The August Theologian: Terminal

No sooner do we begin to live in this dying body, than we begin to move ceaselessly towards death. For in the whole course of this life (if life we must call it) its mutability tends towards death. Certainly there is no one who is not nearer it this year than last year, and tomorrow than today, and today than yesterday, and a short while hence than now, and now than a short while ago. For whatever time we live is deducted from our whole term of life, and that which remains is daily becoming less and less; so that our whole life is nothing but a race towards death, in which no one is allowed to stand still for a little space, or to go somewhat more slowly, but all are driven forwards with an impartial movement, and with equal rapidity. For he whose life is short spends a day no more swiftly than he whose life is longer. But while the equal moments are impartially snatched from both, the one has a nearer and the other a more remote goal to reach with this their equal speed. It is one thing to make a longer journey, and another to walk more slowly. He, therefore, who spends longer time on his way to death does not proceed at a more leisurely pace, but goes over more ground. Further, if every man begins to die, that is, is in death, as soon as death has begun to show itself in him (by taking away life, to wit; for when life is all taken away, the man will be then not in death, but after death), then he begins to die so soon as he begins to live.  —Augustine, The City of God

Tolle Lege: Fear Not!

Fear Not!Readability: 1

Length: 94 pp

Author: Ligon Duncan

When we ignore death, we ignore God. God is the doer of death. When we ignore death, we ignore Jesus. Jesus is the defeater of death. Death is an enemy, and death is defeated. To ignore death is to ignore the sinfulness of sin, and the greatness of salvation. If you are afraid to think about death, Ligon Duncan will help you in Fear Not! by answering five simple questions.

  1. What is death?
  2. What happens after death?
  3. What happens when Christ returns?
  4. What is heaven?

There is also a chapter on the final judgment. If you are looking for a deep treatment of these topics look elsewhere. But if you are fearful of death and need some pastoral help that is mercifully brief, this is an excellent book.

Death is too deadly for us. But when Jesus Christ conquered death and robbed it of its sting, He enabled every believer to pass through death—the last enemy—into glory.

In my sinful moments—and I stress my sinful moments, because every true believer knows that God is good—there is no doctrine that I want to be untrue more than the reality of hell. I wish I could say that this doctrine is not true. But hell is the fairest reality in this world.

If you want unfairness, if you want discrimination, I can give you that.That is called heaven by grace. Heaven by grace is the most unfair doctrine imaginable. Sinners deserving condemnation get heaven forever because the One who was without sin became sin for their reconciliation.That is unfair, but hell is the fairest doctrine in the world.

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