Lessons from Proverbs 4: The Promise of Protection

Discretion will guard you, understanding will watch over you,

To deliver you from the way of evil, from the man who speaks perverse things;

From those who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness;

Who delight in doing evil and rejoice in the perversity of evil;

Whose paths are crooked, and who are devious in their ways;

To deliver you from the strange woman, from the adulteress who flatters with her words;

That leaves the companion of her youth and forgets the covenant of her God;

For her house sinks down to death and her tracks lead to the dead;

None who go to her return again, nor do they reach the paths of life.

So you will walk in the way of good men and keep to the paths of the righteous.

For the upright will live in the land and the blameless will remain in it;

But the wicked will be cut off from the land and the treacherous will be uprooted from it.

Proverbs 2:11-22


Here, the father claims that the wisdom and shrewdness that comes from the godly heart deliver the son from the tempter for easy money (v. 12-15) and easy sex (v. 16-19) and put him on the way of eternal life (v. 20-22).

First, we see that the promised protection is first defined as deliverance from wicked men who have chosen crooked paths instead of the father’s straight ways. It should be recognized that the path of the wicked is not only sinful, but it is very tempting (to the young and to the old). The path of the godless has a tangible power to those caught in its web from which they one cannot escape on his own. The promise assumes that the son will find himself in the dangerous situation and not be saved from it altogether. However, as the Lord delivered his people out of various distressful situations, so the son’s mature religious understanding will tear him away from the dangerous moral power of the worldview of this present evil age, which would lead the son on the way of death.

The father also gives a background on the individuals who leads the son astray. The wicked seducer typifies those who abandon their own spiritual heritage. This describes faithless men who grew up in covenant homes (as “covenant children” as some would say), had no heart for true piety and morality. Like Esau and Cain, these wicked men are apostates and thus, their words have the ability to draw away the naive. Hence, the father’s instructions are meant to guide the son along the path of the divinely established moral order and so provide safety from the chaos that lies outside of these paths. In reality, the faithless apostatize in order to walk in the ways of darkness, which connotes a malicious concealment of their behaviors. The faithless are individuals who rejoice in evil (v. 4). Waltke describes it in this way

Foolish, self-destructive behavior is rooted not in dullness or simple ignorance, but in a constitutional distortion of moral vision, a twisting of values.

Those who walk in their paths do not fear the Lord but despise Him. They do not trust His word, but they trust in their own devious and oppressive conduct. The Lord finds them repulsive.

In the remaining part of his lesson, the father also promises that the way of godliness and true wisdom will protect the son from sexual immorality. Older godly men are quite aware that sexual immorality is a primary pathway that causes young men to pursue the path of folly. As with the wicked apostate described above, the father cautions his son against the deadly words of sexually immoral women who tempt the son to abandon the words of sound wisdom. This is just as true today as it was in Solomon’s age. In this day, young men may not meet women who directly tempt them with these words, but the siren song of pornography has the same allure. Pornography leads men into crooked paths and into deep darkness, and men who struggle with pornography know its addictive and alluring power.

The father also describes this woman as the adulteress “who abandons the companion of her youth (v. 17)”, which illustrates her infidelity to her marriage covenant, and who “forgets the covenant of her God (v.17)”, which places her within the category of an apostate. The youth who embraces her way of life for her sexual favors will quickly find out that her way descends into death. This is the heart of the father’s warning :

All, without exception, who are unprotected by a relationship with the Lord and a mature spiritual character and who engage in this behavior never return.

This is a lesson that Solomon himself understood. Solomon’s sexual infidelity contributed to his spiritual faithlessness. If anyone thinks that the state of his soul is unaffected by what he does with his body, he is sorely mistaken. As Bruce Waltke states, one’s sexual life and one’s spiritual life “inter-penetrate one another existentially”. Hence, sexual immorality leads to spiritual death and one needs to takes these warning seriously.

The father concludes this lesson by presenting the final position of the righteous and the wicked. Confident of the truth, the father promises the son that if he walks in the truth then, he will walk in the way of good men (v. 20), acting in the best interest of God and of man. The son will also “remain in the land” (v. 21), which is a promise repeated by Christ in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:5). However, the judicial sentence of the wicked is that they will be cut off from the earth (v. 22). The wicked are seen as individuals who defile the earth and thus, they will not inherit life.

Lessons from Proverbs 3: The Pursuit of Wisdom Brings Security

My son, if you will receive my words and treasure my commandments within you,

Make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding;

For if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding;

If you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures;

Then you will discern the fear of the LORD and discover the knowledge of God.

For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding

He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity

Guarding the paths of justice, and He preserves the way of His godly ones.

Then you will discern righteousness and justice and equity and every good course.

For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;

Discretion will guard you, understanding will watch over you.

Proverbs 2:1-11


Here, the father reinforces the lesson that he gave previously by exhorting his son to earnestly pursue wisdom. In this statement, it is assumed that the natural disposition of our heart is to love our folly and thus to rebel against God’s wisdom. The son is charged to receive the words of the father and to treasure his commandments (v.1). In other words, the son is charged to internalize the father’s commandments for a definite purpose and to love his words. In the process of internalizing the father’s words, the son must be attentive to wisdom. Because wisdom is the full substance of the parent’s teaching and the skill required to live a godly life, the son must not only passively listen to his father, but he must carry out the command. He must be a “doer of the word, and not a hearer only” (cf. James 1:22)

However, in carrying out the father’s command, the son must understand that internalized wisdom is both a gift and a reward. It is a gift that is received by crying out to the Lord (and to his father) and yet it is something that must be diligently pursued (v. 2). In this statement, the father is challenging the son to truly assess what he values. This does not mean that worth and value are completely subjective ideas, but it does mean that the worth and value of an object are determined by the length for which the owner would go to possess it. We know that men have traveled across continents in search for silver, but who would expend this much effort for wisdom? Jesus repeats the same sentiments in discussing the kingdom of God:

The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and brought. Matthew 13:44-45

After living a long life, the father understands what his son does not – namely that the value of wisdom surpasses any earthly treasure. Moreover, the father also knows that wisdom is indeed a hidden treasure; it cannot be obtained unless one is looking for it and willing to sacrifice for it.

Moreover, no one will find wisdom if they believe wisdom doesn’t have any true value to it. Fools and mockers regard the wisdom of God as foolishness and thus, they love their folly and refuse to turn from it. However, the father clearly states that nothing compares to value of wisdom. When the son internalizing his father’s teaching, he will come to fear and know the LORD (v. 5). According to Jerry Bridges, this fear of the Lord is “that affectionate reverence, by which the child of God bends Himself humbly and carefully to His Father’s law.” Hence, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the reward of obtaining wisdom. By internalizing the father’s teaching, the naive can truly come to have personal intimacy with God through obedience to His word.

The Lord is the fountainhead of all true wisdom, knowledge, and understanding and therefore, those whose conduct does not deviate from the paths of revealed wisdom, piety, and ethics will come to truly know the Lord. Furthermore, the pursuit of wisdom brings true security (v. 7), rather than the false safety from those who walk along the road of folly. As the son begins to grow in wisdom, then he will properly discern righteousness, justice, and equity.

Through wisdom, the naive begin to learn righteousness intuitively. This is a vitally important point because what characteristics the naive of Solomon’s day (as well as our current day) is a lack of moral discernment and intelligence. Many individuals attempt to use fallen human reason as a means to understand righteousness, whereas others use the ever-shifting standards of modern ethics and morality. The promise given to the son in the passage is that the naive will know and understand true righteousness because it has been revealed to them in the Scriptures. Because the naive will learn true righteousness, they will also understand justice. In other words, without knowing and understanding true righteousness, then it is impossible to restore true righteousness after it has been disturbed. Rather than being outraged at every little fad or issue that arises, the wise will have proper discretion and see beyond the surface.

In summary, obtaining true wisdom is not merely an obligation; rather, it is a blessing that guards, shapes, and protects our life.


Lesson from Proverbs 2: When Wisdom Mocks

Wisdom cries aloud in the street,

in the public squares she raises her voice;

on the highest walls she calls out,

at the entrance of the gates to the city she makes her speech;

“How long, you gullible, will you love being gullible” –

and mockers delight themselves with mocking;

and fools hate knowledge?

Turn back to my rebuke;

then I will pour forth my thoughts to you,

I will make known to you my sayings.

‘But since I cry out, and you refuse to listen,

and when I stretch out my hand, none gives heed,

and you flout all my counsel,

and to my rebuke you do no consent,

I in turn will laugh when your disaster happens,

I will scoff when your calamity comes –

when your calamity comes like a storm,

and like a whirlwind your disaster arrives,

when distress and anguish come upon you.

Then they will call out to me, but I will not answer;

they will look diligently for me but will not find me,

because they hated knowledge,

and the fear of the LORD they did not choose.

They did not consent to my advice,

They spurned my every rebuke,

so they will eat from the fruit of their way,

and from their schemes they will be filled.

Surely the turning away of the gullible will kill them,

and the complacency of fools will destroy them;

but the one who obeys will dwell in security,

even at ease, without fear of harm.

Proverbs 1:20-33


The father escalates the grim threat of certain death for all sinners (v. 19) – now referred to as fools – to the awful truth that their death is eternal. There is no third way between wisdom and folly, and there is no second change between life and death.

The setting for Wisdom’s instruction is in the street (v. 20) signifies that this sermon was meant to be heard publicly rather than the standard father-son instruction within the home. Wisdom lifts her voice in the public squares and on the highest walls (v. 20-21), which would be the most advantageous points to be seen and heard in ancient city. Wisdom chooses to stand at the entrance of the gates in order to confront and compel the gullible to make a decision to accept her in order to safeguard them against the fools within the city.

We should also note Wisdom is not dispassionate in her appeal. She cries aloud (v. 20) in order to get a full hearing. She intends that her voice would be heard above the noise of daily life and above the voice of fools within the city. In commenting about this, Kenneth Aitken states

Lady wisdom is no gentle persuader. She shouts, pleads, scolds, reasons, threatens, warns, and even laughs. Pulpit bashing and hell-fire preaching if ever there were! All quite unladylike; and nowadays also quite unfashionable, even frowned upon.

The Call to Repentance

Wisdom begins her sermon with an urgent appeal to the gullible to stop rejecting her and to respond to the stern rebuke she is about to give them. These youths have crossed the threshold into adulthood (with its corresponding responsibilities) and should have made a decisive commitment to Wisdom before this point. Instead of a hear that desires to serve the Lord and retain His revealed wisdom, these youths “love being gullible” (v. 22); in other words, they yearn to remain uncommitted and open to alluring sin. In today’s language, they claim to be “open yet cautious” about the way of wisdom. In truth, their heart is in a state of rebellion. Their guilt is their recalcitrance before legitimate authority and Wisdom pins their guilt to their rebellion against her counsel.

Thus, Lady Wisdom makes her appeal. Although mockers and fools are in a hopeless position, Wisdom calls these youths to repentance. There is still hope for them, but not forever. They must humble themselves and acknowledge that Wisdom is right and they must also acknowledge that they have been in the wrong in nursing their love to be careless and free of her discipline. In response to this repentance, Wisdom will pour forth her thoughts in such a way that they will internalize them and never forget them (v. 23).

The Certainty of Disaster

While wisdom promises blessings for obedience, she also promises consequences for disobedience. Judgment befalls all who ignore Wisdom’s words. First, Wisdom warns the gullible against a progressive hardening in apostasy. If they do not listen, they too may come to hate hear and to mock her, placing them in the same categories as fools and mockers (v. 24-25). Second, Wisdom warns that there is a certainty of catastrophe for all sinners and its finality is pictured as a devastating wind (v. 26). Judgment and calamity will come like a whirlwind and a storm which wreaks havoc. When judgment does come, the gullible will change from complacency and prideful insubordination to extreme terror. The gullible, fools, and mockers will “eat from the fruit of their ways” (v. 31).

Moreover, when the threatened judgment falls, it will be too late to respond. Wisdom does not laugh at disaster, but at the triumph of what is right over what is wrong when disaster does happen. In other words, Wisdom rejoices in turning the present upside-down world right-side up, when wisdom overturns folly, righteousness overcomes wickedness, knowledge overcomes ignorance, humility topples pride, and life swallows up death. Wisdom scoffs when the dreadful disaster of the wicked comes. This laughter expresses the inward joy and disdain that Wisdom experiences over her chief enemy – namely, folly. As Bruce Waltke says,

Truth has a harsh edge and Wisdom does not dull it. Her shock tactics aim to persuade the young to turn to her.

A question that often arises is whether Wisdom’s response to fools at the time of final judgment is a proper response. It should be noted that fools hated true knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord (v. 29). They did not ponder and consider their ways; rather they deliberately chose NOT to walk in the ways of the Lord and sanctioned other lifestyles. Wisdom’s response is valid because this life would be pre-empted of its true dignity if choices made now had no eternal consequences. Fools would be confirmed in treating this life with careless complacency if there were no eternal consequences. Also, those who follow Wisdom would be made to look foolish if the path of folly could be taken without any accountability.


Even if we are not gullible youths, there is much we should consider in this sermon because Wisdom’s sermon reflects on the Scripture’s teaching on final judgment. First, we should note that Wisdom’s saving voice is not at human disposal; it can be forfeited through prior rejection. This is a theme that the prophets repeated proclaimed – do not harden your hearts against the Lord (cf. Hebrews 3:8-15). Second, it should be noted that many people deny the doctrine of final judgment because they do not want to give this life such dignity that current decisions affect an eternal future in a decisive and definitive way.

At the time of the final judgment, sinners will finally recognize that Wisdom possesses the true life and the security they had traded away for a pseudo-life in this world and false security. This false sense of security leads sinners to destruction. Deluded sinners, restricted by their very limited knowledge, foolishly became so wise in their own eyes that they could not see things from the heavenly perspective of God and so utterly misjudged the true situation. Hence, the complacency of fools causes them to fail to take precautions against the inevitable judgment bound up in their folly, and so it will destroy them. This is the warning that we give to all men and women in this world.

However, we also have the promise of the gospel message: the one who listens will dwell in security, even at ease, without fear of harm (v. 33). In Noah’s day, destruction came upon the world except for those who were safely secure within the ark. In the same way, when God brings judgment to this world, only those who have obeyed the gospel will be safe. This is the essence of Paul’s words to the Thessalonians

… when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when he comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed – for our testimony to you was believed. 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9



Studies in The Baptist Catechism: Section Four – Our First Parents, Sin, and the Fall (Q.18)

Earlier Studies –

Listen to the audio for this lesson here.



Q.18: What was the sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created?

A. The sin whereby our parents fell from the estate wherein they were created, was their eating the forbidden fruit.1

1Genesis 3:6, 12

Today, we arrive at the actual deed of our first parents, the deed that led to their descendance into an estate of sin and misery and ours. On the surface, there does not appear to be very much here. It seems fairly forthright. Their sin was that of eating the forbidden fruit. Let’s move on, right?

It is important, though, that we pause and consider the nature of this act and what it has to teach us about our own sin today.

Satan. Let us begin by considering the tempter himself. What do we know about Satan from other passages of Scripture that also bear true in this one? First, we should consider the fact that Satan was a guardian cherub (Ezek. 28:11-18). He was placed in the garden of God and was more beautiful than all the other angels of God, and yet unrighteousness was found in him. His unrighteousness was found in his desire to usurp God and assume a higher throne (Isa. 14:12-17). In attempting this coup, Satan and all his angelic companions secured their eternal fate.

Satan would be cast from the blessed presence of God, just as our first parents would later be. His ability to attack God Himself had proven impotent. However, he saw for himself yet another opportunity at the creation of man: the finite, temporal, mutable image of God. An attack on God Himself had proven pointless, so an attack on His image would suffice.

The second thing we note is the fact that Satan came as a serpent (Gen. 3:1). Now we must not think of the serpent as some ugly, green, slimy thing. This was likely not the case. The serpent was not likely even foreboding. The woman certainly did not fear to talk with it. She spoke with it, as Balaam’s donkey spoke to him. How though, in God’s garden, did Satan find ability to possess an animal and tempt our first parents to fall from their holy and happy estate? You may have missed it when we studied Question 16, but Boyce takes this temptation of Satan to be a clear test from God.

“[God] had the right to test man at his will, and thus testing, to leave him to himself, without constraint to the contrary, to choose as he might see fit. This he did, and man fell; but his fall was not due to the lack of any natural perfection,” (Boyce, Abstract, pg. 217).

Satan’s temptation of man was just that: Satan’s temptation. However, it is not as though God was removed from the equation at all. He had made man upright and perfect, but He made him with volition. Having been so made, God also purposed to test the man. He did so, not by forcing the hand of Satan, but by enabling him in his natural unrighteousness to tempt the man in a manner suitable to God’s purposes.

We ought not look upon God’s sovereignty over this event and find fault with Him, though. God does ordain all things whatsoever come to pass, even our temptations, but He is not the author of sin. He Himself tempts no one (Jas. 1:13-15). Furthermore, He does not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can handle, but always provides a way of escape (1Cor. 10:13). Our first parents were made upright and were not forced into their sin. They had a choice, and they chose sin. They were tested, and they failed miserably.

Third, we note the method of Satan’s temptation. He disguised himself by possessing another vessel, a vessel perhaps less suspect. This method is in keeping with everything we know about Satan. He does not show up with horns and a pitchfork declaring, “Satan has arrived!” Rather, we are told that he often uses other vessels and in so doing disguises himself as an angel of light.

12But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. 13For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works,” (2Cor. 11:12-15; NKJV).

Fourth, our Lord refers to Satan as a murderer. “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him,” (John 8:44b; NKJV). Satan, in luring our first parents into this sin murdered them and all of their progeny. This one act was the greatest of all murderous acts ever committed.

The nature of our first parents’ temptation. When considering the temptation of Adam and Eve, we must pause to consider the nature of it. This temptation had less to do with the object or the culprit providing the temptation. Our temptations are never primarily external. The fall of man was not primarily external. We transgress the law and come to lack conformity to it as a result of allowing our hearts and minds to incline away from the revealed will of God.

Let us recall that Adam and Eve did not merely have general revelation at this point. They had been given direct, special revelation. The Lord told them not to eat of the tree. Had their sin been such that they only sinned against the light of nature, they would still have been cast out, but they had received direct, special revelation from God Himself, and still disobeyed. In A Body of Divinity, Thomas Watson theorizes that the fall must have happened on the very day that Adam and Eve were created, and he supports his theory with several proofs. Were this the case, the verbal command of God would be fresh on their minds. What could have facilitated such blatant rebellion?

The apostle John gives us three elements that are common among the temptations of this world, and all of them point to the human heart. “For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world,” (1Jn. 2:16; NKJV). Theologians have long noted that all three of these elements were present in the temptation of Eve.

We’re told that the woman saw that the tree was good for food. That is to say that her flesh yearned for it. She had an abundance of other fruit of which she and the man were permitted to eat in this vast, glorious garden, including the Tree of Life! Yet, her flesh was drawn to this tree, the forbidden tree. This tree, this one is good for food. This one appeals to my flesh.

The fruit was also pleasant to the eyes. Long before her first bite, she took the time to examine it, to study it, to caress it and even to devour it with her eyes. This was the woman giving herself over to the fruit in her heart and, in so doing, her choice was sealed. By giving in to this intent gaze upon the fruit that had been given her, she was given her very heart over to the lust of the eyes.

All that was left was for her to give herself over to the pride of life. At this point, we are told that Eve judged the tree “desirable to make one wise.” The serpent declared to her that, in the day that she ate of it, she would become like God. Oh, what a thought! Such thinking has led to the spiritual shipwrecking of many men. Such thinking is the root of all kinds of unbelief. It begins by appealing to man’s natural pride, and ends with their doubting of God’s worth by comparison.

Such was the temptation of Adam and Eve, but it is also the temptation we all face. As we have already noted, it is not primarily an external temptation. It is a temptation that begins in the heart. We hunger for unrighteousness, so we set our eyes on that which has been forbidden us and take possession of it in our minds—or rather allow it to take possession of us—and then, thinking ourselves to be wiser than God, we follow headlong after it to our own destruction. This is the nature of all temptation that leads to sin.

We must remember also that we have a common tempter as our first parents. They were made in the image of God, so the enemy of God attacked. How much more, then, should we expect to be attacked who are now being made over daily into the image of Christ? Christ was tempted at this very point. “If You are the Son of God…” We should expect to be tempted in jus the same way. Some come into the Christian life with the false assumption that things will get easier, but conversion is only the beginning of our trials. We now have targets painted on our backs and should expect the enemy to amp up our temptations.

When we are tempted, and even when we fail, it is important for us to always remember that Christ was tempted and prevailed. We inevitably give in; we have some form of release. Christ’s temptation, from this angle, was far greater than our own. He was tempted, and He was faithful to the end.

15For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need,” (Heb. 4:15-16; NKJV).

A Little Time With The 1689: Day 365

Day 365

Of the Last Judgment.

Chapter 32, Paragraph 3.

“…so will he have the day unknown to Men, that they may shake off all carnal security, and be always watchful, because they know not at what hour, the Lord will come; and may ever be prepared to say, Come Lord Jesus, Come quickly, Amen.”

Scripture Lookup

Mark 13:35-37

Luke 12:35-40

Revelation 22:20


Jotting stuff down on my calendar lets me determine my priorities. This way I know how to get ready: do I have time to get this errand done? Do I have to be concerned that x,y, and z haven’t happened yet?  With a schedule, I determine the course of the day. I am in charge!

To my carnal self, knowing the date of the Last Day would be ultra convenient. Looking at the number of people who have claimed to know the exact day of Christ’s return, I’m guessing I’m not alone. But we are clearly told in Scripture that no one knows the day or the hour. (Mark 13:32) Why leave us in suspense?

By withholding the date of the Last Judgment, we are completely dependent upon God for our tomorrow. We know that there will be a day when justice and mercy will be meted out in full measure; we are to be content with that. Living however we want for a time and then cleaning up our act will not work. We must anticipate His arrival at any moment.

Waiting for the Lord to come can be wearying, though. As a mom, I am always “on” when watching my young kids. I don’t want anything to happen to them, so I do my best to  keep them out of trouble. When night comes, I can breathe easily when they are finally asleep, knowing I have a break. In a similar way, when the Lord finally comes, our battle with the world, the flesh, and the devil will end. We will no longer have to be vigilant, because there will be no sin to fight. Longing for that day to come, and for it to come quickly, is a good thing. In doing so we recognize our weakness and look to Christ to fulfill His salvation. He will give us the strength to endure, but even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!


Questions to Consider

  • Are you anticipating the Last Day? Why or why not?



A Little Time With The 1689: Day 364

Day 364

Of the Last Judgment.

Chapter 32, Paragraph 3.

“As Christ would have us to be certainly persuaded that there shall be a Day of judgment, both to deter all men from sin, and for the greater consolation of the godly in their adversity;…”

Scripture Lookup

2 Corinthians 5:10,11
2 Thessalonians 1:5-7


We know that the Last Day is a certain event. Scripture has revealed to us several times how Christ will return to judge the living and the dead, and how His kingdom will have no end. But it is an event so foreign to our everyday existence, it almost seems like it won’t happen. Why does God, through Scripture, give us the certainty of a Last Day?

Knowing that there is a Day of Judgment coming requires action. A response is required to the fact that the kingdom of God is at hand. Because there is coming a day of judgment, all of humanity is called to repentance. Unbelievers are called to repent and trust in Christ for their salvation. Believers as well are called to repent, to “abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.” (Romans 12:9) Being aware that the Last Day is a fixed event reminds us the need to prepare now for its arrival.

The certainty of the the Last Judgment also encourages Christians to persevere. It is easier to endure hardship when you know there will be a happy ending. This sinful world, with all its hatred and evil, will cease. The justice of the Lord will be made manifest to all at the appointed time. As painful, hard, and difficult the trials faced in this life may be, they do not compare with the eternal glory that is to come on the Last Day.

Questions to Consider

  • How is the certainty of the Last Judgment affecting your life right now?



A Little Time With The 1689: Day 363

Day 363

Of the Last Judgment.

Chapter 32, Paragraph 2.

“The end of God’s appointing this Day, is for the manifestation of the glory of his Mercy, in the Eternal Salvation of the Elect; and of his Justice in the eternal damnation of the Reprobate, who are wicked and disobedient; for then shall the Righteous go into Everlasting Life, and receive that fulness of Joy, and Glory, with everlasting reward, in the presence of the Lord; but the wicked who do not know God, and obey not the gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast into Eternal torments, and punished with everlasting destruction, from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.”

Scripture Lookup

Romans 9:22,23

Matthew 25:21,34

2 Timothy 4:8

Matthew 25:46

Mark 9:48

2 Thessalonians 1:7-10


When thinking about the Last Judgment, we have a tendency to focus on what is going to happen to us. Knowing that the elect will be saved and the wicked will be punished forever gives hope to the Christian, as well as urgency to share the gospel with the lost. Such knowledge is important, but is the purpose of the Last Day to give happy or sad endings to people? The reason for the Last Judgment is to glorify God.

Way back in Chapter 2, paragraph 3 of the Confession, we learned why this Last Day would occur in the manner described in Scripture. The LBCF states:

By the decree of God for the manifestation of his glory some men and angels, are predestinated, or fore-ordained to Eternal Life, through Jesus Christ to the praise of his glorious grace; others being left to act in their sin to their just condemnation, to the praise of his glorious justice. (italics added)

When the Last Judgment occurs, God’s full glory will be manifest to all humanity. For the Christian, this means receiving the fullness and glory of joy, the joy of being in full communion with Christ. No longer will we walk by faith, but we will see Christ. No longer will our sin prevent us from being in God’s presence. His mercy will be abundantly demonstrated when He invites us in: “Come, you who are blessed of My Father…” (Matthew 25:34). Because of Jesus Christ, we see the final act of salvation – eternal life, singing the praises of God’s glorious grace.

The wicked will also glorify God on the Last Day, but in a manner quite different from that of the saints. In the Last Judgment, those who do not belong to Christ receive everlasting torment and punishment. They do not benefit from Christ’s grace and mercy; rather they see the justice of God on full display against sin. In this God is also glorified, for all will realize that He is holy.

In the end, all of creation and all of time exist for God’s glory. The Last Day, accompanied by the Last Judgment, are no exception. At that day we will see God’s “wisdom, power, justice, infinite goodness and mercy” (LBCF 5.1) in all its splendor, and we will praise Him for it. May we practice giving such praise to God even now!

Questions to Consider

  • Do you view the Last Day with God’s glory in mind?



A Little Time With The 1689: Day 362

Day 362

Of the Last Judgment.

Chapter 32, Paragraph 1.

“God hath appointed a Day wherein he will judge the world in Righteousness, by Jesus Christ; to whom all power and judgment is given of the Father; in which Day not only the Apostate Angels shall be judged; but likewise all persons that have lived upon the Earth, shall appear before the Tribunal of Christ; to give an account of their Thoughts, Words, and Deeds, and to receive according to what they have done in the body, whether good or evil.”

Scripture Lookup

Acts 17:31

John 5:22,27

1 Corinthians 6:3

Jude 6

2 Cor. 5:10

Ecclesiastes 12:14

Matthew 12:36

Romans 14:10,12

Matthew 25:32-46


The day is coming when Christ will judge us. The One who has all power and authority will judge every single person who has lived on this earth besides Himself. Humanity will stand before him, not as a group, but individually, each one giving account for his actions, thoughts, and speech. Even the fallen angels will be judged on that day, to receive their just recompense.

For a believer, the thought of judgment by Christ can be apprehensive. We know time and time again that we do not measure up. To have our sin presented before Jesus is a scary thought. Yet we do not have to fear! While we live in this life we are fallen creatures. Christ knows that, and He has bought us for His own. Our sin has been paid for; we have been fully forgiven because of Christ’s work. The same God who forgives you now will not suddenly change His mind on the last day. Christian, do not fear the last judgment, but continue to look to Him for your salvation!

“Yes, Christ saved me,” you may argue. “But won’t we be judged by our works?” It says in this paragraph of the Confession, “…to receive according to what they have done in the body, whether good or evil.” It is true that only those who have done good works will receive eternal life. But where do those works come from? Earlier on in the Confession it speaks of these good works.: “[Believers’] ability to do good works is not at all of themselves; but wholly from the Spirit of Christ.”(LBCF  6.3) Because they are good they proceed not from us, but from His Spirit. Our works cannot merit eternal life. They have been defiled with imperfection, since they were done in a body that was still corrupt with sin. Instead the works approved by Christ are evidence that those who did such are one of His purchased saints, and He will lose none (John 6:39).

Christian, this life will someday pass away. Until then, continue to look to Christ. “The LORD is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread?” (Psalm 27:1) We can anticipate the last day with hopeful expectation, for He will prove faithful until the end.

Questions to Consider

  • How do you view the last judgment? Are you scared, hopeful, or ambivalent?



A Little Time With The 1689: Day 361

Day 361

Of the State of Man after Death and of the Resurrection of the Dead.

Chapter 31, Paragraph 3.

“The bodies of the unjust shall, by the power of Christ, be raised to dishonour; the bodies of the just by his spirit unto honour, and be made conformable to his own glorious Body.”

Scripture Lookup

Acts 24:15

John 5:28,29

Philippians 3:21


On the last day, everyone who has died shall be resurrected. The souls of the departed have been separated from their bodies since the time of their death. Now the soul and body will be reunited. But what kind of reunion will it be?

Those who are not united to Christ, their souls tormented in hell as they awaited this day, will also be united with their bodies. But this union is not a joyous one, for their souls are united with a dishonorable body. What does that mean? There is ambiguity regarding the qualities of a dishonorable body, but Samuel Waldron writes, “While this end is wished upon no one, the Bible suggests that God will make the ugly and repulsive nature of sin visible in the very bodies of the unrepentant.”

At the same time, the bodies of the righteous will be raised and united with their souls. These souls have been in the presence of their Savior, free from sin. Now they will once again be with their bodies, but these bodies will not be the corrupt flesh that they had during their earthly life. Just as the soul is the same soul, but changed, the body is the same body, yet glorified. There will be no hindrance to a complete union with Christ.

As the new year approaches, advertisements and articles appear touting the best ways to get in shape. The desire to transform oneself into a healthy, attractive body is a strong one for humanity. Yet the truly beautiful bodies are those who have been transformed due to Christ. On the last day, the bodies of the righteous will be perfect in a way that the gym will never accomplish.

Questions to Consider

  • How does your spiritual state affect how you presently treat your body? How does having an incorruptible body affect the way you view your present body?



A Little Time With The 1689: Day 360

Day 360

Of the State of Man after Death and of the Resurrection of the Dead.

Chapter 31, Paragraph 2.

“At the last day such of the Saints as are found alive shall not sleep but be changed; and all the dead shall be raised up with the self same bodies, and none other; although with different qualities, which shall be united again to their Souls for ever.”

Scripture Lookup

1 Corinthians 15:51,52

1 Thessalonians 4:17

Job 19:26,27

1 Corinthians 15:42,43


At death the body is separated from the soul. Depending on whether you are in Christ or not determines where your soul goes. For those in Christ, they reside in heaven. For the wicked, they are cast into hell. That is not the end of the story, however.

The last day will be a momentous occasion. The soul will be reunited with the same body it had in life, but with a twist: those bodies will not suffer decay anymore. Those still alive when it happens do not experience death, but are changed as well.

Your body is part of you. Through God’s design your body has particular traits. There is much pressure to belittle and criticize our bodies for not attaining to society’s standard of perfection. There are many mysteries about how our bodies will be changed at the last day. But the body you have now, while it will be changed, is the body you will have for eternity.

Questions to Consider

  • How does knowing your body is the selfsame body you will have on the last day affect your view of your body now?