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part of River Ministries (Norfolk)

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A deeper look at the Statement of Faith

Human destiny

For a believer in Christ destiny is glorious. It is living in the presence of God, being made like Christ, resting from our labours, fulfilling complete service, enjoying perfection of being, receiving everlasting reward, entering into the fullness of knowledge - all summed up in the term "Eternal Life".

In this day of consummation, regeneration will blossom into fullness of life, redemption of the body be added to that of the soul, justification issue in glorification, mortality be swallowed up of life, sanctification be fulfilled in Christ likeness and sorrow and pain absorbed in joy and gladness.

But there is a sombre side to human destiny. To those who do not love the Lord and know not his salvation there is judgment. As there is a heaven for believers, so there is a hell for unbelievers. Divine retribution is necessary. God, as judge of all the earth, must punish sin; it is reasonable in that it inculcates a healthy fear of evil. If there is no retribution there is no reward, for where there is no blame there can be no praise. It will be righteous, and it will be very real. It is inevitable: it will be final. Jesus taught retribution, expressing in unmistakable terms its finality, its severity and its eternity.

The last book of the bible is particularly vivid in its representation of eternal judgment. There is a “wrath to come”, but Christ can save us from it. Hell is real, but so is the saving grace of Christ.

Scripture references: Philippians 1:23; 2 Corinthians 5:8; John 14:1; 1 John 3:2; Revelation 14:13, 22:3, 12; 1 Corinthians 3:14, 13:12; Romans 8:23, 30; 2 Corinthians 5:4; Revelation 7:16,17; 1 Corinthians 16:22; Romans 2:8, 9: Genesis 18:25; Romans 1:16-18; Matthew 10:28; Hebrews 10:31, 11:6; Psalm 19:9; Romans 2:5, 12:9; 2 Thessalonians 1:8, 9; Jude 14, 15: Revelation 14:10; Psalm 50:21; Ecclesiastes 8:11; 2 Peter 2:3; Romans 14:10-12; Revelation 20:11-15, 22:11; John 3:36; Matthew 12:36, 7:23, 10:33, 13:20, 25:46, 26:24; Mark 9:44, 46, 48; John 3:14, 16, 36; Matthew 8:12, 13:42, 25:41,46; Matthew 3:7; John 5:25.

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