THE WORST OF HELL

92000000000262120_1920x1080.jpg(Ralph Venning, “The Plague of Plagues!” 1669)

Sin is worse than Hell!

Hell is only a punishment–but sin is a crime! The crime is more evil than the punishment. Hell is the punishment for the crime of sin. The very greatness of this punishment–argues the greatness of the crime, and the sinfulness of sin. That God is glorified on men in such a way–is a clear and full proof what an evil thing it is to sin against and dishonor God. Consequently Hell itself does not inflict so much hurt–as sin does. Hell, indeed, is a dismal place of horror and torment, the extremity of suffering–but it never had any existence until sin came. Nor could Hell have such extreme torments as it does–if sin were not there.

It is reported as a saying of Anselm, that if sin and Hell were set before him and he must go through one of them–he would choose to go through Hell, rather than sin!

Sin is the worst of Hell–and worse than Hell! Sin is what makes sinners cry out for the torment of devouring fire and everlasting burnings–which are no terror to righteous and upright souls (Isaiah 33:14,15). It is sin which makes Hell to be Hell. God was never angry–until sin made Him so. His wrath was never kindled–except by sin.

Now just as sin made Hell, so the more sin–the worse the Hell!

“These shall receive greater damnation!” Mark 12:40

I Am a Poor Creature

Regenwurm1(John Newton’s Letters)

My recent journey was very pleasant–but I ought to wish that it was profitable. I have had long experience how little I am able to improve by the most desirable advantages–and how little I am affected by a combination of the greatest mercies.

I may express all my complaints in one short sentence: “I am a poor creature!”
And all my hopes and comforts may be summed up as briefly, by saying: “I have a rich and gracious Savior!”

Full as I am in myself of inconsistencies and conflicts–I have in Him, a measure of peace. He found me in a waste howling wilderness–and He redeemed me from the house of misery and bondage. And though I have been ungrateful and perverse–He has not yet forsaken me–and never will. He is able to hold even me up–to pity, support and supply me to the end of life.

How suitable a Savior! He is made all things to those who have nothing–and is engaged to help those who can do nothing.

“Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost, those who come to God through Him–since He always lives to make intercession for them!” Hebrews 7:25

As a Pig In His Muck

800px-Three_Pigs_Sleeping(John Newton’s Letters)

“Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful–but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life!” Revelation 21:27

If we do not exactly know the particulars of what Heaven is–then we know to a certainty what it is not. We are sure that it is not like earth–there are no ale-houses, gambling parlors, or theaters there.

How then could those whose hearts are set upon these things–possibly be happy even in Heaven, where they would be separated forever from all that they love? Heaven must be a Hell to an unhumbled, unsanctified sinner–even if he could be admitted there. The company, the employments, the enjoyments–are of the same kind with what he despised on earth. If you admit a pig into your parlor among your friends–he would find no pleasure there. He would rather be in the sty, or wallowing in the mire in a ditch!

Well, such were some of us–yes, such were all of us once! And you, my dear friends, though you were not vile profligates like me–you were carelessly swimming down the stream of the world, and, when upon the edge of the whirlpool which would have eternally swallowed you up–He snatched you with a strong hand, set your feet upon a rock, established your goings, and has put a new song in your mouth!

“By the grace of God I am what I am!” 1 Corinthians 15:10

Pastors: Do Not Neglect Your Responsibilities

Dutch Venice(Thomas Brooks, “A Word in Season to Suffering Saints”)

“Covetousness, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:5

Covetousness is explicit idolatry.

Covetousness is the darling sin of our nation.

Covetousness being idolatry–is highly provoking to God.

This leprosy has infected all sorts and ranks of men.

Whatever a man loves most and best–that is his god. The covetous man looks upon the riches of the world as his Heaven–his happiness–his great ALL.
His heart is most upon the world,
his thoughts are most upon the world,
his affections are most upon the world,
his discourse is most about the world.

He who has his mind taken up with the world, and chiefly delighted with the world’s music–he has also his tongue tuned to the same key, and takes his joy and comfort in speaking of the world and worldly things. If the world is in the heart–it will break out at the lips. A worldly-minded man speaks mostly of worldly things. “They are of the world, therefore they speak of the world,” John 4:5. The love of this world oils the tongue for worldly discourses, and makes men . . .
forget God,
neglect Christ,
despise holiness,
forfeit Heaven.

Ah! the time, the thoughts, the strength, the efforts–which are spent upon the world, and the things of the world–while sinners’ souls lie a-bleeding, and eternity is hastening upon them!

I have read of a greedy banker, who was always best when he was most in talking of money and the world. Being near his death, he was much pressed to make his WILL. Finally he dictates:

First, I bequeath my own soul to the devil–for being so greedy for the muck of this world!

Secondly, I bequeath my wife’s soul to the devil–for persuading me to this worldly course of life.

Thirdly, I bequeath my pastor’s soul to the devil–because he did not show me the danger I lived in, nor reprove me for it!

“People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction!” 1 Timothy 6:9

Worse Than Devils!

49000000000252082_1920x1080(Ralph Venning, “The Plague of Plagues!” 1669)

“Fools mock at sin!” Proverbs 14:9

Those who mock at sin, are worse than fools and madmen!

Tell them, as Lot told his sons-in-law of the danger and judgments which hang over their head–and, as with Lot, you seem to them as one who jokes. Genesis 19:14. They laugh at it, as if God were not in earnest when He threatens sinners–and as if those who preach against sin were deranged.

“To do evil, is like sport to a fool!” Proverbs 10:23. There are some who sport themselves on their way to Hell–as if sin were but a recreation! What fools are they–who laugh at their own folly and destruction! It is a devilish nature in us, to mock at the calamity of others–but to laugh at our own calamity, seems to be worse than devilish!

There are many, too many, who mourn under affliction–yet laugh over their sins! They sigh and weep when they feel any burden on their body–but make merry at that which destroys their soul! Can anything be more mad than this–to laugh, mock and make sport at that which eternally wrongs and damns their own souls!

The wicked laugh over their sin now. But if they do not repent–then they will weep forever in Hell over it!

Holiness is the beauty of earth and Heaven–without which we cannot live well on earth, nor shall ever live in Heaven. Certainly those who jeer and scoff at holiness, will be turned into Hell.

We Are Still Alive Because…

39000000000241930_1920x1080(Ralph Venning, “The Plague of Plagues!” 1669)

“The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease–for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning! Great is Your faithfulness!” Lamentations 3:22-23

If sin is so exceedingly sinful–so contrary to, and displeasing to God–then surely . . .
His patience is exceedingly great,
His goodness is exceedingly rich, and
His long-suffering is exceedingly marvelous
–even such as to cause astonishment!

We are all living monuments of God’s goodness and patience! It is of the Lord’s mercies that all of us are not altogether and utterly consumed–and that in eternal Hell!

Such is . . .
the power of His patience,
the infiniteness of His mercy and compassion,
and the riches of His unsearchable grace!

Consider the multitude of sinners in the world. If it were only one or two sinners–then they might be winked at and passed by. But all the world lies in wickedness (1 John 5:19). There is none righteous–no, not one! If there had been only ten righteous ones–then God would have spared Sodom, although ten thousand sinners might be there. Yet there is not a single man to be found who does not sin. All have sinned–and that continually. What grace, then–what patience is this!

Consider the multitude of sins committed by every sinner. Every sinner commits innumerable sins! If all men had sinned only once–it would have mitigated the matter. Sin, however, has grown up with men. Not a single good thought is to be found in their hearts! (Genesis 6:5) Sin grows up faster than men do–they are old in sin, when still young in years. They are adding iniquity to iniquity, and drawing sin on with cords and ropes, committing it with both hands greedily, as if they could not sin enough! They dare God Himself to judge them. They drink down iniquity like water, as if it was their element and nourishment and pleasure also. Yet, behold, how miraculously patient is God!

God sees sin–He is sensible of it and angered about it–for it grieves and vexes Him. God is able to avenge Himself whenever He pleases–yet He forbears with sinners. Be astonished at it!

It is a wonder that men are spared so long–especially if we consider how quickly God cast the angels that sinned down to Hell!

O the wonder of sovereign grace!

On To Our Rest

77000000000249404_1920x1080Mr. Andrews met with many storms and billows during his voyage on the sea of life!

(John Newton’s Letters)

“Father, I desire that those whom You have given Me be with Me where I am–that they may behold My glory!” John 17:24

My Very Dear Friends,
We wished that Mr. Andrews might remain much longer in this world of sin and sorrow–but the Lord had much better things for him. The time was come when He would have him near His throne, to behold His glory–and therefore our prayers were overruled.

I hope dear Mrs. Andrews can say from her heart, “The Lord does all things well.”

The time is short, and those who weep should be, if believers–as though they wept not. Many whom we loved best while here, and who are gone a little before us–are waiting for us. The joy of meeting where there will be no parting–will make abundant amends for the pain of a temporary separation.

Mr. Andrews met with many storms and billows during his voyage on the sea of life–but we trust he is now in that peaceful haven, where the winds of trouble never blow.

What a wonderful transition–to pass, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye–from pain and sickness and weeping friends–to join in the songs of the innumerable company of the redeemed before the throne of God and the Lamb!

“And God will wipe away all tears from their eyes. And there will be no more death, nor mourning, nor crying out, nor will there be any more pain; for the first things passed away!” Revelation 21:4

Father Knows Best!

Old traditional carpenters tools retro vintage style

(John Newton’s Letters)

“My times are in Your hands!” Psalm 31:15

This world seems all uncertainty–yet all is under the unspeakably gracious and infallibly wise direction of our Heavenly Father.

Oh! This is the great thing to be desired–to be savingly interested in the promise which engages that all things shall work together for our good–to give us a fitness for the inheritance of the saints in light, so that at last we may attain to His eternal joy. That will make rich amends for all the trials we can meet with along the way.

Our heavenly Father knows best, what is good for us. Oh, for grace to yield ourselves simply and cheerfully to His wise management. Hitherto He has helped us, and all His paths have been mercy and truth. What reasons have we to praise Him for the past–and to trust Him for the rest!

The Lord knows, and He permits me to tell Him what I feel or fear or wish. But when I have done so, it befits me to submit all to Him and to say, “Not my will–but may Your will be done.” I aim to say this from my heart, and to account it not only my duty–but my privilege to prefer His choice to my own.

The Lord graciously adjusts all our concerns–and it is our privilege to peaceably and thankfully submit to His judicious management. Our times are in His hands. Vastly more than we are aware of, depends upon the Lord’s wise controlling of all our affairs. Is it not a comfort to a blind man, to have an unfailing guide whom he may fully and safely trust?

May we be willing to leave all our concerns in His skillful and faithful hands–to live to Him and for Him today, and to trust Him for the events of tomorrow.

Oh how happy we are–when we can leave all in His nail-pierced hands!

The Temporary Lives of Man

398px-A_view_of_a_field_in_the_foreground_with_wind_turbines_and_city_scape_in_the_background“Man is like grass: we ought not to be startled at anything reminding us of our own frailty and mortality. All scripture and all history teach us that though man flourish as a flower for a moment, still he must soon wither like the grass. Blessed is he who habitually needs not to be reminded that he must die; and yet so far from being dejected thereby betakes himself to the Almighty, and in him finds friend, refuge, husband, Redeemer.” –William S. Plumer “Psalms” Ps. 103 p. 919

https://stilltheyspeak.wordpress.com/2017/06/16/man-is-like-grass/

Our Suffering Isn’t Forever

No-man's-land-flanders-field(John Newton’s Letters)

“Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.” John 16:33

Every step we take, brings us nearer to our Father’s house! We shall soon be at Home–where the wicked cannot trouble, and where the weary are at rest.

How wisely the Lord varies His dispensations!

They are not all painful–lest we should be too much cast down.

Nor are they all pleasant–lest we should forget what and where we are.

Nor do our troubles come all at once. They are parceled out at different intervals, that one wound may be well healed before another is inflicted.

The Lord has wise reasons for all that He does–and we shall, before long, know them more clearly. In short, He does all things well! May we even now be thankful and yield a sweet submission to His holy will. He has a sovereign right to dispose of us as He pleases–and He has promised that He shall work all together for our good.

He has promised us peace in Himself–but in the world, He bids us to expect many trials and sorrows. The same or equal or greater afflictions–are common to all His people. We would never say, “This is too hard!” if we considered that we are sinners, and therefore always suffer less than we deserve.

The time is short–our obligations are unspeakably great–and Heaven will make amends for all! Surely then we should cheerfully, yes thankfully, take up our crosses, and follow our Lord–since we are assured that if we suffer with Him and for Him, we shall also reign with Him. Time flies apace, and past troubles will return no more. Every pulse we feel, beats a sharp moment of the pain away–and the last stroke will soon come. Then sorrow and sighing shall flee away–and joy and gladness shall come forth to conduct us Home! That time will come–yes, it is drawing nearer every hour!