Reformed Catechism Week 28 Resources

Week 28 Question:

What happens after death to those not united to Christ by faith?

Week 28 Answer:

At the day of judgment they will receive the fearful but just sentence of condemnation pronounced against them. They will be cast out from the favorable presence of God, into hell, to be justly and grievously punished, forever.

Week 28 Verse: John 3:16-18 and 36

Commentary

Painful as the subject of hell is, it is one about which I dare not, cannot, must not be silent…. I know that some do not believe there is any hell at all…. They call it inconsistent with the mercy of God…. I know furthermore that some do not believe that hell is eternal. They tell us it is incredible that a compassionate God will punish men for ever…. I know also that some believe there is a hell, but never allow that anybody is going there…. There is but one point to be settled, "what says the word of God." Do you believe the Bible? Then depend upon it, hell is real and true. It is as true as heaven—as true as justification by faith—as true as the fact that Christ died upon the cross…. There is not a fact or doctrine which you may not lawfully doubt if you doubt hell. Disbelieve hell, and you unscrew, unsettle, and unpin everything in Scripture. You may as well throw your Bible aside at once. From "no hell" to "no God" there is but a series of steps. Do you believe the Bible? Then depend upon it hell will have inhabitants…. The same blessed Saviour who now sits on a throne of grace, will one day sit on a throne of judgment, and men will see there is such a thing as the wrath of the Lamb…. Do you believe the Bible? Then depend upon it, hell will be intense and unutterable woe.… The pit, the prison, the worm, the fire, the thirst, the blackness, the darkness, the weeping, the gnashing of teeth, the second death—all these…Bible figures mean something…. Do you believe the Bible? Then depend upon it, hell is eternal. It must be eternal, or words have no meaning at all. For ever and ever, everlasting, unquenchable, never-dying—all these are expressions used about hell, and expressions that cannot be explained away…. If a man may escape hell at length without faith in Christ, or sanctification of the Spirit, sin is no longer an infinite evil, and there was no such great need for Christ making an atonement.—And where is there warrant for saying that hell can ever change a heart, or make it fit for heaven? It must be eternal, or hell would cease to be hell altogether…. It is striking to observe the many texts about it in Scripture. It is striking to observe that none say so much about it as our Lord Jesus Christ, that gracious and merciful Saviour, and the apostle John, whose heart seems full of love.

John Charles Ryle (1816–1900). The first Anglican bishop of Liverpool, Ryle’s appointment was at the recommendation of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. As well as being a writer and pastor, Ryle was an athlete who rowed and played cricket for Oxford University. He also was responsible for the building of over forty churches.

From Consider Your Ways (London: Hunt & Son, 1849), 23–26.

Video Commentary

NCC Q28: What happens after death to those not united to Christ by faith? from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.

Supporting Scriptures

Matthew 25:41, 46; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Revelation 14:9-11; Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 5:12; Romans 6:23

Prayer

Our heavenly Father…we want Thee to look among the thousands and millions round about us who know Thee not. Lord, look on the masses who go nowhere to worship. Have pity upon them; Father forgive them…. Give a desire to hear Thy Word. Send upon the people some desire after their God. O Lord take sinners in hand Thyself. Oh! come and reach obstinate, obdurate minds; let the careless and the frivolous begin to think upon eternal things. May there be an uneasiness of heart, a sticking of the arrows of God in their loins, and may they seek too the great Physician and find healing this very day. Ah! Lord, Thou sayest "To-day, if ye will hear His voice" and we take up the echo. Save men today, even to day. Bring them Thy Spirit in power that they may be willing to rest in Christ. Lord hear, forgive, accept and bless, for Jesus' sake. Amen.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834–1892). An English Baptist preacher, Spurgeon became pastor of London's New Park Street Church (later Metropolitan Tabernacle) at 20 years of age. He frequently preached to more than 10,000 people with no electronic amplification. Spurgeon was a prolific writer and his printed works are voluminous—by the time of his death he had preached nearly 3,600 sermons and published 49 volumes of commentaries, sayings, hymns, and devotions.

From “Prayer XI: Under the Blood" in Prayers from Metropolitan Pulpit: C. H. Spurgeon's Prayers (New York, Revell, 1906), 65.