Chapter 32: Of the Last Judgement

  1. God has appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness, by Jesus Christ,1 to whom all power and judgement is given by the Father. In that day not only shall the apostate angels be judged,2 but also all people who have lived on the earth shall appear before the tribunal [judgement seat] of Christ. They shall give an account of their thoughts, words, and deeds, and receive [judgement] according to what they have done in the body, whether good or evil.3

1 Acts 17.31; Jn 5.22, 27 2 1Cor 6.3; Jude 6 3 2Cor 5.10; Ecc 12.14; Mt 12.36; Rom 14.10, 12; Mt 25.32-46

  1. The purpose of God in appointing this day is 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.4 For on that day the righteous shall go into everlasting life, and receive that [appointed] fullness of joy, and glory, with everlasting reward, in the presence of the Lord.5 However, the wicked – who do not know God and who do not obey 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.6

4 Rom 9.22-23 5 Mt 25.21, 34; 2Tim 4.8 6 Mt 25.46; Mk 9.48; 2Thes 1.7-10

  1. Christ wants us to be certainly persuaded that there shall be a day of judgement, both to deter all men from sin7 and for the greater consolation of the godly in their adversity [affliction].8 For this reason he keeps that day unknown to men, in order that they may shake off all carnal security [human self-confidence] and always be watchful, because they do not know at what hour the Lord will come,9 and so may always be prepared to say, “Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly! Amen.”10

7 2Cor 5.10-11 8 2Thes 1.5-7 9 Mk 13.35-37; Lk 12.35-36 10 Rev 22.20