I received this from my friend Chris in an email.
I took this from a biographical sketch on Thomas Hooker. A key puritan in the US… look at his perspective in death…
In 1647, Hooker became ill during an epidemic that was spreading across the country. On his deathbed, he communicated to Thomas Goodwin that his “peace was made in heaven and had continued for thirty years without alteration.” A close friend said to him just before he died, “You are going to receive the reward of all your labors.” Hooker responded, “Brother, I am going to receive mercy.”
Common to all men, upon death, we need mercy above all things… for the best we have to give falls gravely short of what is required.
The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.
We will be judged according to the standard of Jesus… Of this standard we all fall short, even Mr. Hooker. Thankfully, God has granted that through faith in Jesus’ atoning death we are actually credited with his (Jesus’) perfect life.
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
I thank God that he is “just” AND the “justifier.” As the hymnst say, “my hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name.”