Catechism 28

If last week’s catechism question was hard, this week’s is vastly harder, and it’s with great trepidation that I approach setting this to poetry. But the question of divine punishment of sin is one from which we cannot escape if we want to grapple with what it means to live before a righteous God. My prayer is that we might see His goodness and glory emerge from it all.

What happens after death to those not united to Christ by faith?
At the day of judgment they will receive the fearful but just sentence of condemnation pronounced against them. They will be cast out from the favorable presence of God, into hell, to be justly and grievously punished, forever.
(New City Catechism)

What justice?
Faith demands more than reason knows
And turns the human eye away
From self to righteousness.

What reason?
The burning heart forges its own hell
And turns itself from humble faith
To Self’s false righteousness.

What answer?
That all are warned, without excuse.
Yet mercy saves and waits, commands
The righteous-made to speak.

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