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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

An Exposition of the Assembly's
Shorter Catechism

by John Flavel

Of Immediate Glorification.

Q 1. Do all that die in Christ immediately pass into glory?
A. Yes, they do; Luke 23:43. To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise; Philippians 1:23. Having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ.

Q. 2. What is the first reason for their immediate glorification?
A. Because heaven is prepared and ready for them; Matthew 25:34. Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

Q. 3. What is the second reason for it?
A. Because at death they are as ready for heaven as ever they shall be; John 9:4. I must work the work of him that sent me, while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work.

Q. 4. What is the third reason for it?
A. Because death else could not be gain, as it is, Philippians 1:21. For to me to live is Christ; and to die is gain.

Q. 5. What is the fourth reason for it?
A. Because there is the same reason for all, as for any one: But some are immediately glorified; Luke 23:43. To-day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.

Q. 6. What is the fifth reason for it?
A. Because Christ longs for their coming to him, and they for his enjoyment; and these longings are in vain, if not satisfied; Revelation 22:17, 20. And the Spirit, and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth, say, Come. And let him that is athirst, come: And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. He which testifieth these things, saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen, Even so come, Lord Jesus.

Q. 7. What is the first instruction from hence?
A. That the apparition of departed saints ordinarily are but fables: They wander not; Revelation 3:12. Him that overcometh, will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out.

Q. 8. What is the second inference?
A. That Purgatory is a groundless fable, and invention of men; and the scriptures alleged to countenance it, grossly abused; I Peter 3:19. By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison.

Q. 9. What is the third inference?
A. That heaven must needs be a marvellous surprise to believers, how long soever they have conversed with it here.

Q. 10. What is the fourth inference?
A. The consideration of this should provoke saints to work hard to finish all they have to do on earth; Ecclesiastes 9:10. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

Q. 11. What is the fifth inference?
A. That there is no reason to grieve excessively for departed saints; 1 Thessalonians 4:14. Even so them also which sleep in Jesus, will God bring with him.

Q. 12. What is the last inference?
A. That Christless ones are immediately in hell; Luke 16:22-23. The rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments.

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