He died — and where then?
(Thomas Doolittle, "Love to Christ Necessary to Escape the Curse at His Coming!" 1693)
"If any man does not love the Lord Jesus Christ — let him be Anathema! (or accursed)." 1 Corinthians 16:22
Must they be cursed who do not love Christ? Then know that worldly prosperity may co-exist with the curse of God. A man might be prospering in this world — and cursed in the world to come!
Do you see many whose lives declare they have no sincere love to Christ in their hearts — thrive and abound in outward enjoyments?
They do not love Christ — and yet are strong and healthy!
They do not love Christ — and yet are rich!
They do not love Christ — and yet are honored!
What then? Might not a man be in health — and yet be a cursed man? Nay, the more strength he has, the more able he is to serve the devil — and so his strength is a curse unto him. The more worldly trinkets a man has to love — the more he enjoys of the world — and the more he loves it. And so his enjoyments are a curse unto him, when they keep him from placing his love upon Jesus Christ.
God threatens to curse wicked men's blessings: "I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them!" Malachi 2:2
Many are apt to call the proud — happy, "But now we call the arrogant, blessed. Certainly the evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge God escape!" Malachi 3:15. The rich, though evil — are thought by many to be blessed. This is a great mistake! All men can see their outward blessings — but they have no eyes to behold the inward curses which lie under those outward blessings.
Is it not a curse to have riches — without saving grace?
Is it not a curse to have our portion and blessings — all in this life?
Is it not a curse to prosper in the world — and to be every moment in danger of falling into Hell?
Do you look upon it to be happiness — to have all for the body, and nothing for the soul? to have much of earth — and nothing of Heaven?
You read of some who "have their portion in this life" — and you read that their portion on earth is a cursed portion! It was so with the rich man spoken of in the gospel — who while on earth had his purple robes, and fine linen, and sumptuous costly dishes every day!
Oh, happy man! But wait until you hear the end. He died — and where then? To Hell! Where is now your happy man? What is his condition there? What! There he finds more pain — than all the fleeting pleasures he had while on earth! There he feels more torment and terror — than he had pleasure and delight all his days on earth! "Abraham said: Son, remember that in your life-time you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and you are tormented!" Luke 16:25
Remember that your pleasures were short and sweet — but Hell is long and bitter!
Remember that Lazarus is now blessed — and you are now cursed!
Remember that he is eternally happy — and you are eternally miserable!
Behold the change! The world's blessed man — is now God's cursed man! And he who was the miserable man in the esteem of the world — is now the blessed man!