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"Then He will say to those on His left¬óDepart from Me,
you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for
the devil and his angels!" Matthew 25:41
This solemn sentence breathes out nothing but fire and
brimstone, terror and horror, dread and woe! The last
words that Christ will ever speak to the ungodly, will be:
the most tormenting and dreadful,
the most stinging and wounding,
the most killing and damning!
Here is utter rejection: "Depart from Me¬óPack! Begone!
Get out of My sight! Let Me never more see your faces!"
"Depart from Me!" is the first and worst of that dreadful
sentence which Christ shall pass upon the ungodly at last.
Every syllable sounds horror and terror, grief and sorrow,
dread and astonishment¬óto all whom it concerns.
Certainly, the tears of hell are not sufficient to
bewail the loss of heaven!
Here is imprecation: "You who are cursed!"
"But Lord, if we must depart, let us depart blessed!"
"No! Depart¬óyou who are cursed!" You shall be . . .
cursed in your bodies,
and cursed in your souls,
and cursed by God,
and cursed by Christ,
and cursed by angels,
and cursed by saints,
and cursed by devils,
and cursed by your wicked companions!
Yes, you shall now curse your very selves,
your very souls¬óthat ever you have . . .
despised the gospel,
refused the offers of grace,
scorned Christ, and
neglected the means of your salvation!
O sinners, sinners¬óall your curses, all your maledictions
shall at last recoil upon your own souls! Now you curse
every person and thing which stand in the way of your
lusts, and which cross your designs. But at last, all the
curses of heaven and hell shall meet in their full power
and force upon you! Surely that man is eternally
cursed¬ówho is cursed by Christ Himself!
"But, Lord, if we must depart, and depart cursed, oh let us
go into some good place!" "No! Depart into the eternal fire!"
Here is vengeance and continuance of it. You shall go into
fire, into eternal fire! The eternity of hell¬óis the hell of hell.
If all the fires that ever were in the world, were contracted
into one fire¬óhow terrible would it be! Yet such a fire would
be but as 'painted fire' upon the wall¬ócompared to the fire of
hell. It is a very sad spectacle to behold a malefactor's body
consumed little by little in a lingering fire. But ah, how sad,
how dreadful, would it be to experience what it is to lie in
unquenchable fire¬ónot for a day, a month, or a year, or a
hundred or a thousand years¬óbut forever and ever!
"If it were," says Cyril, "but for a thousand years, I could
bear it; but seeing it is for eternity¬óthis frightens and
horrifies me!" "I am afraid of hell," says Isidore, "because
the worm there never dies, and the fire never goes out!"
To be tormented without end¬óthis is that which goes
beyond all the bounds of desperation.
Grievous is the torment of the damned . . .
for the bitterness of the punishments;
but more grievous for the diversity of the punishments;
but most grievous for the eternity of the punishments!
To lie in everlasting torments,
to roar forever in anguish of heart,
to rage forever for madness of soul,
to weep, and grieve, and gnash the teeth forever
¬óis a misery beyond all expression!
Mark, everything that is conducible to the
torments of the damned, is eternal:
God who damns them is eternal!
The fire which torments them is eternal!
The prison and chains which hold them are eternal!
The worm which gnaws them is eternal!
The sentence which is upon them, shall be eternal!
Fire is the most furious of all elements, and therefore
the bodies of men cannot be more exquisitely tormented
than with fire. The bodies which sinned on earth, shall
be punished and tormented in hell. What can be more
grievous and vexatious, more afflicting and tormenting
to the bodies of men¬óthan eternal fire? Oh, then, how
will the bodies of men endure to dwell in unquenchable
fire, to dwell in everlasting burnings! The brick-kilns of
Egypt, the fiery furnace of Babylon, are but as a spark,
compared to this tormenting hell, which has been
prepared of old to punish the bodies of sinners with.
"The sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling grips the
godless! Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire?
Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?" Is. 33:14
Wicked men, who are now the jolly fellows of the times,
shall one day go from burning¬óto burning; from burning
in sin¬óto burning in hell; from burning in flames of lusts
¬óto burning in flames of torment; except there be found
repentance on their side, and pardoning grace on God's side.
Surely, the serious thoughts of the agonies of hell
while people live¬óis one blessed way to keep them
from going into those torments after they die! Look!
as there is nothing more grievous than hell¬óso there
is nothing more profitable than the fear of hell.
"Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath!"
1 Thessalonians 1:10
"For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to
receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ."
1 Thessalonians 5:9