The Sinner's Doom!
James Smith, 1855
"These shall go away into everlasting punishment!" Matthew 25:46
WHO shall go away into everlasting punishment? Every unbeliever. Every soul that leaves this world without a new birth. Every one who does not sincerely love Christ. All who do not experimentally know God, and practically obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. Every prayerless person. Every liar. Every swearer. Every drunkard. Every immoral person. Every fornicator. Every one who lives and dies an enemy to God.
Reader, what is your character? Are you included among any of the foregoing? If so, Jesus says that at the judgment of the great day, that you will be sentenced to everlasting punishment! Is not this fearful? Ought we not very seriously to think of it? Can we be excused if we trifle with it? But to what shall we be sentenced if we do?
"These shall go away into everlasting punishment!"
To be driven away from God forever.
To be associated with devils and damned souls.
To be shut up in the prison of Divine justice.
To suffer directly from the wrath of God.
To endure the lashings of an enlightened conscience.
To be scourged with the most bitter reflections.
To be tormented by Satan, who now deceives and misleads us.
To be filled with black despair.
To be plunged into a lake of fire and brimstone.
To be punished in every faculty of the soul, in every sense and in every member of the body.
To be punished in exact proportion to . . .
the sins we have committed,
the light we have been favored with,
the privileges we have slighted, and
the convictions we have stifled.
To be punished under circumstances which will convince us that our punishment is just and equitable, and that God would not be just if he punished us less.
This will . . .
shut the mouth,
embitter the pain,
arm conscience with the most powerful weapon,
and sink us into the most fearful agony.
But how long will this punishment continue? Forever!! For it is —
EVERLASTING PUNISHMENT! It must be so, for SIN, which is the cause of punishment — will continue. Punishment never converted a soul to God yet — and never will. The punished will go on sinning, and sin will require the continuance of punishment. Where punishment is inflicted, no mercy is shown, no gospel is proclaimed, no hope can he excited — therefore, no repentance can be produced.
It must be eternal, for GOD who punishes is eternal. He is the eternal God. He will ever live, and while he lives — he will hate sin; and while he hates sin — he will punish the condemned sinner.
It must be eternal, for the WORM that inflicts the most exquisite part of the punishment is so. "Their worm never dies, and the fire never goes out!" Conscience will ever live — and the fire will forever burn.
It must be eternal, for . . .
the CHAINS that bind them are everlasting (Jude 6);
the PRISON is blackness of darkness forever (Jude 13); and
the PUNISHMENT is the vengeance of eternal fire (Jude 7).
It must be eternal, for the SENTENCE is. It cannot be repealed — for it is just. It dooms every impenitent sinner to go away from God, from hope, from ease, from happiness, from Heaven — and to go "into everlasting fire!"
Dear reader, think of these things! Knowing the terrors of the Lord, I would persuade you. O think of eternal fire! O think of hopeless despair! And think that you may now escape these, for Jesus is able to save you; he invites you to look to him and be saved; and he promises that if you come unto him he will never cast you out. Look, look then to Jesus! Fly, fly this moment to his arms! Fall, fall at his feet, and seek and obtain everlasting life! But if you will not, I assure you that you shall surely perish — and perish justly, too!