Confession of Faith (1617) - Article XXXII
Of the last judgment; of hell, and the damnation of unbelievers, we confess:
That in the last day, when Christ Jesus shall appear in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory, all nations shall be gathered before His judgment seat, and he shall separate them as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, placing the sheep on His right hand, and the goats on His left. Over these Christ Jesus is ordained by His Father judge of quick and dead, who will regard no person, nor need the testimony of any; for the heart, mind and thoughts of every one are manifest before Him as an open book. This. righteous judge will judge the whole world in righteousness, and as the great Shepherd of the sheep, pronounce an eternal, irrevocable judgment upon them, rewarding each in his own body according to that he hath done. To. all the believing, generated children of God who in this life, as obedient sheep, heard and followed the voice of Christ, He shall say, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." And to all unbelievers, who would not have Christ and His word in this life, but, as disobedient, obstinate goats, rejected them, He will say, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels."
In that last day of the Lord the righteous God will deprive this world of all good gifts; so that the sun, moon and stars shall lose their brightness, and all the light and glory of the world shall be changed into everlasting darkness. In that time the earth, waters and streams shall be turned into burning pitch and brimstone, which shall burn forever and ever. And, seeing this earth is called hell in many places in Scripture, and no other hell being anywhere mentioned, the same is regarded as hell and the place of damnation; in which fiery pool and outer darkness all unbelievers will finally have to suffer the burning of hell and eternal damnation; and thus they shall at last be punished and tormented with the visible things, which in preference to the eternal and invisible they chose and served in this life.
Into that place of darkness and fiery pool all unbelievers shall, after the
resurrection, their souls having been united with their bodies, be sentenced by
Christ. Then shall be fulfilled that which is written concerning this last, sad
day of separation; namely, that one of two shall be taken in the field, in the
bed, and at the mill, and be caught up in the air to meet the Lord; but the
others shall be left, and be sentenced into said pool of darkness, where they
shall be tormented with the devil
and his angels, burning, and suffering in all eternity, forever deprived of all grace and mercy from God, which is the second death.
Of the last judgment, and how the whole human race shall appear before the judgment seat of Christ, to receive each in His own body an eternal sentence, read: "And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the judge of quick and dead" (Acts 10:42).
"Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained" (Acts 17:31; Psalms 7:11).
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (2 Corinthians 5: 10; Romans 14: 10).
"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works" (Revelation 20:12; Daniel 7:10).
"When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats" (Matthew 25: 31, 32; 16:27; 26:64; 2 Thessalonians 1:7).
Of hell and the place of damnation, read: "For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion. And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up forever" (Isaiah 34: 8-10; 2 Peter 3:10; Sirach 16:18).
"And it came to pass as he (Moses) had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them: and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods" (Numbers 16:31, 32).
Read further concerning Sodom and Gomorrah, how they were overturned and condemned and made an example; and how the earth is called hell (Genesis 19:24; Jude 7; Acts 2:27, 31; Psalms 16:11).
"That they might know, that wherewithal a man sinneth by the same also shall he be punished" (Wisdom 11:16).
"Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire" (James 5:3).
How the souls of unbelievers are reserved by God until the last day of vengeance, to be tormented with their bodies after the resurrection, read: "For after death shall the judgment come, when we shall live again: and then shall the names of the righteous be manifest, and the works of the ungodly shall be declared" (2 Esdras 14:35).
"For behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud; yea, and all that do wickedly shall be stubble: and the day that cometh, shall burn them up, saith the Lord" (Malachai 4:1).
"The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished" (2 Peter 2:9).
Them "he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day" (Jude 6; Matthew 25:30; Romans 14:10; 2 Corinthians 5:10).
Read further concerning the fearful and intolerable pain of hell (Judith 16:17; Mark 9:46; Matthew 22:13; 24:51; 25:30, 41; Revelation 19:20; 21:8).
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APA style: (1617). Confession of Faith (1617) - Article XXXII. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/C6653.html/c6653_32.