GS 2010 art 131

GS 2010 Article 131 – Hymn: Day of Judgement Day of Wonders

1.          Material

  • 1.1        Letters from Ancaster (8.3.J.36), Attercliffe (8.3.J.25), Neerlandia (8.3.J.23), and Fergus North (8.3.J.35).
  • 1.2       SCBP Report, Section Four, 10.3.II.19 (8.2.j).

2.          Observations

  • 2.1        This hymn deals with the return of Christ to judge the living and the dead.
  • 2.2        Some churches object that the hymn is doctrinally unclear because it says that on the last day, we will say “This God is mine”(stanza 2, line 2), and we ask Christ: “Own me in that day as Thine” (stanza 2, line 3), contrary to what we confess in Lord’s Day 1.
  • 2.3        Some churches object to the fact that this hymn says that sinners’ hearts will be confounded (stanza 1, line 3), when in fact on that day, sinners will not be confounded but terrified.
  • 2.4        One of the churches objects to the statement that “At His call the dead awaken, rise to life from earth and sea,” questioning whether it is proper to say that all the dead rise to life.
  • 2.5        One church objects to the words: “All the evildoers shaken by His looks prepare to flee,” since they will not be able to flee.
  • 2.6        One church objects to the expression: “See the Judge our nature wearing,” since it may suggest that Christ did not truly take on our human nature, and share in our flesh and blood.

3.          Considerations

  • 3.1        While it is true that as we confess in LD 1 Christ does already own us, as the ad hoc committee notes in its remarks, it is not wrong or incorrect to pray for what we already have. Certainly it is biblical for a believer to confess that God is “my God.” Cf. Thomas’ confession in John 20:28, and Paul’s words in Philippians 4:19.
  • 3.2        Luke 21:25 speaks about nations being in perplexity at the return of Christ. Therefore it is not incorrect to say that sinners’ hearts will be confounded on that day.
  • 3.3        In Article 37 BC we confess that the wicked will “become immortal.” In that respect it is not incorrect to say that all the dead rise to life.
  • 3.4        Revelation 6:15 speaks about the human race hiding “in caves and among the rocks of the mountains” on the great day of the wrath of the Lamb. Therefore it is not incorrect to say that evildoers will prepare to flee on that day. We also note that the hymn does not say that they will flee; only that they prepare to flee.
  • 3.5        I Corinthians 15:54 and II Corinthians 5:2-4 speak about us “being clothed” with an imperishable and immortal nature, and with our heavenly dwelling. Clearly the meaning is not merely that we will in some temporary or superficial way “wear immortality or imperishability,” but that our nature will in fact be changed. Therefore, it is acceptable to speak about Christ having taken on our nature as “wearing our nature.”

4.          Recommendation

That Synod decide to approve the inclusion of the Hymn Day of Judgement Day of Wonders in the expanded hymn section of the Book of Praise, as recommended by the SCBP.