Sunday, 12 July 2015

It is His groans, His tears, His cries--which best tell what Hell means!

It is His groans, His tears, His cries--which  best tell what Hell means!
(Archibald Brown, "The Scriptural Doctrine of Hell!" 1878)

"For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;
And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:" 2 Peter 2:4-9

It is now customary to describe the views of future punishment held by most of us, as 'medieval', and to declare that our ideas are mainly gleaned from pictures to be found in old galleries. I suppose I have seen about as many of the old masters in the galleries of Europe as most--but I must acknowledge I have never yet seen any picture from hand of a medieval artist half so dreadful as some of the descriptions that fell from our Lord's lips!

'Medieval' is it, to speak about weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth? These words came not from the lips of any mortal man. They fell from the same lips that said, 'Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.' Neither Paul, nor Peter, nor any of the apostles, ever uttered such words as leaped from the lips of the Man of Sorrows. Christ's descriptions of Hell are the most fearful that we have! It is the lips of infinite love that speak of being cut asunder, and about burning with the fire that is never quenched!

O brethren, if you want to measure the deep horrors of the lost--you must measure them by the cross of Christ! It is His groans, His tears, His cries--which  best tell what Hell means! Your breaking heart, Lord Jesus--Your flowing blood--Your death-cry of 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?'--these are the things that say to me more than anything else, 'There is a dreadful judgement to come upon the sinner for his sins!'

He who . . .
  hurled the angels from Heaven to Hell,
  and drowned the ancient world,
  and destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah--
has still power to smite! Oh, do not rouse my God to anger. Will you count His patience to be indifference? Because He still lengthens out the time of grace, will you presume on it? 'Escape for your life! Flee from the wrath to come!'

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