We pick back up then with question 87: What are we to believe concerning the resurrection?
A: We are to believe, that at the last day there shall be a general resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust: when they that are then found alive shall in a moment be changed; and the self-same bodies of the dead which were laid in the grave, being then again united to their souls forever, shall be raised up by the power of Christ. The bodies of the just, by the Spirit of Christ, and by virtue of his resurrection as their head, shall be
raised in power, spiritual, incorruptible, and made like to his glorious body; and the bodies of the wicked shall be raised up in dishonor by him, as an offended judge.
The point Paul emphasizes here is that belief in a physical resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked is a part of Old Testament orthodoxy which most Jews of his day believed, and which all believers in the divine authority of the Old Testament should believe. This resurrection for which Paul hopes is one, general, singular resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. Paul could have quoted Daniel 12:2: “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt”—to make his case. (413-414)
Jesus made this point about a single and general judgment of all people—both of the just and the unjust, on the last day in John 5:28–29: “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds, to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.”...The point is that at a specific time, all those who are dead, whether Christians or non-Christians,
will hear the voice of Christ and be raised from the dead. No indication is given that this “resurrection of life” is separated by time from the “resurrection of judgment.” (414)
Those who are alive at the time of the Second Coming shall in a moment be changed. (416)
No one, not even those who are alive at Christ’s Second Coming, can in this present body, enter the perfection of heavenly life in the consummate kingdom of God—“flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable” (1 Cor. 15:50). (417)
At the sound of “the last trumpet” announcing the coming of Christ and the end of the world, the dead will be raised imperishable and those alive at the time will be transformed completely into the spiritual, Heavenly image of the resurrected and
glorified Christ, along with the total transformation of the rest of the universe. (418)
In physical resurrection the self-same bodies of the dead which were laid in the grave [are] then again united to their souls forever. Our resurrection bodies will be the bodies we have now, only glorified, perfected and “eternalized.” (418)
This doctrine of the resurrection of our present bodies is a terror to the unbelieving and ungodly
"for the very body, which they now cherish so much, and for which they slave so much to satisfy and beautify it, will eternally bear unbearable pain in hell. Those eyes which you now misuse so greatly to stir up filthy lust… will behold with terror
the Lord Jesus, the righteous Judge, and will never see light any more. Those ears which are now ready to receive vanities… immoral language, foolishness, and backbiting will hear with terror the sentence of the Judge: “Depart from Me, you cursed,” and to all eternity your ears will be filled with the howling of those who are damned together with you… That mouth and tongue which you now misuse to
curse, lie… carouse, [and] drink… will then howl and scream, and in grief you will chew on that tongue.… Those hands which…you now misuse in unrighteousness.., you will then wring in pain. Yes, all those members [of your body] which you are now using as weapons of unrighteousness…will eternally be in the flames.… May the terror of the Lord persuade you to believe!" 115. Brakel, The Christian’s Reasonable Service, 4:336. (421)
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer is a pledge from God that the believer’s body will be raised from the dead, “because it would be unseemly
that any thing thus honored by the Spirit should remain under the dominion of death.”118 Hodge, A Commentary on Romans (London: The Banner of Truth Trust,
 1972), 260. (423)
Not only does the Catechism bring out the role of the Spirit of Christ in our physical resurrection, but it also emphasizes the relation of Christ’s resurrection and the resurrection of believers. The bodies of believers shall be raised from the dead by virtue of His resurrection as their Head. (424)
Because of the believer’s union with Christ in His life, death and resurrection, whatever happened to Christ happens to him, whatever was true of Christ is true of him, whatever Christ did, he experiences the consequences of. (425)
On the last day the bodies of believers will be raised in power, spiritual, incorruptible, and made like to his glorious body. (426)
The bodies of the wicked raised from the dead on the last day will be raised up in dishonor. Their “dust… will awake… to disgrace and everlasting contempt, [i.e., eternal abhorrence by God]” (Dan. 12:2). (428)
The Larger Catechism makes the point with reference to the wicked reprobate that they shall be raised up in dishonour BY HIM, [Christ], as an offended Judge (emphasis added)....By resurrection Christ summons them to His tribunal that He may render to everyone of them what their evil lives deserve. (429)
Christ commands the resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked, but in different relations and for different purposes. The righteous are raised in Christ by Christ; and the wicked are raised by Christ but not in Christ. (429-430_
A.: Immediately after the resurrection shall follow the general and final judgment of angels and men; the day and hour whereof no man knoweth, that all may watch and pray, and be ever ready for the coming of the Lord.
Judgment Day immediately follows the general resurrection of all people. (431)
The exact time of the Day of Judgment and the Coming of Christ is so secret that neither the angels in the very presence of God, nor the Son of God incarnate, i.e., in His humanity, know the time. (432)
Immediately after the resurrection shall follow the general and final judgment of angels and men. It is called general because all fallen angels (2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6, 7), along with all human beings without exception (Jude 14, 15), will stand before that judgment bar of Christ. ....
It is called final judgment because Judgment Day is the day of final judgment after a history of the human race full of interventions of God to judge sinners with temporal judgments. Judgment Day is not the beginning of judgment it is the completion and consummation of judgment. (4343-434)
day of judgment?
A.: At the day of judgment, the wicked shall be set on Christ’s left hand, and, upon clear evidence, and full conviction of their own consciences, shall have the fearful but just sentence of condemnation pronounced against them; and thereupon shall be cast out from the favorable presence of God, and the glorious fellowship with Christ, His saints, and all His holy angels, into hell, to be punished with unspeakable torments, both of body and soul, with the devil and his angels forever.
With these words [Matt. 15:32,33] the stage is set for the final Judgment Day,
and the first act of the Judge on that Day will be the final and complete separation of the goats from the sheep and the tares from the wheat (Matt. 13:24–30, 36–43)....After that day the sheep and the goats, the wheat and the tares, will never mix or intermingle again in all of eternity. (437)
The reprobate on Christ’s left hand on Judgment Day will be sentenced by Him to leave His favorable presence and to go to hell forever, having been cursed by Him for their sins. (438)
The standard by which all people will be judged on that day will be the will of God revealed to them in Biblical Law, the gospel, and in the human conscience (Rom. 2:12; John 12:48; Luke 12:47; John 15:22). (439)
The consciences of the wicked will fully, completely and inescapably condemn them and convict them of the evil of their sins and the justice of God in condemning them, although they will continue to try to suppress this truth in unrighteousness. (440)
The Larger Catechism says that upon sentence of condemnation pronounced against them by Christ, they thereupon shall be cast out from the favourable presence of God, and the glorious fellowship with Christ, his saints, and all his holy angels, into hell… (441)
First, Christ casts out the wicked reprobate from His presence and from fellowship with Him, and in being cast out of His presence they are totally cast out of God’s favor, goodness, mercy, common grace, longsuffering, and kindness; and are excluded from the glorious fellowship of perfected believers and all the holy angels. (442)
“The solemnity of this thought should not be minimized. Those who oppose
the things of God here and now are not engaged in some minor error which can easily be put right in the hereafter. They are engaging in that defiance of the will of God which has eternal consequences.”146 Morris, The First and Second Epistles to the Thessalonians, 206. (442-443)
"A breath of relief is usually heard when someone declares, “Hell is a symbol for separation from God.” To be separated from God for eternity is no great threat to the impenitent person. The ungodly want nothing more than to be separated
from God. Their problem in hell will not be separation from God, it will be the presence of God that will torment them. In hell, God will be present in the fullness of His divine wrath. He will be there to exercise His just punishment of the damned.
They will know Him as an all-consuming fire." 148. R. C. Sproul, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.), 286. (443)
Second, they are designated and treated as those “accursed” by God, for “cursed is every one who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law to perform them” (Gal. 3:10). (445)
Third, Christ casts them into the eternal fires of hell with Satan and the demons from which there is no escape forever. (446)
Since the torments of hell involve the body and the soul, Jesus is presupposing the resurrection of the body. “Destroy” does not mean annihilate; rather it means ruin. (447)
“[T]he moral character of sinners will in itself, and in its effects, constitute much of their misery in the future world. It ought to be observed, that the text, literally rendered is They shall be utterly corrupted in their own corruption.”164 How so?
First, sinful desires in those in hell will be exceedingly powerful, wholly unrestrained and completely ungovernable. ...
Second, sinful desires in those in hell will be forever ungratified and unfulfilled. ...
Third, sin in hell will be seen for what it really is. Their consciences will pronounce them guilty more sharply than ever before, but that pronouncement in the damned is an odious thing to them, they hate it and suppress it and harden themselves in their impenitency. ...
Fourth, the impenitent in hell will be the subjects of extreme and eternal remorse of conscience. ...
Fifth, the impenitent in hell become the instruments of extreme suffering to each other. In this present world sinners often care for each other. ...
Sixth, there can be no security in hell. The wretched inhabitants of hell will be surrounded by only enemies and deceivers out to do them harm. In the multitude of the damned not a single individual will be found who possesses a shred of natural affection, benevolence or sincerity.
164. Timothy Dwight, Theology: Explained and Defended in a Series of Sermons, 5 vols. (Middletown, CT: Clark & Lyman, 1819), 5:493.
From these comments two exhortations must be drawn. (1) See how great an evil sin is!...(2) Since these things are true, everyone who reads these words should immediately flee from the wrath to come and lay hold on eternal life through repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. (457)
Its [Hell's] torments are without intermission and its punishments are without relaxation forever: “the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever” (Rev. 14:11). The wicked reprobate will “go away into eternal punishment,” just as the righteous will go “into eternal life” (Matt. 25:46). (458)
Those who deny the endlessness of the torments of hell can be divided into three groups: Annihilationists, Restorationists, and Universalists. (1) Annihilationists, as we have seen, believe that the punishment of the wicked is simple annihilation, while only the redeemed are raised from the dead to eternal life....(2) Restorationists believe that there are future punishments in the hereafter in some measure, according to what people deserve, but these punishments are meritorious and when they lead to repentance, even after a long interval, the sufferer will be delivered from his punishment. Some who hold this view believe
that even Satan and the demons will someday be saved....(3) Universalists believe that the only “hell” a person experiences are the sufferings of this life, which satisfy all the essential demands of God’s justice. Therefore, there are no
punishments and no hell after death. At death every human being will be saved and enter the bliss of heaven. (458-459)