• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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  • August 2010
    M T W T F S S
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The Second Coming Of Christ

Dr. William Ames was born in 1576 at Ipswich in Suffolk, that region east of Anglia where Puritanism had first “begun”. Ames chose the center of Puritan learning, Cambridge University, over Oxford for his higher education. Ames voice was one of the most influential in the theological development of the Puritan and Reformed churches in England and the Netherlands. According to Daniel Neal, the first furniture at Harvard were the books of Ames. His influence upon the theology of New England was so great that he was quoted more than Luther or Calvin combined. The Marrow of Theology is Ames’ most well known work. Cotton Mather said that if a student of divinity were to have nothing but The Bible and The Marrow, he would be a most able minister. Ames described the Second Coming of Christ as follows:

The second coming of Christ will be like the first in that it shall be real, visible, and apparent. Acts 1:11. But it will be dissimilar in that: First, it will be attended with greatest glory and power. Matt. 24:30; Titus 2:13; second, it will dispense the greatest terror among the ungodly and the greatest joy among the godly, 2 Thess. 1:7-10.

Two events, the resurrection and the last judgment, will finally distinguish between the godly and the ungodly, 2 Cor. 5:10.

Resurrection relates to what has fallen. Because man fell from life by the separation of soul from body, it is necessary for his rising again that the same soul be reunited to the same body and that the same man exists in the restored union of the two. . . .

Therefore, the raising of the dead properly belongs to Christ, (eanthropos), the God-man. The operating principle is Christ’s divine omnipotence by which it may be easily accomplished, even in an instant. . . .

Although all will be raised by Christ, it will not all happen in one and the same way. The resurrection of the faithful is to life and is accomplished by virtue of the union which they have with Christ who is their life (Col. 3:4; 1 Thess. 4:14) and by the operation of his quickening Spirit which lives in them. Rom. 8:11, He . . . shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit dwelling in you. But the resurrection of the others is through that power of Christ by which he will execute avenging justice. . . .

The last judgment is exercised by Christ as king, for the power of judging is part of the office of a king. . . .

The place of this judgment will be in the air, 1 Thess. 4:17.

The day and year of it is not revealed in Scripture and, therefore, cannot be fixed by men.

The sentence, to be carried out immediately, will be to eternal life or death. . . .

Christ, (theanthropos), the God-man, is the judge—a deputy, as it were—but because of his divine authority and power, upon which depends the strength of the sentence, he is the principal judge. . . .

Judgment will be rendered not only on wicked men but also on evil angels. . . .

The fire that is destined to purge and renew the world will not precede the judgment but shall follow. . . .

The elements will not be taken away, but changed.

After the day of judgment Christ will remain king and mediator forever.

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