If God is your enemy!
(James Smith, "The Way of Salvation Set Forth")
Unconverted reader, did you ever consider that solemn text, "He who being often reproved and hardens his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy!" Proverbs 29:1. You have been often reproved, yet you delay; you have refused . . .
to bow to God's authority,
to yield to His command,
to embrace His mercy,
to flee to the refuge He has provided,
to seek and obtain the pardon which He promises.
Instead, you have hardened your neck. What if He should destroy you! What if He should destroy you suddenly! He can, for He is almighty! He may, for He has threatened! If He should, what a dreadful condition would you be in forever! Shut up in hopeless despair, and destroyed without remedy!
While you delay, you are in the greatest danger!
A person slumbering in a burning house,
a man sleeping on the edge of a precipice,
a blind man walking round the crater of a volcano
— is safe, in comparison with you!
Around you are kindling the quenchless flames of Hell,
you sleep on the brink of the bottomless pit,
you are in danger of plunging into that lake of glowing brimstone, where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth!
"But those enemies of Mine who did not want Me to be king over them — bring them here and kill them in front of Me!" Luke 19:27
"If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God!" Hebrews 10:26-27
Consider, consider seriously, that while you delay, God is your enemy — and He is angry with you every day! Every sin provokes God to anger — but no sin is so provoking as unbelief, because it calls God s liar. To have an absolute monarch for your enemy is bad enough — but to have God for your enemy is infinitely worse! "God is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day. If He does not turn back, He will sharpen His sword; He bends His bow and makes it ready. He also prepares for Himself instruments of death; He makes His arrows into fiery shafts!" Psalm 7:11-13.
He waits to watch the conduct of delaying sinners, He gives them space for repentance, He is long-suffering toward them — but they will not turn.
He will sharpen His sword,
His bow is ready bent in His hand,
He has taken out His arrow from His quiver, and
the impenitent sinner is the mark at which He aims!
Will not His arrows pierce the heart?
Will they not inflict dreadful pains, and produce incurable wounds?
Will they not rankle and fester to all eternity.
If God wounds — then who can heal?
Think, dear reader, if you were shackled and placed before an assembled crowd, to be shot at with poisoned arrows, for injuring and insulting the king, and refusing his pardon — would not your case be dreadful?
But this would be nothing, compared with your present condition! You have insulted the God of mercy numberless times, in ten thousand ways; you have injured His creatures, you have joined yourself to His inveterate and determined foes! And He has offered you a pardon, not once or twice — but has waited years to see if you would accept it — but you have obstinately refused! And now justice, holy justice, demands that you be punished according to your deserts. Before assembled worlds, your folly will be published, and your sins will be proclaimed! And while God lives to punish, and justice remains unchanged — your sad, your just, your indescribable sufferings will continue!
To have God for ones enemy, is of all terrible things, the most terrible! Just look for one moment at His perfections, and see them all opposed to you.
If God is your enemy — then He is an Omnipotent enemy — and can you effectually oppose almighty power? He could crush you to atoms — but He will only punish you as justice demands. There is no cruelty in His nature — but there is dreadful inflexible justice.
If God is your enemy — then He is an Omniscient enemy! He . . .
sees your heart,
reads your thoughts,
knows your motives,
understands your designs, and
penetrates the deepest recesses of your soul.
Can you deceive him? Never! There is not a thought in your heart — but He knows it altogether! Your whole history is before Him — the secret, as well as the public. His eye will pursue you, and rest upon you throughout eternity! Should you sink to the deepest depths of Hell — His eye will rest upon you, and pierce your inmost soul. There is something very fearful in the thought of God's eye resting upon the lost soul forever, flashing conviction into the heart like the flashes of the fearful lightning.
If God is your enemy — then He is an Omnipresent enemy. As every sin was committed in His presence — so every pain must be endured in His presence. The sense of His presence in Hell, will be very different to our sense of His presence on earth. It will be fearful! It will be very dreadful! He is ever present — how then can you flee from Him? Where can you go? Where can you hide? What will conceal you from an ever present God!
O hasten to His throne of grace,
flee into the open arms of His mercy,
submit at once at His footstool — and
His omnipresence shall be your joy, your safeguard, and your refuge!
If God is your enemy — then He will be strictly Righteous. He will take no bribe. He will violate no principle of His government. He will never forget or rescind one threatening recorded in His word. Your just wages shall be paid — no more, no less. He now mingles mercy with His judgments — but there will be no mercy then. He is now emphatically "The merciful God," but He will not be so then.
Mercy will then give place to justice,
grace will then give place to equity,
and love will then give place to wrath —
in the experience of the lost soul.
If God is your enemy — then you will have an Eternal enemy. He can never die. From everlasting to everlasting, He is God. If only man were your enemy — he might die; and his death may work a deliverance for you. But if God is your enemy, there is no hope! He ever lives, and while He lives — He must hate sin. And while He hates sin — He must punish the sinner! O fearful case! The eternal God is your enemy! He will be your enemy forever!
Now, reader, dwell for one moment upon the solemn thought:
God is my enemy!
I have an Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Righteous, Eternal enemy!
One from whom I cannot escape.
One whom it will be Hell to face.
One whom my conscience will forever justify, while suffering the most dreadful torments.
Shall I rush upon the sword of His justice — or run into the arms of His mercy?
Think, delaying sinner. Pause, and say to yourself,
"I am under the curse and wrath of God.
If I die in this state I shall die . . .
without pity, and
My sins are all recorded in God's book,
I am unpardoned and unblessed,
Satan is my father and my god,
and Hell is my everlasting home!
All creation will despise me.
All in Heaven will frown upon me.
All in Hell will eternally upbraid me.
No one will respect or sympathize with me.
I shall forever lie under the burning wrath of God — a curse and eternal execration!"
Sickness is coming!
Death is coming!
Judgment is coming!
Eternity is just at hand!