Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Puritans (Part 7) - The Wrath To Come

Yesterday I finished up the post on 1 John 2:2 and this morning I opened my email to find this from Grace Gems. If you have any question about what it was that Jesus saved us from, or why it is that we need a Savior, just read this.
"Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come!" 1 Thessalonians 1:10

By "the wrath to come" we are to understand the infinite wrath of the sin-avenging God—in comparison with which, the wrath of all other creatures in the world is mild, and not in the least to be regarded.

This wrath which is to come, will be most bitter—beyond any gall or wormwood to the taste. This wrath will be most pure—without any allay or mixture of any comfortable ingredients. This wrath will be most plentiful—the treasury of which will be opened in hell, and all the damned will be filled with it abundantly. This wrath will be most weighty—beyond any mountain of lead, to sink sinners down into the bottomless pit. This wrath will be most fierce—and so powerful that all the powers of men and devils shall not be able to make the least resistance. This wrath will be intolerable—and yet must be borne; it will be implacable—so as never to be appeased; and it will be eternal—so as never to be ended!

This wrath will include the punishment of loss—will consist of the loss of the crown, glory, and happiness of heaven, where the righteous shall be admitted to the immediate vision and full fruition of God the chief good, which will fill them with soul-ravishing, inconceivable, and eternal joy. But from this, all the wicked will be eternally shut out, and wholly denied any share in the least of that happiness which, when they come to understand the worth and excellency of it—will above all things be most vexing to them!

This wrath will include the punishment of sense—will consist in the horrible pains and tortures which shall in extreme measure be inflicted upon every part of the bodies of all the wicked, by the most dreadful and unquenchable fire into which they shall be thrown; and the horrible anguish which, through the immediate impressions of God's wrath, shall be inflicted upon every faculty of their souls in hell, where they shall have no ease or release forever! Matthew 25:41, "Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels!" Revelation 14:10-11, "They shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation, and shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends up forever and ever, and they have no rest day or night."

The wicked are vessels fitted by sin for destruction, and prepared for wrath; and therefore they shall be filled with it! God has treasured up wrath for the wicked—as they have treasured up sin! God will give them that which they have so much deserved, and which He has prepared for them. However sinners may vainly hope to flee or hide themselves from the stroke of God's vengeance, yet God's right hand will find all those who hate Him; and He will make them as a fiery oven in the time of His anger, swallow them up in His wrath, and devour them with the fire of His indignation! (Psalm 21:8-9).

The souls of the wicked, as soon as they are loosened by death from the ruinous habitation of their bodies, presently appear before God, are condemned to hell, and are dragged by the devil, hell's jailer, into that prison where they are bound in chains of darkness, filled with horror and anguish until the day of eternal judgment!

Oh, the dread and confusion which the wicked then shall be filled with—when they are summoned and dragged to the tribunal seat of Christ—and there have the books opened before them, where all their sins are written, and which will then be made manifest to the whole world; and when the sentence "Depart, you who are cursed, into everlasting fire!" shall be passed upon them; and when the Lord shall open the treasury of wrath to them, and give them that portion thereof, which is their due; and when they shall see the mouth of hell open beneath them, and a horrible flame issuing forth from there, giving notice of a more horrible fire within which is prepared for them!

Oh, the dread! Oh, the shrieks! Who can dwell with such devouring fire! Who can inhabit such everlasting burnings! How welcome would a great rock or mountain be—if they could find any that would fall upon them, and hide them from the wrath of the Lamb, and keep off the strokes of God's vengeance, which then will be inflicted upon them!

But, the sentence being pronounced—the execution will follow—and none can escape it! From Christ's tribunal seat, the wicked will be thrown into the fiery prison of hell, where they will be shut down and shut in, and that forever! There they will lie; there they will fry, and there they will cry! Though always dying—they will never die! The fire there will burn most dreadfully and continually, yet will never be extinguished! The wicked will be tormented there, in every part and in extreme measure—and their torment will never be ended!
Thomas Vincent (1670)

Remember, it is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4), and what could be more kind than being saved from this? Take some time today to thank God for sending Jesus to redeem us and thank Jesus for the salvation that He provided.

What an awesome God we serve!
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1 comment:

Sicarii said...

Wow, the modern Church sure doesn't preach it like how they did in those days, does it?! This is powerful.

Thank you for the link to Grace Gems too, brother. I'm loving the site!

Hope all has been well with you, Chris.

Shalom!