They will not believe it until they feel it!
(Thomas Brooks, "The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures")
"Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?" Luke 3:7
"Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath." 1 Thessalonians 1:10
1. The coming wrath is the greatest wrath. It is the greatest evil which can befall a soul. "Who knows the power of Your wrath?" Psalm 19:11. The coming wrath is such wrath as no unsaved man can either avoid or abide. And yet such is most men's stupidity, that they will not believe it until they feel it!
As God is a great God—so His wrath is a great wrath. If the wrath of an earthly king is so terrible—oh how dreadful must the wrath of the King of kings then be!
The greater the evil is, the more cause we have to flee from it. Now the coming wrath is the greatest evil, and therefore the more it concerns us to flee from it!
2. The coming wrath is treasured-up wrath. Sinners are still "a-treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath!" Romans 2:5. While wicked men are following their own lusts, they think that they are still adding to their own happiness. But alas, they do but add wrath to wrath! They do but heap up judgment upon judgment, and punishment upon punishment! Look! as men are daily adding to their treasure more and more, so impenitent sinners are daily increasing the treasury of wrath against their own souls.
3. The coming wrath is pure wrath. It is "judgment without mercy." The cup of wrath which God will put into sinners' hands at last, will be a cup of pure wrath—all wrath—nothing but wrath. "They must drink the wine of God's wrath. It is poured out undiluted into God's cup of wrath. And they will be tormented with fire and burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb." Revelation 14:10
Look! as there is nothing but the pure glory of God—which can make a man perfectly and fully happy; just so, there is nothing but the pure wrath of God—which can make a man fully and perfectly miserable. Reprobates shall not only sip of the top of God's cup—but they shall drink the dregs of His cup! They shall not have one drop of mercy, nor one crumb of comfort! They have filled up their lifetime with sin—and God will fill up their eternity with torments!
4. The coming wrath is everlasting wrath. "And the smoke of their torment ascends up forever and ever!" Revelation 14:11
They shall have . . .
punishment without pity,
misery without mercy,
sorrow without support,
crying without comfort,
mischief without measure,
torment without ease—
where the worm dies not, and the fire is never quenched.
The torments of the damned shall continue as many eternities . . .
as there are stars in the skies,
as there are grains of sand on the sea-shore,
and as there are drops of water found in the sea!
When the present worlds are ended, the pains and torments of Hell shall not cease—but begin afresh, and thus this wheel shall turn round and round, without end.
Oh the folly and vanity, the madness and baseness of poor wretched sinners, who expose themselves to everlasting torments—for a few fleshly momentary pleasures!
O sirs! "Who can stand before His fierce anger? Who can survive His burning fury? His rage blazes forth like fire, and the mountains crumble to dust in His presence!" Nahum 1:6
How should these things work poor sinners to flee to Christ, who alone is able to save them from the coming wrath. 1 Thessalonians 1:10