A Desperate Case!
by James Smith
"There was no remedy!" 2 Chronicles 36:16
Israel had polluted God's sanctuary, mocked His messengers, despised His word, and misused His prophets — until the wrath of the Lord arose against them, and there was no remedy! Their case became desperate, for God would tolerate no more. He would use no more means to bring them to repentance — but He gave them up and brought wrath upon them to the uttermost!
Their disease was become inveterate — no relief could now be obtained. God rejected them, and no other physician could be found. The city was destroyed, the temple leveled with the dust, thousands of the inhabitants slain, and a vast multitude of souls lost forever! What a fearful picture! What a lesson is set before us!
Dear friends, the subject suggests a solemn caution; it cries aloud, "Beware!" It bids us to inquire and examine.
WHO were the people that were brought into this desperate state? They were the descendants of Abraham, the friend of God. They had been religiously educated, they had the ordinances of God, the priesthood, the written word, and the prophets. They felt assured that they were safe, for their false confidence was very strong. Hence the prophet complains, "They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity. Yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say, "Is not the Lord among us? No evil can come upon us!" Micah 3:10, 11
To whom does this now especially speak?
1. To the children of godly parents, who have taught them, prayed with them, and endeavored to lead them in the everlasting way.
2. To the regular attendants upon public worship, who pollute the sanctuary by their lightness, their worldliness, and their indifference. How many trifle! How many encourage worldly thoughts! How many show themselves indifferent to the most solemn subjects!
They, like those referred to in the narrative, despise the Lord's word. He sends His servants to warn them of their danger; to counsel them for their good; to exhort them to flee and be safe; to pronounce His threatenings against the impenitent; and to invite all to lay down the weapons of rebellion, and receive pardon, peace, and protection. But they mock His messengers, and one goes to his farm, and another to his merchandise. They make light of the gospel message, and despise the goodness and patience of God, until there is no remedy. O fearful case! O alarming situation!
But WHEN may this be the case? When may it be said of a sinner, that there is no remedy?
1. Sometimes in life and health; for the Lord says of the fools who hate knowledge, "Then they will call to Me but I will not answer; they will look for Me but will not find Me. Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord, since they would not accept My advice and spurned My rebuke — they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes!" Proverbs 1:28-31.
2. More particularly in the hour of death. How many presume on a death-bed repentance; and yet they have no promise of grace at that hour, they have but little ground to hope for acceptance then. But if deprived of reason by fever, the paralyzing stroke, or dementia — then indeed it is clearly seen that there is no remedy.
And oh, to be banished from time into eternity with a load of unpardoned sin upon the conscience, to suffer the just wrath of God forever — how terrible is this!
Then comes the judgment — but there is no remedy; for impartial Justice sits upon the throne, and the record of the man's thoughts, words, and actions, is exposed; and in characters which cannot be erased, is written:
"He trifled with My mercy,
he insulted My justice,
he dared My power,
he laughed at My authority,
he rejected My gospel,
and he refused My grace!"
O fearful case! — there is no remedy!
In vain for mercy now they cry,
In lakes of liquid fire they lie!
There on the flaming billows tossed,
Forever — oh, forever lost!