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Friday, September 18, 2015

What Hell Means


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

(Archibald Brown, "The Scriptural Doctrine of Hell!")

"For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to Hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; if He did not spare the ancient world when He brought the floodon its ungodly people; if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly--if this is so, then the Lord knows how to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment!" 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 you who labor 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 judgment 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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