The Restless Bed
(James Smith, "Food for Hungry Souls")
What is sown now — will be reaped in eternity.
Eternal life is the free gift of a gracious God.
Eternal punishment is the just wages of eternal sin.
We deserve Hell now — but we may escape it by fleeing to Jesus. If we refuse to do so — then we can only expect to reap the fruit of our folly.
Heaven is the gift of God's grace — but Hell is the wages of sin.
Every sinner makes his own Hell. In this light, let us look at the words of the Psalmist, "If I make my bed in Hell." Psalm 139:8
THE RESIDENCE. "In Hell."
WHAT is Hell?
Hell is the prison — in which the prisoners of God's justice are confined.
Hell is where punishment is inflicted on all who die at enmity with God.
Hell is the place where Satan acts the part of the chief tormentor.
Hell is the place where conscience, armed with terrible power, torments the guilty soul.
Hell is the place where reflection, aided by a strong and tenacious memory, afflicts without mercy or cessation.
Hell is the place where God frowns justly and eternally on the naked soul.
Hell is the place where everything calculated to . . .
satiate with terror,
fill with agony, and
torture with pain, exist.
While everything calculated to inspire hope, give pleasure, or impart relief — is excluded forever.
WHO is in Hell?
Satan and his demons — all those foul, wicked, and degraded spirits — who are filled with envy, malice, and enmity against God and man.
All unrepentant sinners — of all classes, creeds, places, and periods.
All who have . . .
stained the world with their crimes,
afflicted others with their cruelties, and
degraded themselves by their vices.
All the lowest, vilest, and basest of the human race!
God is there too, in his glorious majesty, almighty power, impartial justice, and awesome holiness! O how it will aggravate the sufferings of the lost — to have God's eye always fixed upon them, and the justice, holiness, and majesty of God ever shining before them!
WHAT is in Hell?
Justice with its flaming sword — is there.
Memory stored with the whole history of ones life — is there.
The worm that gnaws the vitals of the soul, but never dies — is there.
The fire that cannot be quenched, which tortures but never destroys our nature — is there.
But there is no Bible there.
There is no gospel with its joyful sound.
There is no gentle, loving Savior.
There is no loving friend or dear relation.
There is nothing to lessen or alleviate suffering!
Hell concentrates in itself, all the elements of misery, degradation, wretchedness and woe!
THE REST. "My bed." "If I make my bed in Hell." Rest in Hell? A bed in Hell? What kind of a bed could that be?
A bed composed of the thorns of bitter reflection.
A bed made up of the terrible inflictions of incensed justice.
A bed embracing . . .
the horrors of a guilty conscience,
the blackness and darkness of despair,
the ceaseless outpouring of the vials of the wrath of God!
This bed is . . .
ever heaving — like the restless ocean;
ever sinking — like a millstone, in the bottomless depths;
ever burning — like a lake of liquid brimstone; and
ever inflicting torments — beyond description or conception.
"MY bed" — the bed I procured by a life of sin.
"MY bed" — the bed I deserve for rejecting the Savior, and neglecting the great salvation.
"MY bed" — the bed awarded me by a just and holy God.
My OWN bed —
the only bed I can claim;
the only bed I can expect;
that bed for which I labored; and
which is the righteous wages of my sin.
My OWN bed — the only bed I shall have forever!
My OWN bed — on which there can be no rest day nor night. Ever wakeful, ever weary, ever cursing and condemning myself — here on my infernal bed — I am doomed, and justly doomed to lie forever!
THE EMPLOYMENT. "If I make my bed in Hell." Every man makes his own bed, and on the bed he makes for himself — he must forever lie.
What are sinners on earth doing? Making their bed in Hell!
Drunkard — you are making your bed in Hell, and a terrible bed it will be!
Dishonest man, by your tricks in trade, and various dishonest practices — you are making your bed in Hell, and an awful bed it will be!
Liar, by your falsehoods and deception — you are making your bed in Hell — and a liar's bed will burn with brimstone and with fire!
Profane swearer — you also are preparing for yourself, a dreadful couch!
Promiscuous man — the lusts you indulge now, will entwine about your soul like serpents, and sting and poison you, on your bed in Hell forever!
Hypocrite, pretending to be religious, when you know that you are not — I suppose few will have a more racking or torturing bed to lie on forever — than you will!
Careless sinner — you are making your bed in Hell, and you will perhaps repent of it when it is too late.
Trifling professor, worldly-minded church member — you too are making your bed in Hell, and it is to be feared that many will go from the church of God on earth — to be tormented forever on a bed in Hell!
There is a Hell — an eternal Hell. Justice provided it originally for the devil and his demons — but there is room in it for rebellious men, and if they die impenitent — they will be forever doomed to it!
No one will have a place in Hell, who does not richly merit and deserve it. Hell is just wages — for present sinful work. "The wages of sin is death" — eternal death. O terrible thought, to be working so hard on earth — only to receive the wages of eternal punishment in Hell!
"If I make my bed in Hell."
Young man — what if you should make your bed in Hell? It will be your own act and deed.
Young woman — what if you should make your bed in Hell? And you may — for the dance, the ball-room, pride of dress, and neglect of God, without any grosser vices — will be sufficient to prepare for you a bed in Hell!
Aged man — what if you should make your bed in Hell? What a dreadful close — to a long and trying life on earth.
Aged woman — is it possible that you should make your bed in Hell? It is — and more than possible!
Religious man — what if you should make your bed in Hell? What if after all your prayers, sacraments, and contributions to religious societies — your bed should be in Hell! And it will — if you are not found in Christ!
It does not matter — whether young or old,
whether professor or profane —
unless you are washed in the blood of Jesus;
unless you are sanctified by the Spirit of God;
unless you are reconciled to God by the death of His Son
— you will certainly make your bed in Hell.
Look well to it, then, I beseech you — that you have saving faith in Christ, and that you are regenerated by the Holy Spirit — for without true holiness, no one can see the Lord. Without holiness — you will certainly make your bed in Hell!