The Four Last Things: DEATH, JUDGEMENT, HELL & HEAVEN

The Four Last Things: DEATH, JUDGEMENT, HELL & HEAVEN

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DEATH:

 

CERTAINTY OF DEATH
• It is appointed unto man once to die Heb. 9:27
• Death is certain: you are dust and…. Gen. 3:19
• Be prepared for death
• As we attend funeral of others, so will others attend our own funeral
• As we, heard the shocking news of the death of others, so will others hear the shocking news of our death.

 

REFLECTON:
I shall die

IMPLICATION:
• Departure from parents, friends, pleasures, possessions and anything dear to me.
• My lot is a casket and six feet of earth and this will happen very soon. How short indeed even the longest life is.
• Decomposition of my body: food for worms, returning to dust from where it came from.
For true children of Mary, such thoughts should cheer us for we should long for that blessed moment.

 

UNCERTAINTY OF THE HOUR OF DEATH
Be you then also ready for at what hour you think not, the Son of man will come Lk. 12:40
• Death is certain, but the hour is uncertain: “the day of the Lord will come as a thief comes at night.” 1 Thess. 5:2
• No procrastination: let me live as I like, tomorrow I will go for confession, who knows tomorrow?

 

REFLECTION:
• When shall I die?
• No one knows. Over 150,000 people die everyday and go for judgment.
• I may die today
• Am I ready to die?
• Am I living in a condition which I do not wish to die?
• How shall I die?
• Will I die in a state of grace?
It’s time for us to think very well.

 

PREPARATION FOR DEATH:
St. Alphonsus efficacious means of preparing for death.
a. Not to wait till the last moment:
• No one even knows when the last moment will be and it will be difficult to make any fruitful preparation then.
• The five foolish virgins called fools by Jesus because they waited until the arrival of the bridegroom to prepare their lamps.
• We are expected to do what is right now.
b. Put our conscience in a good state and regulate our lives
• Examination of our past life, contrition for them and a resolve to regulate our conduct.
• Faithfulness to religious practices: daily Mass, and holy Communion, mediation on eternal truth, frequenting the Sacrament of Penance, visit to the Blessed Sacrament, to the image of Mary, attendance at her confraternity, spiritual reading, examination of conscience, devotion to Mary, fasting, invocation of the holy Names of Jesus and Mary in times of temptation.
c. We must detach ourselves from the world.
• Detachment necessary for our spiritual growth
• An attached person will unhappily have to detach from all his attachment at the hour of death.

 

JUDGEMENT
• After death comes judgment Heb. 9:27
• Two types: particular and general

 

PARTICULAR JUDGEMENT
This refers to the judgment which take place immediately after ones death. It is concerned with each man as an individual. It is a private personal judgment wherein the individual learns of his or her final just reward/punishment.
• The Lord will come down to judge the individual according to his works Lk. 12:40
• To be judged by a judge before whom nothing is hidden
• The judgment starts and books were opened Dan 7:10
• Two books: gospel and conscience
• In the Gospel will be rend what the accused should have done.
• In his conscience what he has done.

 

ACCUSERS AT THE JUDGMENT
i. The Devil – will recite the words of our profession/promise and vows to God which we have made and will accuse us of what we have done; of violation of these promises
ii. Our guardian angel – accusing us of despising their warnings even after laboring for our salvation.
iii. The walls – where the sinner sinned will witness against him or her.
iv. Our conscience – also to accuse us Romans 2:15
v. The individuals’ sins
vi. The wounds of Jesus Christ will accuse the sinner too.
• We shall account for what we have done with our senses.
• The just man will scarcely be saved how much more will the sinner be?
• Then after all these the strict thorough and just scrutiny or examination – the judge will pass sentence Matt. 24:11, Rm. 2:6

 

GENERAL JUDGMENT
This will take place at the end of time. The judgment of God on each individual will be made known to all. It is the manifestation of the glory and majesty of Jesus Christ. St. Paul’s favorite term for the general or final judgment is, “the day of the Lord” the day the glory of Jesus Christ will be manifested 2Thess.  1:10

 

HELL
“And these shall go into everlasting punishment.”

 

THE DOCTRINE OF HELL
Hell is a place of torment for those who die guilty of serious disobedience to God; it is a place where devil and unrepentant sinners suffer forever. Such was the clear teaching of Jesus Christ. Rev.20:15, Rev.21:8. The first Vatican Council declares: to anyone who says the punishment of those in hell will not last: LET HIM BE ANATHEMA.

 

CHRIST SPEAKS OF HELL
“… Fear God that can cause soul and body to perish in Hell.” Matt. 10:28, also Mk. 9:42-48
The word “Hell” was even on the lips of Jesus Christ.

 

HELL IS A PUNISHMENT FOR SIN
It is a punishment for those who die guilty of serious sins and deliberately opposed the will of God which can be opposed by many different kinds of sin – 1 Cor. 6:19-20, Gal. 5:19-21
– St. Paul adds: “…all those who do such things shall not obtain the Kingdom of God” Gal. 5:21

 

THE PAINS OF HELL
– Pain of fire (pain of inextinguishable fire to be experiences by the senses.
– Pain of loss

 

Hell as we have said is a place of torment where all the senses and posers of the damned will have their proper torment by fire and where the more a person has offended God by any senses, the more he/she will be tormented by fire in that senses, “By what thing a man sinneth, by the same also he is tormented.” Rev. 18:7

 

THE OUTCOME OF THE UNEXTINGUISHABLE FIRE OF THE SENSES
– The sight: To be tormented with darkness, “….a land that is dark…” Job 10:22
– The sense of smell: To be tormented with a stench (horrible smell) emanating from their co-reprobate, “out of their carcasses shall rise a stink” Is. 34:3
– The sense of hearing: To be tormented by incessant/continuous howling and wailing of the damned.
– Also to be tormented by hunger, heat, thirst. ALL THESE TO LAST FOREVER AND EVER

 

THE PAIN OF LOSS
What is this loss?
It is loss of God; an everlasting exclusion from God’s presence. The other pain cannot be compared to this. St. Chrysostom says that a thousand hell are not equal to this pain. All the saints dread this loss. Our God is a merciful God but is equally a God of justice. He allows each one to reap what he or she has sown. While on earth, he shows his mercy by allowing us time to change but after death, justice takes its course, each one is rewarded according to his or her deeds.

 

HEAVEN

Where does true and everlasting happiness lies?
Many seek happiness in wealth and all that can be acquired through it. Some seek happiness through possession of beauty and health – but those unavoidably fade. Human happiness is found only in God and the happiness he alone can give. Our happiness that comes from doing God’s will, will not only be here on earth but if we persevere in doing what is right to the end we shall win for ourselves eternal happiness in heaven where our greatest happiness will be to see God face to face and to see him as he really is (BEATIFIC VISION), “what we see now is a deem image in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. What I know is only partial, then it will be complete as complete as God’s knowledge if me.” 1Cor.13:12
It is only in heaven that our longing for everlasting happiness would be fulfilled, “your heart shall rejoice and your joy no one shall take away from you.” John 16:22. Again the apostle said, “Eye has not seen nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man what things God hath prepared for them that live in him. 1Cor. 2:9
The only thing God ask of us is: To continue loving him and doing his will/what his kingdom requires – (Matt 6:33); allowing his spirit to direct our conducts, actions, behaviors since the same spirit gave us life – (Gal. 5:25).


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