Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
Lord’s Day, 24 April, 2011
"Those that be planted in the house of the Lord
shall flourish in the courts of our God" (Ps. 92:13)
Morning Service - 11:00 AM
Prayer of the Church in Babylon (6)
Jehovah’s Hardening His Church’s Heart [download]
Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 32:1-25
Psalms: 74:1-2, 5-7; 96:1-7; 95:6-11; 79:1-6
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
The Works of the Triune God [download]
Scripture Reading: I Peter 1
Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 8
the Father and Our Creation
God the Son and Our Redemption
God the Spirit and Our Sanctification
Psalms: 104:1-7; 96:8-13; 2:1-8; 143:6-12
Stephen Murray for
CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services.
Quote to Consider:
John Calvin on Isaiah 63:17: "Those who
say that God leads us into error by privation, that is, by depriving us
of his Spirit, do not perceive the actual design; for God himself is
said to harden and to blind, when he gives up men to be blinded by
Satan, who is the minister and executioner of his wrath. Without this we
would be exposed to the rage of Satan; but, since he can do nothing
without the command of God, to whose dominion he is subject, there will
be no impropriety in saying that God is the author of blinding and
hardening, as Scripture also affirms in many passages (Rom. 9:18). And
yet, it cannot be said or declared that God is the author of sin,
because he punishes the ingratitude of men by blinding them in this
Announcements (subject to God’s will)
Copies of the Standard Bearer and
the C. R. News are on the back
of season catechism tests:
Monday, 10:00 AM - Joseph, Jacob, Nathan & Alex
Monday, 10:45 AM - Zoe, Amy & Lea
Tuesday Bible study: 11 AM, on II
Thessalonians 3:6f. on withdrawing from disorderly brethren.
Belgic Confession class: 7:45 PM. We’ll continue our study of
Article 10 on the eternal generation of the Son, including Psalm 2:7.
Thursday membership class: 7:30 PM
on eschatology, the last times.
The Reformed Witness Hour next
Lord’s Day (8:30-9:00 AM, on Gospel 846MW) is entitled "Kept By God"
(Philippians 1:6) by Rev. R. Kleyn.
Offerings: General Fund - £489.90.
The Council will hold their monthly
meeting on Monday, 2 May, at 8 PM.
Everyone is invited to a CPRC/LRF
Overnighter at the Newcastle Youth Hostel in Co. Down on Friday, 6
May. Directions can be found on the hostel website
Mens Fellowship: The next meeting will
be on Saturday, 14 May, at 8 PM at the Kennedys. We will study Daniel 2.
Question sheet/resumé of Daniel 1 will be available soon on the back
Lurgan Lecture: Rev. Stewart will speak
on "For Whom Did Christ Die?" on Friday, 24 June, at 7:30 PM in Lurgan
Rev. Heath Bleyenberg will preach for
the CPRC this summer (24 & 31 July and 14 August) while Rev. Stewart is
in N. America. He will also be preaching for the LRF on one Lord’s Day
(7 August) while Rev. McGeown is in the US.
PRC News: Redlands called Rev. A. Lanning (Faith, MI); Edgerton
called Rev. Kuiper (Randolph, WI); Hope called Rev. Marcus (Edmonton,
AB, Canada). Trinity’s new trio is Revs. Haak, Koole and W. Langerak.
This is part 1 of the 46th e-mail in Prof.
Engelsma’s justification forum:
Dear European Forum,
There awaits the elect of God in Christ yet
one more, dramatic expression and manifestation of their justification,
as there also awaits the reprobate ungodly yet one more, dramatic
expression of their condemnation.
This is the justification and the
condemnation of the final judgment.
The Bible teaches, and the creeds of the
Reformation confess, a future final judgment of all humans and of all
angels. Matthew 25:31-46 and Revelation 20:11-15 describe the event. II
Corinthians 5:10 teaches the reality and nature of the event: "For we
must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may
receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done,
whether it be good or bad."
The Belgic Confession confesses the
final judgment in Article 37: "Our Lord Jesus Christ will come from
heaven, corporally and visibly, as He ascended, with great glory and
majesty to declare Himself Judge of the quick and the dead ... Then all
men will personally appear before this great Judge, both men and women
and children, that have been from the beginning of the world to the end
thereof ... Then the books ... shall be opened, and the dead judged
according to what they shall have done in this world, whether it be good
The Westminster Confession of Faith
sets forth the truth of the final judgment according to the Reformed
understanding of it in Chapter 33: "God hath appointed a day wherein he
will judge the world in righteousness by Jesus Christ ... In which day,
not only the apostate angels shall be judged, but likewise all persons
that have lived upon 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" (WCF
This event will be an expression and
manifestation by God in Christ of the verdict of justification that the
elect now hears in the gospel by faith alone in Jesus Christ. The final
judgment will be justification of the elect believer. The full truth of
justification, therefore, includes the final judgment. That the truth of
the final judgment of the elect believer is an aspect of the doctrine of
justification is established simply by the nature of the final judgment:
It will be divine judgment—the thorough examination of those who are
judged with a view to righteousness or unrighteousness; a verdict from
the Judge, whether of innocence or guilt; and the execution of the
sentence in life and glory or in death and shame.
Such is the relation of the final judgment
and present justification by faith that, if the final judgment of men
takes the works of believers into account as the basis of God’s judgment
of believers, and as the content of their righteousness, even in part,
the truth of the final judgment nullifies all that I have taught thus
far concerning justification by faith alone. In this case, in the end,
decisively, justification is by works, not by faith alone.
Our concern in this instalment of our study
of justification, it must be noted, is the truth of the final judgment
only with regard to the issue of justification. Other aspects of this
grand, future event, important and interesting as they are, are outside
our purview here.
According to Scripture and the Reformed
creeds, the final judgment will be a real event. It will be a wonder. It
will occur immediately upon the bodily coming of Christ. It will be the
main purpose of Christ in His coming, and the goal of God with history.
Even the resurrection of the bodies of all men will be subservient to
the purpose of God that He judge the world in righteousness. The
Apostles’ Creed indicates that the judgment is the main purpose of
Christ at His coming: "He shall come again to judge the quick and the
dead." The Belgic Confession, quoted above, makes the
resurrection of the dead the divine summons to appear in the courtroom.
The Judge will be the incarnate Son of God, the man Jesus Christ. In the
judgment the deeds of all men will be exposed, including things done in
secret, idle words, the thoughts of the mind, and the hidden motives of
the heart. Christ will conduct the judgment, pronounce the verdict, and
carry out the sentence according to men’s works.
Especially this last, judgment according to
works, is significant for the gospel-truth of justification. That the
judgment will be according to works is clearly taught by Scripture. II
Corinthians 5:10: "every one may receive the things done in his body,
according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." Jesus has
the Judge (Himself) saying to the sheep on His right hand, "Inherit the
kingdom ... for I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat," etc. (Matt.
25:34ff.). All men, says the Belgic Confession, shall be "judged
according to what they shall have done in this world, whether it be good
The Roman Catholic Church has always
appealed to this aspect of the truth of the final judgment in support of
its teaching that justification, now and always, is by faith and by the
good works of the sinner himself. Rome’s explanation of the biblical
teaching that the final judgment of those who are saved will be
"according to works" is that God’s verdict upon them, "Forgiven and
righteous!" is based in part on the good works that they themselves did
(with the help of grace, of course) and that the righteousness that
earns eternal life and glory for them is partly their own inherent
obedience to the law of God. Since this is exactly Rome’s explanation of
the justification of these people during their life, there is harmony
between present justification and the justification of the final
judgment. Always and in every expression of it, according to the Roman
Catholic Church, justification is by faith and by works.
And always the Roman Catholic must live in
terror concerning the outcome of his judgment: he is forever unsure of
his righteousness and salvation in this life; he is unsure of the
verdict upon him at the moment of death; he faces the coming final
judgment with uncertainty. What will the Judge pronounce upon him? What
will the sentence be?
to be continued.