Civil Government and Last Judgment

Leanne VanDyk

READ : Revelation 21:1-4

Your kingdom come . . . on earth as it is in heaven. (Matt. 6:10)

Read: Belgic Confession, Articles 36-37

Christians live with a strong double commitment. We are committed both to this world and to the next. The prophets in the Old Testament cry out to the people of Israel and Judah to care for the widows and the strangers within their gates. The teachings of Jesus, too, instruct us to open our hearts to the hurts of the world. Clearly, the concerns of this world matter a great deal to God.

Christians are committed also to the world to come. Although we are determined to follow God’s call for justice and peace here, we know that, in God’s good time, Christ will come again to judge the living and the dead. Our hope is for a new heaven and a new earth where there will be no more crying and pain and death.

These last two articles in the Belgic Confession represent the strong double commitment of Christian believers. We have a commitment to the welfare of this world, so we work with the civil government and uphold just laws to promote the common good. We have a commitment to the world to come so we pray, “Come, Lord Jesus.” Both find their source in our faith in God, our hope in God, and our love for God.

PRAYER

Give us the discernment, God, to live wisely in this world and hope for the new heaven and the new earth. Come, Lord Jesus. Amen.