God has three hands!
(The sermons of Matthew Mead, 1629-1699)
"It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God!" Hebrews 10:31
What is meant by God's hands?
1. There is God's protecting hand, which is sweet and comfortable.
2. There is God's chastening hand, which is bitter, but profitable.
3. There is God's revenging hand, which is neither comfortable nor profitable, but astonishing and fearful. This is the hand of God's wrath, by which He executes judgment on unrepentant sinners, without remedy, and without mercy. This is the hand which the text points at: "It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God!"
Now men go on in their sins securely—and God is quiet and lets them alone. Now they speak peace to themselves in the midst of their sin and rebellion. But when God's hand takes hold of them in judgment—then He will repay sinners for all the wrongs they have done Him all their lives long, "As surely as I live forever, when I sharpen My flashing sword and My hand grasps it in judgment—I will take vengeance on My adversaries and repay those who hate Me!" Deuteronomy 32:41
God being the living God, is matter of great terror to those who hate Him—as it is of comfort to those who love and fear Him!
He is the living God, and if you fall into His hands—then you must be the eternal prisoner of His wrath! As long as God lives—you will be miserable, and damned and undone! He is the living God, and as long as He lives—so the sinner shall live under the weight of His wrath and vengeance. The unrepentant sinner will bear His wrath as long as He is the living God!
God lives forever, and therefore, the believer's Heaven shall be forever!
And because God lives forever—the sinner's Hell shall be forever!
The life of God is eternal, and therefore He can punish us eternally. So Christ says: "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into Hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him!" Luke 12:4-5
O! that you would seriously consider that God is a living God! Think of this when you are about to sin: "This sin is done in the sight of the living God! I must give an account of this sin before the living God!"
It would be an awakening thing if we would but let this thought dwell in our minds—that God is a living God, and that I must have to deal with this living God forever, either in Heaven or Hell!
Nothing is so dreadful to a soul under wrath, as to consider that God lives forever. It is that which puts a terror into all those attributes of God which are engaged against the lost soul. The justice of God and the wrath of God are terrible—and the power of God is that which makes them so. God's wrath is made even more terrible, by its being eternal. It is His power that makes His justice terrible—and eternity that makes His power dreadful. The eternity of Hell, makes Hell more dreadful than His power; His power makes it sharp and painful—His life makes it everlasting—and everlastingness is the sharpest sting in Hell's misery!