Lost, lost, lost! and lost for nothing!

Spurgeon, "The Soul's Crisis" #906. Luke 18:37.

What is it to be lost?

To be cast away from the presence
of God, to be cast into hell, to have
to suffer, and that forever, all that
the justice of God can demand, all
that the omnipotence of God can inflict.

Why, sirs, if I have but a headache,
or a toothache for one brief hour, my
patience can scarcely endure the torture.

What must it be to suffer such pains for a
century? Man, I cannot guess what it must be!

What must it be to have ten thousand times
worse pains than these for ever and ever?

But all the pangs and pains from which
men suffer here are nothing to be compared
with the woes and mental anguish of the
world to come.

Oh, the agony of a spirit doomed, forlorn,
accursed, upon which God shall put his foot in
awful wrath and lift it up no more for ever!

And there, as you lie, tormented to the quick,
you will have this to be your miserable portion:
I heard the gospel, but I would not heed it;
Christ was put before me, but I would not
acknowledge him; I was entreated to believe
in his name and fly to him for salvation, but
I hesitated, hung in suspense, demurred, and
at length denied him.

And all for what?

For a little drink, a little dance, a little sin
that yielded me but slight pleasure, or for
worldly gain, or for low and groveling vices,
or for sheer carelessness and gaiety!

Lost, lost, lost! and lost for nothing!

A sinner damned! He lost his soul, but
he did not gain the world. He gained
only a little frivolous pleasure, even
that poor pittance he spent in an hour,
and then he was forever cast away!

There is a time, we know not when,
A point we know not where,
That marks the destiny of men,
To glory or despair.

There is a line, by us unseen,
That crosses every path;
The hidden boundary between
God's patience and his wrath.

To pass that limit is to die,
To die, as if by stealth:
It does not quench the beaming eye,
Or pale the glow of health.

The conscience may be still at ease,
The spirits light and gay;
That which is pleasing still may please,
And care be thrust away.

But on that forehead God has set
Indelibly a mark,
Unseen by man; for man as yet
Is blind and in the dark.

And yet the doomed man's path below,
Like Eden, may have bloomed;
He did not, does not, will not know,
Or feel that he is doomed.

He knows, he feels, that all is well,
And every fear is calmed;
He lives, he dies, he wakes in hell,
Not only doomed but damned.

O where is your mysterious line,
By which our path is crossed,
Beyond which God himself has sworn,
That he who goes is lost?

How far may we go on in sin?
How long will God forbear?
Where does hope end? and where begin
The confines of despair?

An answer from the skies is sent-
'You that from God depart,
While it is called today, Repent!
And harden not your heart.'