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74. The Fire of Judgment Day

1. At the end of time sin and all uncleanness on the earthshall cease. Those who are voluntarily and irrevocably given toevil will all be in hell. The earth where man has sinned will becleansed and purified.

2. It appears that the cleansing agency for the bodilyworld will be fire. We read in scripture (I Peter 3:12): "Theheavens being on fire will be dissolved, and the elements shallmelt with the burning heat."

3. The cleansing final fire will doubtless be the samekind of fire as the natural sort with which we are familiar. Asnatural water washedthe sinful world in the great flood, sonatural fire will cleanse it at the last day.

4. The heavenly bodies are not subject to contamination byman's sin. They need nothing to fit them for the state of glorybut to have their local movement set at rest by divine decree.

5. It seems that after the cleansing by fire, thesubstances of air, earth, fire, and water will remain, but aspurified, and no longer in natural conflict with oneanother.

6. Therefore, all earthly substances, including fireitself, will be purified and cleansed in the final fire.

7. The cleansing fire will precede the judgment: "Afire shall go before him" (Ps. 96). Yet the special action offire which will engulf the wicked will follow upon theirjudgment.

8. The final fire will act on men as the instrument ofdivine justice. It will reduce or change all bodies; but it willpain the wicked, and not the good, except in so far as temporalpunishment may still be needed for the cleansing of the good.

9. With the purifying of the world by fire, all that isevil and ugly will be cast into hell with the wicked; all that isbeautiful and noble will be taken up to heaven for the glory of theelect.

"Many words do not satisfy the soul; but a good life eases the mind and a clean conscience inspires great trust in God."
Thomas á Kempis

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"A single act of uniformity with the divine will suffices to make a saint."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"Obedience is the true holocaust which we sacrifice to God on the altar of our hearts."
St Philip Neri

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