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The Intermediate State

The Intermediate State

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Published by glennpease
BY H. N. M'TYEIRE, D.D.



" And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not
the promise ; G-od having provided some better thing for us, that they with-
out us should not be made perfect." — Heb. xi, 39, 40.
BY H. N. M'TYEIRE, D.D.



" And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not
the promise ; G-od having provided some better thing for us, that they with-
out us should not be made perfect." — Heb. xi, 39, 40.

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 21, 2013
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THE ITERMEDIATE STATEBY H. . M'TYEIRE, D.D." And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received notthe promise ; G-od having provided some better thing for us, that they with-out us should not be made perfect." — Heb. xi, 39, 40.o one has yet been saved in heaven : no one sent to hell. Thesestates and conditions wilLuot be awarded till the judgment; and itwill not take place till the resurrection." It ia appointed unto men once to die, but after this, the judg.ment." God has also " appointed a day in the which he will judgethe world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained."" That man " has described to us the order and awful glory of " thatday." It is future — how far off, we know not. Meantime, deathreigns. For six thousand years men have been dying. What of thesouls of the departed ? What of all who have died, and who shalldie between this day and the last 1o vain or irreverent curiosity inquires here. A state so near, socertain, concerns us all. The soul would explore before entering" the land of darkness, as darkness itself." We look, we cannot helplooking in that direction. That long interval between death and the judgment, how is it spent, and where ? Reflection upon such themessobers and chastens us ; brings worldly thoughts to a solemn pause ;lessens the dread of death ; introduces us to edifying communionwith the things which are not seen, and kindles gratitude and loveto Him to whom we owe these lively hopes.This chapter recites the names and deeds of heroes and heroines of faith : their noble epitaph — " Of whom the world was not worthy."A.fter obeying, suffering and illustrating their service, they died ; butthe promise, in its fullness, was still ahead 5 the " rest," the'* heavenly country," the "city prepared by Grod" — all, all laybefore them.374 THE ITERMEDIATE STATE.o salvation is perfected under the Mediatorial dispensation, untilthat dispensation is consummated. The Mediator must reign till hehath put all enemies under his feet by conversion or subjection.
 
Death, the last enemy, must be destroyed ; his bands be broken, hispains loosed, and every grave opened and emptied. " Then comeihthe end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, eventhe Father Then shall the Son also himself be sub- ject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be allin all."This Mediatorial sovereignty is distinct from that which he shares,as the Son, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, in the essentialunity of Godhead. It was delegated for a time and a purpose. Allpower was given unto him, in heaven and earth ; head over all thingsto the church. When he has brought sons and daughters to glory — saved his church, then, except so far as his reign is with and overthem, his mediatorial sovereignty may end — be merged in the originaland eternal sovereignty which he has as God the Son, with God theFather and God the Holy Ghost.Patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs have gone before ; we shallovertake them ; others us ; and the communion of saints be enjoyedin being perfected together. There are advantages in an advanceposition. To have " the ends of the world come upon us," is notwithout lis advantages. Our times are in God's hand ; he has dis-tributed and disposed of us well. Let us be thankful for the timeswe live in. The redeemed in Jesus Christ are one family. They bearone family name, and are bound up in one covenant and fate, fromrighteous Abel to the last praying, trusting, self-renouncing Christianwho shall die in the Lord." One family we dwell in him.One church above, beneath — Though now divided by the stream,The narrow stream of death."Chrysostom has remarked on the text : " Still they had not re-ceived it, still they waited for it, even after they had ended their lifein such tribulation. So much time had passed after their victory,and still they had not received it ! And should we sigh because westand yet in the conflict 1 Hemember what is said, that Abrahamand the Apostle Paul sit and vmit, until thou art made perfect.Until we come, has the Saviour said, he will not give the reward toTHE ITERMEDIATE STATE. 375tnem ; just as a tender father would say to his good sons Tyho hadfinished their work, < I will give you to eat when your brother also
 
comes.' The Lord does no wrong to them, but he does honor to us."Of the state of the dead during the interval between death, thedissolution of soul and body, and the resurrection, when soul andbody are re-united forever, the three opinions most seriously enter-tained, are :1. An unconscious state. To one dead, time is of no note ; no-thing to mark it by : no scenes, no moving bodies, no succession of ideas. The grave is without a dial-plate. Hence, like a dream inthe night, it will seem but a moment between closing the eyes indeath and awaking to judgment.This cheerless theory involves a subtile distinction between realand apparent time not to be attributed to the teaching of the HolyScriptures. St. Paul's willingness to be " absent from the body,"in which he was so useful to the churches and the brethren, was inview of the happiness — not of vital suspension, but of being " presentwith the Lord." The reverse was, " at home in the body — absentfrom the Lord." The Apostle, in his earthly presence, was fullyalive, conscious. Moses and Elias had been sometime dead whenBeen and communed with on the Mount of Transfiguration. Jesusencouraging the dying thief — "This day," etc. — meant what he said.2. Souls go immediately to heaven or hell. This view has manydifficulties. For the present, hear Mr. Wesley :* " * The beggardied ' — here ended poverty and pain — * and was carried by angels ' — nobler servants than any that attended the rich man — ' into Abra-ham's bosom ;' so the Jews commonly termed what our blessed Lordstyles paradise ; the place where the wicked cease from troublingand where the weary are at rest ; the receptacle of holy souls fromdeath to the resurrection. It is indeed very generally supposedthat the souls of good men, as soon as they are discharged from thebody, go directly to heaven : but this opinion has not the least found-ation in the oracles of Grod Paradise is not heaven.It is indeed (if we may be allowed the expression) the antechamber[elsewhere,' porch'] of heaven, where the souls of the righteous re-main till, after the general judgment, they are received into glory."3. A conscious interval, which all shall pass through, except thosefound on the earth at the second coming of Christ. There is a place•* Sermon on Dives and Lazarus.

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