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Heidelberg Catechism - Lord's Day 5

March 3, 2014 by Dan Valentine 0 comments

Posted in: Catechism for the Church

"Although the word is not mentioned, hell is the subject of Lord's Day 5. Many Christians today would prefer not to think about hell. They ignore it, deny it, or practice a studied agnoticism about the subject. Many of us are squeamish about God's wrath and reticent to share a gospel message that has to do with salvation from coming judgment. Certainly, we need balance. The implications of the gospel ought to lead to love of God and good for the world. But too often, the gospel is explained first of all as a message about selfless love, service, and dying for others. True, that is the heart of the gospel, but we are to proclaim the selfless love, service, and dying for others by the Christ who came to rescue sinners.


Before we talk about rescuing the planet (reclaiming America for Christ on the right, and joining the ONE campaign on the left), we need to hear how Jesus came to deliver sinners. From what I've seen and read, the interest in missions among young people is trending away from saving souls and toward saving the world. The interest is too often social to the exclusion of spiritual. The two don't have to be at odds with each other. Those who deal with the 'spiritual' must not ignore the 'social,' and those who engage the 'social' must fully embrace the 'spritiual.' What we don't want are Christians who admirably try to relieve the suffering in the world, but are indifferent toward eternal suffering." Kevin DeYoung. The Good News We Almost Forgot. p 37.

 

Question 12: According to God's righteous judgment we deserve punishment both in this world and forever after: How then can we escape punishment and return to God's favor?

Answer: God requires that His justice be satisfied. Therefore the claims of His justice must be paid in full, either by ourselves or another.

 

Question 13: Can we pay this debt ourselves?

Answer: Certainly not. Actually, we increase our guilt every day.

 

Question 14: Can another creature - any at all - pay this debt for us?

Answer: No. To begin with, God will not punish another creature for what a human is guilty of. Besides, no mere creature can bear the weight of God's eternal anger against sin and release others from it. 

 

Question 15: What kind of Mediator and Deliverer should we look for then?

Answer: One who is truly human and truly righteous, yet more powerful than all creatures, that is, one who is also true God. 

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