LBCF 1689 Reflections. Part 254

Reflections on the Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689

23 Aug 14 began a perhaps unbroken, orderly, and personal journey through my favorite written confession of faith. These are my personal reflections on this beloved historic Particular Baptist confession of the Christian Faith.


Chapter 32: Of the Last Judgment. 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 rewards, in the presence of the Lord; but the wicked, who know not God, and obey not the gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast aside into everlasting torments, and punished with everlasting destruction, from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.”

There is a Day of Judgment to come, reader. We will all see it. How will you do? I know that I’d surely be condemned on that Day without the Lord Jesus Christ! The Law (the Ten Commandments) is the standard of that Day that condemns us all and declares the Savior’s relevance to every person. The Law was my condemnation also. It no longer is! I pray that God has opened up your heart to understand this too! I only want to be used in people’s lives to bring Jesus the reward of his suffering. You may be dead by the end of the week. Do you understand what SIN has done to this world and to you? Repent. Believe.
Even in the eternal hell, all souls will agree that God only does what’s good. What else could they say? God never condemns anyone unjustly…even though he hates from the womb. No one is finally condemned outside of their actual sin. God’s judgment will not be to his shame; it will be another part of his honor, renown, and glory.

There are many un-biblical visions of God’s hell. Either of pictures of an eternal iron maiden, or of a place where people plead with God for another chance if only they could, etc., but whatever hell is designed to be aside from such fictions its judgment will be right. People there will understand full well God’s ever-present hate. They’ll hate God forever, but they’ll hate their confessed righteous Creator. God’s perfect judgment will be seen over all people. His mercy to some; his righteousness before all. All of the world- which frankly was almost nothing for God to have made inside that one week just thousands of years ago- is about God being God over it all. Sin had to enter the picture. Romans 5:8. Angels and men would bear that responsibility as the secondary causality necessary to its existence. God has determined that out of Adam he would reveal his every desired attribute. The Bible invites us into what one pastor called, “A God entranced world.” Christ modeled this view for man as man. He spoke of the Father in charge. This includes one on over hell. Jesus spoke of hell some sixteen times, far more than anyone else.

Predestination is something every Bible student has to define. I define it as Baptist Reformed. This confession helped me to define it. God elects for his own purposes outside of all human merits. I am the least synergistic person you’ll ever meet. Augustine has nothing on me. God’s election is in light of the Fall, but it was from before the foundation of the earth. Romans 8:29-30. God has not left all of mankind to itself so to be dead in Adam only. He’s chosen to redeem a number of souls larger than any human could fathom. Revelation 7:9. He has chosen to leave others in their sin to be damned. You will not disagree.

In this life, all we can blame for our unbelief is ourselves. Scripture presents both God’s sovereignty and man’s culpability in perfect tandem.

Hell is not the absence of God. An omniscient being cannot not be anywhere. Hell is the presence of God in his perfect hatred for the wicked.

Joseph Pittano

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