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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

An Exposition of the Assembly's
Shorter Catechism

by John Flavel

Of God's Eternality

Q. 1. What is it to be Eternal as God is?
A. The Eternity of God is, to be without beginning, and without end, Psalm 90:2. From everlasting to everlasting thou art God.

Q. 2. How doth God's Eternity differ from the Eternity of Angels, and Human Souls?
A. It differs in two respects: First, In this, That though the Angels, and the Souls of men shall have no end; yet they had a beginning, which God had not. Secondly, Our Eternity is by gift from God, or by his appointment; but his Eternity is necessary, and from his own Nature.

Q. 3. In what sense is the Covenant called an Everlasting Covenant?
A. The Covenant is called and Everlasting Covenant, 2 Samuel 23:5. because the mercies of it, conveyed to Believers, as Pardon, Peace, and Salvation, are mercies that shall have no end.

Q. 4. In what sense is the Gospel Everlasting?

A. The Gospel is called the Everlasting Gospel, Revelation 14:6. because the effects thereof upon the Souls it sanctifies, will abide in them forever.

Q. 5. In what sense is the Redemption of Christ called the Eternal Redemption?
A. The Redemption of Christ is called Eternal redemption in Hebrews 9:12 because those whom he redeems by his Blood shall never more come into Condemnation. John 5:24. He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.

Q. 6. Why is the last judgment of the world by Christ, called Eternal judgment?
A. The last judgment is called Eternal judgment, not because God judged men from Eternity, or because the Day of Judgment shall last to Eternity; but because the consequences of it will be Everlasting joy or misery to the Souls of men; therefore it's called Eternal Judgment, Hebrews 6:2.

Q. 7. What may wicked men learn from the Eternity of God?
A. Hence wicked men may seee their own misery in the perfection of it; that they will have an eternal enemy to avenge himself upon them forever, in the World to come. 2 Thessalonians 1:9. Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction, from the presence of the Lord.

Q. 8. What may good men learn from it?
A. That their joy and happiness will be perfect and endless, who have the Eternal God for their portion. Psalm 16:11. In thy presence is fulness of joy, at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Q. 9. What may all good men and bad learn from it?
A. All men may learn three things from the Eternity of God. First, That their life is a thing of nought, compared with God. Psalm 39:5. Mine age is nothing before thee. Secondly, That sins, or duties, long since committed, or performed, are all present before God. Thirdly, That God can never want opportunity to do his work, and carry on his designs in the world. All time is in the hand of the Eternal God. Revelation 12:12. The devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

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