this age, while there is still time. But let’s learn a little about this divine judge before whom we shall all stand on that day… Firstly, 

  • He is the same Jesus who left this earth.  Acts 1:11,  So, this judge will be someone very special to the believer!  The judge will be…
  • The One who has also been judged!  This judge has already taken our judgment!  It was he who went to the cross and bore the punishment for all our sins, the one upon whom the divine judgment and wrath of God fell, who took the eternal hell that was mine and made it his.  Let’s check this out with some bible references… READ: 2 Cor. 5:21, 1 Peter 2:24  Heb. 10:12,  Rom. 8:34.
  • The One who has taken away the curse of sin from me. Gal. 3:13   All my guilt has gone, Rom. 8:1.

Is it any wonder that the Catechist sees Christ’s second coming as being a comfort to the believer.   I have done a great wrong, committed a criminal offence, and I am scheduled to appear in court, before a stern judge and then I learn that the very judge who will walk out onto the bench on that day has taken all my guilt and willingly paid the great fine that I owe, a fine I could never pay, and I am absolved from all my guilt. I would go joyfully into the presence of such a judge, – I would thank him for his concern for me, for his grace and his love, and I would never fear his final judgment, for I will know in advance, that on that day I shall be declared NOT GUILTY! Finally, when Jesus returns, 

3. Our Eternal Destiny Will Be Fixed. He will cast all his and my enemies into everlasting condemnation, but he will take me and all his chosen ones to himself into heavenly joy and glory.” 

On the day of his return as judge, all our enemies, – those who oppose Christ and his people in this present age, will be defeated forever. Of course, our catechist gives no false hope to those who do not belong to Christ.  On that day, when he returns, there will be no secret rapture, READ: Revelation 1:7  Picture the scene. The Lord Jesus will return, and the people who have rejected him, and broken God’s Law, will be filled with a terror worse than anything they have ever known, in the dreadful realisation that it is too late, and they are in the presence of God Incarnate.  

Jesus will come for both ‘the living and the dead.’  At his coming the dead in Christ shall rise, and we will be reunited with our loved ones from ages past, but it is also true in a spiritual sense, for he is coming to judge all the earth, both those who are spiritually alive and those who are spiritually dead. The difference of course, is that when sentence is passed, the believer will be in glory forever with the Lord, dwelling with him, in his presence, for ever and ever, while the unbeliever, the Christ rejector will be rightly and justly condemned to eternal conscious punishment in the lake of fire. And they will know, on that day that they deserve exactly that. Romans 3:19

One final thought. No-one knows when that day will come. It could be today, or tomorrow or not for many many decades…. READ: Mark 13:32  But it will come.  Will you be ready?

© Bob McEvoy May 2022

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