30 January 2008

Westminster Wednesday #42

The answer to this week's q&a is certainly worth some meditation. May I encourage you, as I will myself, to cogitate on what it means to truly love God with all my heart, soul & strength. It is indeed a difficult task both inwardly and outwardly.

Q. 42. What is the sum of the ten commandments? A. The sum of the ten commandments is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our mind, and our neighbour as ourselves.

Q. 1. What is the sum of the ten commandments? A. To love the Lord our God with a supreme love, and men with a sincere love, in and for him; Matthew 22:37-38. Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment: The second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Q. 2. What is the first thing contained in our supreme love to God? A. It implies the loving of God purely and absolutely for himself. The excellencies that are in him; Canticles 1:3. Thy name is as ointment poured forth; therefore the virgins love thee. And the benefits we receive from him; Psalm 116:1. I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplication.
Q. 3. What is the second property of this supreme love? A. Supreme love denotes the whole man to God and Christ: So that in life and death that man designs the glory of God as his main end; Romans 14:7-8. For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself; for whether we live, we live unto the Lord, and whether we die, we die unto the Lord; whether we live therefore or die, we are the Lord’s.
Q. 4. What is the third property of supreme love? A. It causes the soul to depreciate and slight all other things in comparison of God’s glory, and an interest in Christ; Acts 20:24. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy; Philippians 3:8. I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.
Q. 5. What is the fourth property of supreme love? A. It centers the soul in God as its only rest; Psalm 116:7. Return unto thy rest, O my soul. And cannot be satisfied till it come to the full enjoyment of him; 2 Thessalonians 3:5. And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
Q. 6. Why must we love God with a supreme love? A. Because such a love only suits the transcendent excellency of God; commands all we are and have for God; and is the only love that will continue to the end; Romans 8:35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Q. 7. What is it to love our neighbour as ourselves? A. It is the exact observation and practice of the golden rule of Christ; Matthew 7:12. Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.
Q. 8. Are all men to be loved alike, and with the same degree of love? A. No; though we must love all men with the love of benevolence, yet the saints only with the love of complacency; Psalm 16:3. But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent in whom is all my delight. Psalm 15:4. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. And to such we must especially do good; Galatians 6:10. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
Q. 9. What is the first instruction from hence? A. Hence we learn the excellency of divine love. Moses expresses the whole duty of man in ten commandments: Christ hangs the whole law upon these two, love to God and our neighbour; Mark 12:30-31. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: This is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: There is none other commandment greater than these. And the apostle reduces these two into one; Galatians 5:14. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even this. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Q. 10. What is the second inference from hence? A. It convinces the holiest of men how far short they come in their obedience to the rule of duty, and therein the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, Galatians 3:24.
Q. 11. What is the third inference from hence? A. It discovers the excellency and perfection of the law of God; Psalm 19:7. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: And that we are highly to honour and magnify it as a rule of duty, though we must utterly renounce it as the way of our justification.
Q. 12. What is the last inference from hence? A. That there is nothing too dear for a Christian in this world, but he must give it up by self-denial, when it conies in competition with his supreme love to God; Luke 14:26. If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple; i. e. Love them less than me. - John Flavel

23 January 2008

Westminster Wednesday #41

We have finally made it to the 10 Commandments. Thomas Vincent introduces us to them with his explanation of this Q & A.
Ques. Where is the moral law summarily comprehended?
Ans. The moral law is summarily comprehended in the ten commandments.
Q. 1. What is it for the moral law to be summarily comprehended in the ten commandments?A. The moral law is summarily comprehended in the ten commandments, in that the sum and chief heads of the law are therein contained.
Q. 2. Is there, then, any thing included, as commanded or forbidden in the moral law, but what is expressed in the ten commandments?
A. The moral law being spiritual and very large, doth reach both the whole inward man, and all the outward conversation, and therefore the ten general heads in the commandments do include many particular members and branches. — 1. Whatever sin is forbidden in any one precept, the contrary duty is commanded, and all sins of the same kind also are forbidden; and not only the outard act, together with the words and gestures tending thereunto, but also all the inward affections to sin, together with all causes, means, occasions, appearances, and whatever may be a provocation unto it, either in ourselves or others. "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: but I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the counsel: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after he; hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."— Matt. 5:21, 22, 27, 28. 2. Whatever duty is commanded, the contrary is forbidden; and all duties of the same kind are included, together with all suitahle affections thereijnto, as also the using all means appointed for help, quickening, and furtherance therein, and our endeavours in our places to help and further others in their obedience.

From the Larger Catechism:
Q. 98. Where is the moral law summarily comprehended? A. The moral law is summarily comprehended in the Ten Commandments, which were delivered by the voice of God upon mount Sinai, and written by him in two tables of stone; and are recorded in the twentieth chapter of Exodus; the four first commandments containing our duty to God, and the other six our duty to man.
Q. 99. What rules are to be observed for the right understanding of the Ten Commandments? A. For the right understanding of the Ten Commandments, these rules are to be observed:
1. That the law is perfect, and bindeth every one to full conformity in the whole man unto the righteousness thereof, and unto entire obedience forever; so as to require the utmost perfection of every duty, and to forbid the least degree of every sin.
2. That it is spiritual, and so reacheth the understanding, will, affections, and all other powers of the soul; as well as words, works, and gestures.
3. That one and the same thing, in divers respects, is required or forbidden in several commandments.
4. That as, where a duty is commanded, the contrary sin is forbidden; and, where a sin is forbidden, the contrary duty is commanded: so, where a promise is annexed, the contrary threatening is included; and, where a threatening is annexed, the contrary promise is included.
5. That what God forbids, is at no time to be done; what he commands, is always our duty; and yet every particular duty is not to be done at all times.
6. That under one sin or duty, all of the same kind are forbidden or commanded; together with all the causes, means, occasions, and appearances thereof, and provocations thereunto.
7. That what is forbidden or commanded to ourselves, we are bound, according to our places, to endeavor that it may be avoided or performed by others, according to the duty of their places.
8. That in what is commanded to others, we are bound, according to our places and callings, to be helpful to them; and to take heed of partaking with others in what is forbidden them.
Q. 100. What special things are we to consider in the Ten Commandments? A. We are to consider, in the Ten Commandments, the preface, the substance of the commandments themselves, and several reasons annexed to some of them, the more to enforce them.

19 January 2008

Samuel Rutherford

My dear brother, let God make of you what he will, he will end all with consolation, and shall make glory out of all your sufferings; and would ye wish better work? - From the Loveliess of Christ by Samuel Rutherford.


Lately I've been studying and reading several books on revivals since the Reformation. A few things stand out:
1) Revival comes from the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, it cannot be generated by man.
2) Often with revival comes division from those who follow a previous or different theological path.
3) After a period of time, the revival fervor fades and often theological accuracy fades with it.
4) Most important, we need to trust Providence in all periods of history even when we no longer see the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit. God is always working even in history's darkest moments.

I can't recommend Iain Murray's Revival and Revivalism enough. Ever wonder about the altar call? Where did that come from? The oddball understanding of grace and why man has such control over his spiritual life? How he can make a decision? As good as this book is its heartbreaking as well to read the shift that took place from 1800 to 1831 that brought about the change in American thinking on these issues. I highly recommend it as we shall all understand our theological past.

16 January 2008

Unbelievable...Well, Maybe Not

You just gotta read this and shake your head....Seems hard to believe but its true. How about some perspective from across the pond. Anyone? I'm an organ donor myself but this unbelievable...well, maybe not.

15 January 2008

Westminster Wednesday #40

Let's hit #40 this week and Matthew Henry will mine the truth of this q&a for us:

Q. 40. What did God at first reveal to man for the rule of his obedience?
A. The rule which God at first revealed to man for his obedience, was the moral law.

1. Was the moral law revealed to man in innocency? Yes: for God created man in his own image, Gen. 1:27. Is it written in the heart of man? Yes: They show the work of the law written in their heart, Rom. 2:15. Is there then a law of nature? Yes: Doth not even nature itself teach you? 1 Cor. 11:14. Is that a law of God? Yes: for he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, Job 33:16. Does natural conscience enforce that law? Yes: for the Gentiles which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, Rom. 2:14. Did the Gentiles sin by the breach of that law? Yes: what they know naturally, in these things they corrupt themselves, Jude 10. And will they be punished for the breach of it ? Yes: they that have sinned without law, shall perish without law, Rom. 2:12.
2. Has God given us the moral law more fully? Yes: I have written unto them the great things of my law, Hos. 8:12. Are we under that law as a covenant? No: for a man is not justified by the works of the law, Gal. 2:16. Are we under it as a rule? Yes: we are under the law to Christ, 1 Cor. 9:21.
3. Is the law of God very extensive? Yes: Thy commandment is exceeding broad, Ps. 119:96. And very excellent? Yes: the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, and just, and good, Rom. 7:12. Is it admirable? Yes: Thy testimonies are wonderful, Ps. 119:129. Is any thing unjust in it? No: I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right, Ps. 119:128. Is it beyond any other law? Yes: what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous, Deut. 4:8.
4. Does the law of God bind the inward man? Yes: for the law is spiritual, Rom. 7:14. Does it forbid heart sins? Yes: Wash thy heart from wickedness, Jer. 4:14. Does it require heart service? Yes: My son, give me thy heart, Prov. 23:26. Does the law show us our way? Yes: it is a light to our feet, Ps. 119:105. Does it discover sin to us? Yes: by the law is the knowledge of sin, Rom. 3:20. Does it warn us concerning sin and duty? Yes: by them is thy servant warned, Ps. 19:11. Does it show us the need of Christ? Yes: the law was our schoolmaster, to bring us to Christ, Gal. 3:24. And does Christ do that for as which the law could not? Yes: Christ is the end of the law for righteousness, Rom. 10:4.
5. Ought we to love the law of God? Yes: I love thy commandments above gold, Ps. 119:127. And to consult it upon all occasions? Yes: Thy testimonies are my delight, and my counsellors, ver. 24. And to confirm it? Yes: We must walk in the law of the Lord, ver. 1.

My Grandson Rocking Out

For my 250th post it is most fitting that I have my grandson on video rocking out thanks to my son-in-law's excellent computer techniques.

10 January 2008

Make One Theologian Your Life's Interest...

In the recent interview of Derek Thomas by the Exiled Preacher, Thomas said he was once told by Iain Murray that he should “make one theologian your life’s interest and hobby.” That really started me thinking. Who would that be for me? I’m not sure I could narrow that down to just one or even one living and one dead. I’ve always been of the belief to study as much as possible of everyone to get an over-arching understanding of the subject(s). I guess if I had to narrow it down to one, it would be John Flavel but I just don’t think I can limit myself to one. Looking at modern day theologians I would go with John Piper. I have found Flavel’s Keeping the Heart and Mysteries of Providence most helpful in my life and I return to these works often. Piper has such a good balance of intellect and heart that few are his equal and thus I continue to buy his books and listen to his sermons and lectures. We should not overlook the fact that desiringgod.org has the best internet policy for listening and downloading of any Christian site I have come across. So who is your life's interest and hobby?

09 January 2008

Westminster Wednesday #39

Its been sometime since this study was first started and we've completed the first portion, that is, numbers 1 through 38, what we are to believe about God. Now, with q&a 39, we move on to what God requires of us.

Q. 39. What is the duty that God requireth of man?
A. The duty which God requireth of man is obedience to his revealed will.

Let's kick off this section with John Flavel's exposition of this q&a:

Q. 1. Is obedience to God’s will the duty of every man? A. It is unquestionably the duty of every man to obey the will of God, so far as he hath made it known to him; Micah 6:8. He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good: and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.
Q. 2. On what account is man’s obedience due to God? A. It is due to him, First, as he is our Creator, in whom we live, and move, and have our being; Acts 17:27-28. Secondly, As he is our Benefactor, from whom we receive all our mercies; Deuteronomy 28:47. Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things; therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies, which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things. Thirdly, As he is our Lord, and lawgiver; James 4:12. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy.
Q. 3. Is obedience due to none but God only? A. Yes; subjects must obey their lawful magistrates; Romans 13:1. Let every soul be subject to the higher powers, for there is no power but of God The powers that be are ordained of God. People their ministers; Hebrews 13:17. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves, for they watch for your souls, as they that must give an account. Children their parents; Ephesians 6:1. Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. But not as they are to obey God.
Q. 4. What is the difference betwixt our obedience to God’s commands, and men’s? A. We are to obey God, chiefly and supremely, for his own sake, but creatures secondarily, and for God's sake; 1 Peter 2:13. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of men for the Lord's sake. And Ephesians 6:1. Children obey your parents [in the Lord,] for this is right.
Q. 5. What must we do when the commands of God and men fall cross to one another? A. In that case we must yield our obedience to God, and not to man, whatever we suffer for it; Acts 4:19. Whether it be right in the sight of God, to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.
Q. 6. Why must we obey God rather than man? A. Because God is the supreme and sovereign Lord of our consciences; and no creature hath power to command our obedience but in and from him; Isaiah 32:22. For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king, he will save us.
Q. 7. Have the people liberty to compare the laws of God and men, and judge how they agree or differ? A. Yes; their judgment of discretion is both commanded; 1 Corinthians 10:15. I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say. And commended; Acts 17:11. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Q. 8. What is the only rule for our obedience to God? A. The will of God revealed in the scriptures is our only rule of obedience; Isaiah 8:20. To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
Q. 9. But if a man have a voice, a vision, or a dream, seeming to hint the secret will of God, may he not obey it? A. Yes; if it be consonant to the revealed will of God in the word, otherwise not; Deuteronomy 29:29. The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed, belong unto us, and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.
Q. 10. What is the first instruction from hence? A. That it is highly sinful and dangerous to disobey the known will of God in any thing; Romans 1:18. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness. Luke 12:47. And that servant which knew his Lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
Q. 11. What is the second instruction? A. That is a blessed man, who conscientiously labours to obey the will of God, so far as be can discover it; John 13:17. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. Galatians 6:16. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy.
Q. 12. What is the third inference? A. It is highly sinful and dangerous to command others, or obey commands from others, which are not according to God’s command; Hosea 5:11. Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked after the commandment. Jeremiah 7:31. And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.

08 January 2008

John Newton - Together for the Gospel

I've just finished reading The Cambuslang Revival by Arthur Fawcett (a great read by the way) and in the final chapter the author quotes a letter from John Newton which is worth quoting again here: My hearers are made up of all sorts...My endeavor to to persuade them to love one another... Accordingly Churchmen and Dissenters, Calvinists and Arminians, Methodists and Moravians, now and then I believe, Papists and Quakers, sit quietly to hear me...whether a surplice or a band be the fittest distinction of a minister...whether water baptism should be administered by the spoonful or tub-full, or in a river, in any river on in Jordan (as Constantine thought), are to me points of no great importance...If a man loves Jesus, I will love him, whatever hard name he be called by...His differing from me will not always prove him to be wrong, except I am fallible myself.
May we all humbly agree with Newton here. There was a time I would not have and for that I repent. But today we must work together for the Gospel and bring glory to our Lord.

Psalm 1

Psalm 1
1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. 4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; 6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

07 January 2008

The Challenge

I like a challenge and this one in particular. I won't be able to participate but I'd like to follow along and see who succeeds and who benefits from it. Reading the Puritans can sometimes be a challenge but its often worth the effort. I'm taking some online classes from Covenant Seminary in St. Louis and this next class has quite a bit of reading so I won't over extend myself. But, to those who have some time....well, I dare ya!

Huck's Percentages

Interesting perspective...
Predictably enough, most media commentators have totally misinterpreted the nature of Mike Huckabee’s big win in the Iowa GOP caucuses. Conventional wisdom says that he swept to victory based on overwhelming support from Evangelicals, but conventional wisdom is flat-out wrong. According to the exit polls used by major news networks, a majority of voters who described themselves as “evangelical” or “born again” Christians actually voted against Huckabee –with 54% splitting their support among Romney, McCain, Thompson and Ron Paul. Yes, Huckabee’s 46% of Evangelicals was a strong showing, but it was directly comparable to his commanding 40% of women, or 40% of all voters under the age of 30, or 41% of those earning less than $30,000 a year. His powerful appeal to females, the young and the poor make him a different kind of Republican, who connects with voting blocs the GOP needs to win back. He’s hardly the one-dimensional religious candidate of media caricature. - Michael Medved
Read the entire article here.

05 January 2008

And We're Off....

Its that time again. Time for an over abundance of political ads, mud-slinging, & endless considerations on every subject that affects us as humans and citizens of the United States. Its easy to get bogged down or wound up in the whole presidential election process. Al Mohler had some wise words for us in his latest post when he wrote: The rhetoric of the race -- and the rhetoric of many evangelicals -- is disturbing. This race is important and necessarily so. We are talking about the next President of the United States, after all. But evangelicals have invested far too much hope in the political process. No government can make people good, transform humanity, or eliminate sin. The political sphere is important, but never ultimate. Jesus Christ is Lord -- and He will be Lord regardless of who sits in the Oval Office. Let's remember that our Lord owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10) and #11 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism, What are God’s Works of Providence? God’s Works of Providence are, His Most Holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures, and all their actions. The Lord is control, let us be calm and settled in that fact.
Read Mohler's entire post here.

02 January 2008

Edwards Resolutions Part 2

This is part 2 of my post on Jonathan Edward’s Resolutions so, as it coincides with the New Year, let’s have at it. Edwards next five are:

6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.
7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.
8. Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God.
9. Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.
10. Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell.

As I find myself aging I find more things going wrong and I’m ever more conscience of my mortality. And, like many of us, I have a few re-occurring problems which haunt me from time to time. So, I find number 10 jumping off the page at me. God has truly blessed me in this area even when I don’t think so. I often try to remind myself of some of the theologians that have gone before us and their health issues which were legion compared to my own (our own?). Richard Baxter, if I’m not mistaken, had a nagging stomach problem and we’ve all heard or read the stories of John Calvin and his kidney stones. I thank the Lord everyday that we live in a time where pain management is at its best but we all still have our aches and pains and there is some pain that still cannot be circumvented. At these times, let’s remember Edward’s resolution.

New Photos

My grandson, Christian
Check out my new Christmas photos at Flickr (see sidebar). Pics are of my son and daughter and their spouses and my grandson and, of course, Mrs Renegade!

Westminster Wednesday #38

What a great way to start the new year, that is, with q&a #38 of the WSC and Vincent's exposition.

Ques. What benefits do believers receive from Christ at the resurrection?
Ans. At the resurrection, believers being raised up in glory, shall be openly acknowledged and acquitted in the day of judgment, and made perfectly blessed in the full enjoying of God to all eternity.

Q. 1. How many ways may the benefits which believers receive from Christ at the resurrection be considered?
A. The benefits which believers receive from Christ at the resurrection may be considered in three respects — 1. In respect of their resurrection itself. 2. In respect of the day of judgment, after their resurrection. 3. In respect of heaven, after the day of judgment.

Q. 2. What is the benefit of believers m respect of their resurrection itself?
A. The benefit of believers in respect of their resurrection itself is, that they shall be raised in glory.

Q. 3. What glory doth this refer unto?
A. It doth refer unto the glory which shall be put upon the bodies of believers at their resurrection, which were vile bodies, both whilst they were putrefied in the grave, and whilst alive before, as they were instruments of sin, and subject to diseases and death. "Who shall change our vile body." — Phil. 3:21.

Q. 4. What is that glory which shall be put upon the bodies of believers at the resurrection?
A. The bodies of believers, at the resurrection, shall be made most healthful, strong, spiritual, incorruptible, immortal, most beautiful, and glorious, like unto Christ's most glorious body. "Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able to snbdue all things unto himself."— Phil. 3:21. "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in in corruption; it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sewn in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, aud this mortal must put on immortality. So 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."— 1 Cor. 15:42-44, 53, 54.

Q. 5. What benefits shall believers have after their resurrection, at the day of judgment?
A. At the day of judgment — 1. Believers shall be gathered together from all the corners of the earth by the angels. "And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."— Matt. 24:31. 2. Believers shall be all caught up together in the clouds, to meet the Lord Jesus, who will come down with a shout from heaven. "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; then we which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air."— l Thess. 4:16, 17. 3. Believers shall be placed on the right hand of Jesus Christ. "And he shall set the sheep on his right hand." — Matt. 25:33. 4. Believers shall be openly acknowledged by Christ to be his, and acquitted from false aspersions which had been cast upon them, and from the real guilt of all sins which had been committed by them, because of their interest in Christ and his righteousness. "Whosoever shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven."— Matt. 10:32. "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died."— Rom. 8:33, 34. 5. Believers shall be entertained and invited by Christ to take possession of the glorious inheritance prepared for them. "Then shall the King say nnto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."— Matt. 25:34. 6. Believers shall sit with Christ as assessors in judgment of the wicked angels and wicked men. "Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? Know ye not that we shall judge angels ?"— l Cor. 6:2, 3.

Q. 6. What benefits shall believers receive after the day of judgment in heaven?
A. Believers in heaven shall be made perfectly blessed in their flill enjoyment of God to all eternity.

Q. 7. Wherein will consist the perfect blessedness of believers in heaven?
A. The perfect blessedness of believers in heaven will consist-i. In their perfect immunity or freedom from all evil, and that both of sin and misery. "That he might present it to himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."— Eph. 5:27. "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain."— Rev. 21:4. 2. In their full enjoyment of God, the chiefest good.

Q. 8. What doth the full enjoyment of God in heaven imply?
A. The full enjoyment of God which believers shall have in heaven, doth imply— 1. That they shall have the glorious presence of God with them. "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them."— Rev. 21:3. 2. That they shall have the immediate and beatifical vision of his face. "And they shall see his face1 and his name shall be in their foreheads."— Rev. 22:4. "For now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face."— 1 Cor. 13:12. "We shall see him as he is."— 1 John 3:2. 3. That they shall have both a full persuasion and sense of God's love unto them, and perfect love in their hearts towards him, which doth necessarily result or arise from the vision of God in heaven. 4. That they shall have fulness and exceeding joy. "In thy presence is fulness of joy."— Ps. 16:11. "Now to him that is able to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy."— Jude 24.

Q. 9. What is it that will sweeten the happiness of believers in the full enjoyment of God in heaven?
A. That which will sweeten the happiness of believers in their full elijoyment of God in heaven, will be the eternity thereof— that it shall be without any interruption, and without any end. "And so shall we ever he with the Lord."— 1 Thess. 4:17.

Q. 10. Wherein will differ the condition of unbelievers and all the wicked world, from that of believers, at the last day?
A. The condition of unbelievers, and all the wicked world, will be miserable beyond expression at the last day of judgment: For— 1. Their bodies shall arise, and come forth like prisoners out of the grave, and whats6ever utrength and immortality shall be put upon them, will be only to make them capable of eternal torments and misery. 2. They shall, with horror and dreadful shriekings, see Christ coming in flaming fire, to take vengeance upon them. "Behold, he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him."— Rev. 1:7. "The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the gospel."— 2 Thess. 1:7, 8. 3. They shall stand before the throne and judgment-seat of Christ, where the books shall be opened wherein all their sins are recorded— according to which they shall be judged, and sentenced to everlasting punishment. "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away, and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the hooks were opened, and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."— Rev. 20:11, 12. "Then shall he say unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."— Matt. 25:41. 4. They shall then be driven away from the presence of the Lord into hell, where they shall be punished with extremity of anguish, and torment in soul and body, without any alleviation or intermission, unto all eternity. "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment."— Matt. 25:46. "Indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, (shall be) upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile." — Rom. 2:8, 9. "And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night."— Rev. 14:11.
I recently heard a sermon given by Mark Driscoll where he stated that sometimes we are so weary of this life, not that we're going to commit suicide, but so weary that we truly look forward to the day we are ushered into heaven by our Lord. I must agree. There times when things are so tough that it is such a blessing to look forward to that day knowing what we have here is as temporary as it often is disappointing. We must remember John 16:33, "...but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."