O think of eternal fire!
(James Smith, "The Sinner's Doom!" 1855)
"These shall go away into everlasting punishment!" Matthew 25:46
WHO shall go away into everlasting punishment?
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.
All who not practically obey the teachings of our Lord Jesus.
Every prayerless person.
Every immoral person.
Every one who lives and dies an enemy to God.
"These shall go away into everlasting punishment!"
To be driven away from God forever.
To dwell 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 them.
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.
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 has never converted a soul to God yet — and never will. The punished will go on sinning, and sin will require the continuance of punishment.
It must be eternal, for GOD who punishes is eternal. He is the eternal God.
He will live forever, 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 It cannot be repealed — for it is just.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 depart from God, from hope, from ease, from happiness, from Heaven — and to go "into everlasting fire!"
Dear reader, think of these things! 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! 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!