Our Christian Destiny The Last Things
Outline • • • • •
Death Judgment Hell Purgatory Heaven
Death • What is death? • The separation of the soul from the body • Why do we die? • The effect of original sin • What about reincarnation? • Heb 9:27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment
Particular Judgment • • • •
Occurs at the moment of death Our eternal fate is determined We either go to hell, purgatory, or heaven Matthew 12:36 But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.
Particular Judgment â€˘
Matt 25:41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' â€Ś 46 And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." Matthew 7:21 "Not every one who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
General Judgment â€˘ Matthew 25:31-32 "When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats." â€˘ Occurs at the end of time when Christ comes in His glory â€˘ This is when everyone will receive their resurrected bodies.
General Judgment • •
Great White Throne judgment Rev 20:11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who sat upon it; from his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done. … 15 and if any one's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. In this general judgment all our sins will be publicly revealed • Luke 12:2-5 Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.
Hell • Does Hell exist? • Jesus taught about the possibility of damnation in no uncertain terms: • Matt 5:21-22 … But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, "You fool!" shall be liable to the hell of fire. • Matt 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (see also Luke 12:5)
Matt 23:15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you traverse sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves. Matt 23:29-33 … Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? Luke 13:23–24 "Lord, will those who are saved be few?" "Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able"
Hell â€˘ How did his apostles and disciples understand these teachings? Paul taught that not everyone will enter heaven: â€˘ 1 Cor. 6:9-10 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters,nor adulterers, nor sexual perverts, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.
Hell â€˘ Gal. 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. â€˘ 2 Thess. 1:8-9 [Those who do not know God and those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus] shall suffer the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.
Hell • What is Hell? • The “place” reserved for all of eternity for those who choose to reject God in this life • Eternal separation from God • Why is there a Hell? • God respects our free will and the choices we make in this life and for all of eternity.
What is Hell like? • Matthew 8:12 while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth. • Matthew 13:42 and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth. • Revelation 20:10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
What is Hell like? • Luke 16:24 And he called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Laz'arus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.' • • • •
It will be physically painful. It will be spiritually painful. It will be emptiness and lonlieness. It will last forever.
• • • •
What is Purgatory? • A place of purification for any remaining attachment to sin, self, and the things of this world. Why do we need Purgatory? • nothing unclean will enter the presence of God in heaven (Rev. 21:27) Everyone that goes to purgatory will eventually go to heaven. Purgatory is temporary Purgatory is painful We can either experience purgatory in this life or in the life to come or both.
Biblical Support for Purgatory •
Luke 12:59 "I tell you, you will never get out till you have paid the very last copper" 2 Macc. 12:43–45 "In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view; for if he were not expecting the dead to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death. But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin"
Biblical Support for Purgatory â€˘
Matt. 12:32 And whoever says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. 1 Cor 3:12-15 12 Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw-- 13 each man's work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
But wasn’t the cross of Christ enough? • It is entirely correct to say that Christ accomplished all of our salvation for us on the cross. But that does not settle the question of how this redemption is applied to us. - Catholic Answers
• Purgatory is the final phase of Christ’s applying to us the purifying redemption that he accomplished for us by his death on the cross. - Catholic Answers
• Participation vs. Substitution
Heaven • The fundamental essence of heaven is union with God. • Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness" - CCC 1024
• "heaven is the blessed community of all who are perfectly incorporated into Christ" - CCC 1026
• "the beatific vision"—an insight into the wonder of God’s inner, invisible essence.
Heaven • We will have resurrected bodies in heaven. • Phil. 3:21 20 But our commonwealth is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power which enables him even to subject all things to himself. • 1 Cor 15:42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable.
What is heaven like? •
One of the most common New Testament depictions of heaven is a feast (Matt. 8:11; Luke 13:29; 14:15–24), in particular a wedding feast (Matt. 22:1–14; 25:1–13; Rev. 19:7–9) • Where else do we encounter a feast? • Wedding feast of Cana • The Last Supper • Every Mass (Heaven on Earth) No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Cor. 2:9; cf. CCC 1027).
We will retain our own identities • Because we retain our identities, we will continue to know and love those we were close to in earthly life. Is it a place? • Heaven does seem to have the ability to receive bodies into it. (Jesus, Mary, Enoch, Elijah) • "the visible universe, then, is itself destined to be transformed, so that the world itself, restored to its original state, facing no further obstacles, should be at the service of the just" - CCC 1047