Unbelievers in the Second Helvetic Confession

What does Heinrich Bullinger make of unbelievers?

First, he opines that … unbelievers and the ungodly will descend with the devils into hell to burn forever and never to be redeemed from torments.

Second, the Word of God remains true because … the things signified or announced in (its) words are offered by God, even if the ungodly and unbelievers hear and understand the words yet do not enjoy the things signified, because they do not receive them by true faith.

Third, [the unbeliever] who comes to this sacred Table of the Lord without faith, communicates only in the sacrament and does not receive the substance of the sacrament whence comes life and salvation; and such men unworthily eat of the Lord’s Table. Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, and eats and drinks judgment upon himself.

Fourth, at death, unbelievers are immediately cast into hell from which no exit is opened for the wicked by any services of the living.

In sum, then, for Bullinger, being an unbeliever is about the worst thing that one can be. I concur.  The decision not to believe is the worst of all possible decisions.

One thought on “Unbelievers in the Second Helvetic Confession

  1. irishanglican 12 Mar 2010 at 10:16 am

    Seeking to exhort the unbelieving today in a postmodern culture is not easy. Again, the best is to use the Word of God itself, to show that the loss of God is eternal! The Reformers took this literal, as should we. Pascal’s wager is not really a bad philosophical place to begin to my mind.

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