Grace Protestant Reformed Church

Understanding the End of All Men

Date: PM
Text: Psalm 73:17
Psalters: 418, 329, 201, 202
    1. This is a passage of Scripture which clearly answers common grace.
    2. Asaph has been struggling to understand why God gave prosperity of the wicked and troubles of the saints (Psalm 73:3-14).
  1. Found in the sanctuary.
    1. Instead of drawing conclusions on the basis of experience and sight, we must go to the sanctuary of God.
    2. For us in the New Dispensation it is in the assembly of believers under the preaching of God’s Word.
      1. There God explains the gospel of eternal and unchanging grace.
      2. There God reveals the truth about time and the coming eternity with a heaven and a hell.
  2. The end of the rich and happy wicked (Psalm 73:18,19).
    1. Physical death (though without bands, 4) is the end of earthly life; life on earth does not continue forever!
    2. But more, their “end” is eternal death (not reincarnation, nor extinction).
    3. Further, the wicked receive just punishment at the hands of the God against whom they have arrogantly sinned!
      1. It is: “destruction” (ruin) and “desolation” (appalling waste), “utterly consumed” (terrible and complete consumption).
      2. He, Who is a consuming fire (Heb. 12:29), does the casting down, consumes them, and causes them to perish.
      3. And it is sudden (“as in a moment”) whether they die in bed of old age or violently in the prime of life.
    4. Knowledge of the end of the prosperous wicked means that the way on which they have been set is smooth, “slippery.”
  3. Now consider the troubles of the God-fearing people.
    1. Without understanding their end, their troubles are curses, but the troubles have an end determined by God.
    2. In the earthly life of the elect God “guides” us by His sovereign counsel unto glory (Psalm 73:24).
      1. This counsel not only determined election, but it also determined every detail of the way in His great goodness.
      2. The end or goal of all God’s guidance of His Israel is “glory.”
      3. Into this glory God actively “receives” (takes) us.
    3. In God’s sanctuary the psalmist and we understand that the troubles of this present time are necessary for the future glory.
    4. No more reason to doubt God’s goodness to His people.