Hell Is Too Awful, Don’t Let The Fleeting Pleasures Of Life Lead You There – Spiritual Reading.
“The future state of those who reject in the life that now is the redemption offered to them in Christ Jesus is plainly declared in the Word of God to be a state of conscious, unutterable, endless torment and anguish. This conception is an appalling one, but it is the Scriptural conception. It is the unmistakable, inescapable teaching of God’s own word.
I wish that all men would repent and accept Christ. If any one could show me one single passage in the Bible that clearly taught that all men would ultimately repent, accept Christ and be saved, it would be the happiest day of my life, but it cannot be found. I once thought it could, and I so believed and taught.
These ideas so widely noised about to-day as something new, these theories of “Pastor” Russell, formerly of Pittsburg, Mr. Gelesnoff of this city, and Dr. Mabie of Long Beach, and Mr. Pridgeon of Pittsburg, and many others, are not at all new to me. I held and taught substantially the same views regarding ultimate universal salvation years before these men were heard of, indeed nearly forty years ago. I was familiar with the arguments that they now urge, and other arguments which they do not seem to know, but which were to me more decisive than those that they urge.
But the time came, as I studied the Bible more carefully, when I could not reconcile my teaching with what I found to be the unmistakable teaching of God’s Word. I had to do one of three things: I had to either give up my belief that the Bible was the Word of God, or else I must twist the words of Jesus (and others in the New Testament) to mean something else than what they clearly appeared to teach, or else I must give up my doctrine of ultimate universal restoration and salvation.
I could not give up my faith that the Bible was the Word of God, for I had found absolutely overwhelming proof that it was God’s Word. I could not twist the words of Jesus and of others to mean something else than what was clearly their intended meaning, for I was an honest man.
There was only one thing left to do and that was to give up my doctrine of universal restoration and salvation. I gave it up with great reluctance, but I was compelled to give it up or be untrue to my own reason and conscience. It is the inescapable teaching of the Word of God that all who go out of this world without having accepted Jesus Christ, will spend eternity in hell, in a hell of unutterable, conscious anguish.
This Bible conception is also a reasonable one when we come to see the appalling nature of sin, and especially the appalling nature of the sin of trampling under foot God’s mercy toward sinners, and rejecting God’s glorious Son, Whom in His love He has provided as a Saviour.
Shallow views of sin and of God’s holiness and of the glory of Jesus Christ lie at the bottom of weak theories of the doom of the impenitent. When we see Sin in all its hideousness and enormity, the Holiness of God in all its perfection, and the Glory of Jesus Christ in all its infinity, nothing but a doctrine that those who persist in the choice of sin, who love darkness rather than light, and who persist in the rejection of the Son of God, shall endure everlasting anguish, will satisfy the demands of our own moral intuitions.
Nothing but the fact that we dread suffering more than we loathe sin, and more than we love the glory of Jesus Christ, makes us repudiate the thought that beings who eternally choose sin should eternally suffer, or that men who despise God’s mercy and spurn His Son should be given over to endless anguish.
If, after men have sinned and God still offers them mercy, and makes the tremendous sacrifice of His Son to save them—if they still despise that [mercy and trample God’s Son under foot, if then they are consigned to everlasting torment, I cannot but say, “Amen! Hallelujah! True and righteous are thy judgments, O Lord!”
At all events the doctrine of conscious, eternal torment for impenitent men is clearly revealed in the Word of God, and whether we can defend it on philosophical grounds or not, it is our business to believe it; and leave it to the clearer light of eternity to explain what we cannot now understand, realising that God may have many infinitely wise reasons for doing things for which we in our ignorance can see no sufficient reason at all. It is the most ludicrous conceit for beings so limited and foolish as the wisest of men are, to attempt to dogmatise how a God of infinite wisdom must act. All we know as to how God is to act is what God has seen fit to tell us.
In conclusion, two things are certain. First, the more closely men walk with God and the more devoted they become in His service, the more likely they are to believe this doctrine. Many there are who tell us they love their fellow men too much to believe this doctrine; but the men who show their love in more practical ways than by sentimental protestations about it, the men who show their love for their fellow men as Jesus Christ showed His, by laying down their lives for them, they believe this doctrine, even as Jesus Christ Himself believed it.
As Christians become worldly and easy-going [they grow loose in their doctrine concerning the doom of the impenitent. The fact that loose doctrines are spreading so rapidly and widely in our day is nothing for them, but against them, for worldliness is also spreading in the church (1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Tim. 3:1; 4:2, 3). Increasing laxity of life and increasing laxity of doctrine go arm in arm.
Second, men who accept a loose doctrine regarding the ultimate penalty of sin, be it Universalism, Restorationism, or Annihilationism, or that fantastic combination, or conglomeration, of them all, Millennial Dawnism, lose their power for God. I have seen this proven over and over again.
These men may be and are very clever at argument, and very zealous in proselyting, but they are seldom found beseeching men to be reconciled to God. They are far more likely to be found trying to upset the faith of those already won by the efforts of those who do believe in everlasting punishment than trying to win men who have no faith at all.
If you really believe the doctrine of the endless torment of the impenitent, if the doctrine really gets hold of you, you will work as you never worked before for the salvation of the lost. If you in any wise abate the doctrine, it will abate your zeal. Time and time again I have come up to this awful doctrine and tried to find some way of escape from it, but when I have failed, as I always have failed at last, when I have determined to be honest with the Bible and myself, I have [returned to my work with an increased burden for souls and an intensified determination to spend and be spent for their salvation.
Eternal, conscious suffering, suffering without the least ray of hope of relief, awaits every one of you here to-night who goes on persistently rejecting Jesus Christ, as you are rejecting Him to-night, and who shall pass out of this world having rejected Him. In that world of never ending gloom there will be no possibility of repentance. As you look out into the future there will not be one single ray of hope. “Forever and ever” will be the unceasing wail of that restless sea of fire.
After you have been there ten million years and look out toward the future you will see eternity still stretching on and on and on and on, with no hope. Oh, men and women out of Christ, why will you risk such a doom for a single year, or a month, or a week, or a day? Hell is too awful to risk for five minutes the chance of going there. There is but one rational thing for you to do, that is to accept Christ and accept Him right now as your Saviour, surrender to Him as your Lord and Master, confess Him as such before the world, and strive from this time on to please Him in everything day by day. Any other course is utter madness.
Excerpt From – The Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith By Reuben Archer Torrey.
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