Christ Preparing our Hearts 5

Be persuaded that your soul is far more valuable to you than the whole world and there are only two places (heaven and hell) that you will spend all eternity in.

While sinners are saved by grace alone, it is still true that the more the unconverted sin the greater their hell will be.

Deuteronomy 4:24 “For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

‘Tis the infinite almighty God himself that shall become the fire of the furnace exerting his infinite perfections that way. Jonathan Edwards

One way (perhaps the best) for sinners to take a first step at understanding how valuable their soul is to them is for them to understand the terrors of hell and the eternity of the wrath of God on them for their sin. If a person is not awakened to understand his or her plight and how helpless s/he is in sin, that person can be persuaded that an easy prayer or a simple stopping of external sins is enough. It is quite shocking for the careless sinner (including those who profess to be Christians) to come to grips with the hatred and wrath of Almighty God. Oh how they have been taught that God loves them and will never stop! What a profound error that is and the devastating effects it has to put sinners to sleep in their sin. How devastating it is for a sinner to be awakened to the fact that God Himself is a consuming fire and it is that consuming fire that will never be put out if that sinner enters eternity without Christ.

Perhaps it is as great a shock to then discover that each sin will increase the torment or level of torment in the damned. It is bad enough (they think) to be so rudely awakened to the fact that God loves no one in hell and that His wrath will be upon them for eternity and instead of it being lessened, it will be increased. Hell is not tolerable in the slightest, but instead it is far more hellish than the fallen human mind can comprehend in this life. But then to realize that God is a perfectly just God and that He will and must (because of His perfect justice) punish each sin, that should take all the life and strength from any hope that a sinner has of escaping the eternal flames apart from Christ Himself.

Jonathan Edwards explained it something like this. Each sin deserves an eternal hell since each sin against an infinite Being is an infinite wrong. Since human beings are finite beings and cannot satisfy for an infinite wrong, they must suffer for an infinite time (eternity) which is to say that their sufferings will never stop. But again, one sin deserves an eternity in hell. The point, then, in this context, is that a second sin that would be committed is worth another eternity of suffering. But obviously a finite being cannot completely satisfy one eternity, so a second eternity is not possible. This means that it is not the duration of the suffering that is increased, but it is the intensity that is increased. So a second sin will have to double the intensity of the suffering for all eternity. This is not getting into the issues of the gravity of sins being greater or lesser or things like that, but simply trying to give a mental conception of how things are. Each sin brings more punishment upon the sinner.

Luke 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

The Lord Jesus Himself must open the eyes of sinners to the reality of these truths. Those who go on drinking iniquity like water do not really believe this teaching. Those who go on in open sin may say they believe this, but Christ has not taught them this in their inner person. A person that has any sense of the value of his own soul and of where it will spend eternity will be in inner agony if Christ teaches him or her about this in the inner person. It is an awful truth, but having it sink into the depths of the soul will be more than a person can bear up under and go on just sinning and think nothing is going to happen. Each sin a person commits will be punished forever in hell and there the soul will learn how God Himself is the fire of hell and know the awfulness of His wrath.

But for now, it is Christ alone who can truly teach the soul this teaching. For those whom He does teach, however, they will flee from the wrath to come. They will find that Christ and His suffering on the cross was a perfect satisfaction for that wrath and that He did that in their place. They will find the glory of a free-grace instead of a free-will and that all the praise and glory is His. Those who truly find Christ will find that in heaven God is an infinite source of perfect joy and love. Eternity, eternity, oh how we must gain an understanding of the weight of eternity.

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