Tag Archive | Hell

Man’s Choice!

Man’s Choice!

James Smith, 1856

Every man has the power of choosing for himself, and he exercises that power, either to his destruction or salvation. If left to himself — his choice ruins him; if swayed by the grace of God — that grace saves him. Man’s nature and disposition may be known by his choice. How do men in general choose? Look at four points.

First, their course. The man that chooses his own course, chooses a course of sin.

He lies, because he chooses.

He swears, because he chooses.

He gets drunk, because he chooses.

He steals, because he chooses.

He commits fornication or adultery, because he chooses.

He despises the Gospel, because he chooses.

The course he chooses is a sinful course, just the opposite of the course pointed out by God’s holy and righteous law. Hence the Lord says, “They have chosen their own ways.” If man deliberately chooses to disobey God, to break his holy law, and live daily insulting him to his face — can he complain if God punishes him for his guilty, daring, inexcusable conduct? Especially when he is warned of his danger, exhorted to desist, invited to turn to the Lord, and promised a free pardon of all sin upon doing so! Can it be unjust in God to punish such sinners? If they were reasonable — would they not expect to be punished?


Secondly, their companions. Sinners love sinners, therefore if a man choose his own companions — he will choose sinful companions. He will not choose the prayerful, the holy, the self-denying ones. The mirthful chooses mirthful companions. The wicked chooses wicked companions. Just look into the alehouse, into the brothel, or into the theater — who are there? Companions. How did they come there? It was their own choice. Why did they choose to go there? Because they were wickedly inclined, and had “pleasure in unrighteousness.”

So, if wechoose sinners, ungodly people, for our companions now — can we expect that God will put us among his children, or give us a place in Heaven with the saints when we die? If we enjoy the company of the wicked or the carnal on earth — could we enjoy the company of the holy, the spiritual, in Heaven? It is impossible! If, therefore, we choose the company of lost sinners now — we must expect to be associated with lost sinners forever. If we choose their pleasures now — we ought to expect to suffer their punishment in eternity.


Thirdly, their object of trust. We must have an object of trust — or someone or something in which to confide. Now, the Lord proposed himself to be that object — but man chooses anyone or anything before the Lord! Does he want to trust in someone for safety? He will trust anyone — even a dog, or a stone wall, before he will trust the Lord. Does he want something on which to trust for eternal life, or on which to build his hopes of Heaven? He will trust his own tears, or prayers, or sufferings, or works; yes he would sooner trust in his very sins, than trust in the precious blood and glorious righteousness of the Lord Jesus. The very spirit of Popery is, refusing to trust in Christ alone for acceptance with God. The essence of Puseyism is, refusing to rely on the atonement of Christ alone for everlasting life. This is the stone that is set at nothing of all Popish, Puseyite, Socinian, and a thousand other builders. Yet God proposes the work of Christ alone, and the person of Christ alone — to be the object of our trust and confidence. If men refuse to trust in Jesus only, as God bids them, and prefer trusting in some spider’s web, or building upon some sandy foundation — can they complain if God “rejects their confidences,” and allows them to reap the due desert of their folly?


Fourthly, their end. There is an end that is divinely glorious — it is everlasting life; and there is an end which is unutterably dreadful — it is everlasting destruction away from the presence of the Lord, and the glory of his power.

Now, he who chooses to walk in the way — may be said to choose the end to which it leads; especially if he does so after he is warned, and the result of his course is kindly and clearly pointed out. Now, strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leads unto life, and few there are who find it. But because wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leads to destruction — many there are who go in thereat. Yet to all who read the New Testament, Jesus says, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate, for strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leads unto life, and few there are who find it.” The same admonition is uttered from the pulpit, repeated in this book, and presented to the eye and ear of sinners in a thousand forms.

Now, if under such circumstances men choose the broad road, persevere in the broad road, and refuse to be either driven or drawn from it — are they not also choosing the end to which the broad road leads? And if they choose death in the error of their ways — can they complain if they find themselves at last in everlasting burnings? The fate of the sinner is both reasonable and just, it is but the wages of his sin!

Source: https://www.gracegems.org/Smith5/mans_choice.htm


He Descended Into Hell?

A little note on what this line in the Apostle’s Creed historically meant:

NaphtaliPress/Chris Coldwell:

On descended into hell, the Westminster divines add this note: “i.e. Continued in the state of the dead, and under the power of death till the third day.” The also say “And albeit the substance of the doctrine comprised in that Abridgment commonly called, The Apostles’ Creed, be fully set forth in each of the Catechisms, so as there is no necessity of inserting the Creed itself, yet it is here annexed, not as though it were composed by the Apostles, or ought to be esteemed Canonical Scripture, as the Ten Commandments, and the Lord’s Prayer (much less a Prayer, as ignorant people have been apt to make both it and the Decalogue), but because it is a brief sum of the Christian faith, agreeable to the Word of God, and anciently received in the Churches of Christ.”

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/apostles-creed-he-descended-into-hell.16619/, Comment 3

Visit the thread to read more about the meaning of this line.

No Believer Shall Ever Be Locked Up In Them

Robert Traill (The Throne of Grace), Works 1:101-102:

Steingaden Unterengen1 Getreidekasten 002Death and the grave are strong and cruel, Song 8:6. They have taken, or will take all mankind prisoners, and are able to keep them; only they took one prisoner, Jesus Christ, who was too hard, too strong, for them. Death had dominion over him but for a little while, and by his own consent, Rom. 6:9; but it hath no more dominion over him. But he hath dominion over it: I have the keys of hell and of death, Rev. 1:18. Courage, believers in, and heart-lovers of Jesus Christ! Death and hell are indeed dreadful jails; but as long as Christ keeps the keys (and that will be till he cast them both into the lake of fire, Rev. 20:14), no believer shall ever be locked up in them. If hell were searched never so narrowly, amongst all the condemned prisoners there, no man or woman could be found in it, in whose heart there was ever one spark of true faith in, or love to the Lord Jesus.

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/90762-Dreadful-jails-but-Christ-keeps-the-keys, Comment #1

In The Bounty Of His Providence

Into the sun (13044240813)

Thomas Manton:

“we can draw no argument of love or hatred from outward things. Many ungodly men may prosper in this world; they cannot say therefore that God loves them. Prisoners have an allowance till the time of their execution, so have carnal men; God in the bounty of his providence gives them a great many comforts and mercies in the present life.”

~(Works, 14:382.)

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/88910-Common-grace-due-to-love-%28not-merely-God-giving-reprobates-more-sticks-for-burning%29, Comment #4

The Prosperity of the Wicked — and the Adversity of the Righteous!

Siemiradski Fackeln

The prosperity of the wicked — and the adversity of the righteous!
(Arthur Pink, “No Marvels” 1952)

“If you see oppression of the poor, and perversion of justice and righteousness throughout the land — do not marvel at the matter.” Ecclesiastes 5:8

In the midst of his soliloquizings and moralizings, King Solomon interjected an occasional counsel or exhortation: “Moreover, I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, there was wickedness; and that in the place of righteousness, wickedness was there also.” (Ecclesiastes 3:16), and he bids his readers not to be surprised or stumbled thereat.

It was a timely word, for such passages as Job 12:6 and 21:7; Psalm 73:2-12; Jeremiah 12:1 show that the Old Testament saints were deeply exercised over the prosperity of the wicked — and the adversity of the righteous. Solomon, therefore, seeks to remove this stumbling-block and prevent their taking offence at, or murmuring against, God’s divine government.

Fallen human nature being what it is, we should not think it strange that the strong oppress the weak, or that justice should be corrupted by those in high places. Man is made to reap the bitter harvest of his apostasy from God.

Yet, however perplexed we may be over the success which so often rewards the workers of iniquity, let us be assured that nothing escapes the notice of the Most High God, that He “regards” and has wise reasons for permitting the frequent miscarriage of human justice by the magistrates and rulers of earth. There is One infinitely above to whom they must yet render an account, and from whom they will receive “a just recompense of reward.” (Hebrews 2:2)

“But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills. Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. From their callous hearts comes iniquity; the evil conceits of their minds know no limits. This is what the wicked are like — always carefree, they increase in wealth.

Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence. When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me — until I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny! Surely You place them on slippery ground; You cast them down to ruin. How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors!” Psalm 73

Source: http://www.gracegems.org/2014/10/wicked.html

By the fire which burnt down our city!

Barry Point Fire 05 (7803364122)

Fort McMurray has burned down.  Thankfully, my family members who lived there were spared, although their possessions were not.  Here is a note on fire for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear:

(Thomas Vincent, “God’s Terrible Voice in the City!” written shortly after the “Great Plague of London” and the “Great Fire of London”)

By the fire which burnt down our city — God calls upon London to secure themselves against the fire of Hell!

London’s fire was dreadful — but the fire of Hell will be a thousand-fold more dreadful!

The fire of London was kindled by man — but the fire of Hell will be kindled by God Himself! “The breath of the Lord, like a stream of burning sulfur, sets it ablaze!” Isaiah 30:33

The fire of London burnt the houses of the city, and consumed much of the goods; but the fire of Hell will burn the wicked themselves, “Depart, you cursed ones, into everlasting fire!” Matthew 25:41

The fire of London burned most — but not all of the houses in the city; some are yet remaining — but the fire of Hell will burn all of the wicked, not one of them shall escape and remain!

The fire of London was extinguished, and lasted but four days — but the fire of Hell will be inextinguishable, it will burn forever! It is called everlasting fire, in which the damned must lie and burn eternally, without any possibility of ever leaving.

If you had known before of London’s fire, where it would begin, and how it would spread and seize upon your houses — surely you would have taken some course for the prevention of it. You surely know now of the fire of Hell — the Word of God has revealed it. O take some course for preventing of it, at least for securing of yourselves against it.

When the fire was burning in London you fled from it, lest it should have consumed your body as well as houses. O fly from the fire of Hell, into which you will be thrown, if you go on in sin! Flee from the wrath which is to come! Flee unto Jesus Christ, who alone can deliver you!

Source: http://www.gracegems.org/2011/03/burnt.html

It Is That They Shall Be Destroyed Forever

Thomas Boston, Works, Volume 1, “Of the Providence of God”:

Pieter Aertsen 019Sometimes we see men walking contrary to God, and yet providence smiling on them, and caressing them, as if they were the darlings of heaven. This has puzzled the best of men. It put Jeremiah sore to it, chap. xii. 1. 2, ‘ Righteous art thou, Lord, when I plead with thee : yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments : wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper ? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously? Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root : they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit ; thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins.’ It was near carrying Asaph quite off his feet, Psal. Ixxiii. 13. ‘ Verily, I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. But, O! is there not a beautiful harmony in this with scripture-examples ? How did all Israel as one man back Absalom in his rebellion ? How did Haman rise till he could come no higher, unless he had got the throne ? And the tyrant Nebuchadnezzar carries all before him according to his wish, &c. And scripture-doctrine unriddles the mystery, Psal. xcii. 5, 6, 7. ‘ O Lord, how great are thy works ! and thy thoughts are very -deep. A brutish man knoweth not : neither doth a fool understand this. When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish : it is that they shall be destroyed for ever.’

Source: https://thepuritans2.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/thomasbostonvolume1.pdf