Christ Preparing our Hearts 22

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. If I shall come to glory, what a God shall I enjoy forever and ever! Into what blessed arms and bosom shall I cast my soul! And if I shall go to hell at least, can I bear up under the weight of God’s vengeance? Well, yet there is hope, God’s heart, the door of grace, and the gate of heaven, yet stands open. How would the damned in hell give thousands of worlds (if they had them) for my may be?

The heart cannot have a true view of heaven unless Christ prepares it and then gives it a foretaste of it. The heart cannot understand what the weight of God’s vengeance really is. But again, there are only two places that a soul can spend eternity in and it will spend eternity in only one of those two places. It will spend eternity in either eternal and exquisite joy and bliss in the arms of Christ or it will spend eternity in eternal torment and indescribable anguish of soul and body. This cannot be drilled home too deeply. This should and perhaps must become the driving motives of the soul and the deepest realization of it. Eternity, eternity, and eternity again; the words (word) that we cannot possibly begin to fathom and yet must be our deepest concern if we truly value our souls. How we waste so much time in such meaningless things (at best) and we do so in the face of eternity. The natural man cannot really have a glimpse or a taste of what it means to enjoy God, but he must take the words of God and the children of God for it. He must know, however, in some way that fleeing the vengeance of God is necessary, but pursuing the greatest good of the presence of God is even better. For the unconverted sinner there is always hope. It is the pleasure of God the Father to save sinners. It is the pleasure of God the Son to save sinners. It is the pleasure of the Holy Spirit to save sinners. The door of grace stands wide open and men should seek the Lord and with violence (to the lusts of self) pursue the grace of God pleading and asking Him. The gates of heaven are not closed and as such there is still hope. Oh sinners, look at how Christ prepares His people. Look at all His promises and the wonders of His grace. What stands in your way of seeking this Christ to prepare your heart to make you a new creation in Christ? What holds you back from a whole-hearted seeking of this grace? What ties to the world and sin can restrain you and entice you to enjoy this world which will go up in flames some day? It is the Lord Jesus who must teach us these things and prepare our hearts if we are going to flee from the reality of hell and seek Him in whose presence is the very wonder and glory of heaven. Even now every sinner has the opportunity to flee sin and to seek grace from God. Even now every sinner has something of a conscience that pokes and prods him or her about his or her sin. Even now every sinner has to suppress the truth to go on in ways of sin. Even now every sinner should flee from sin and pursue the Lord pleading for Him to show them grace. What is it that keeps sinners from seeking the Lord? It is their own selfish and proud hearts, but we must note that God turns people over to self and pride as judgment upon them. A selfish and proud heart is not something a person can just turn from in his or her own power, but instead a person’s heart must be softened by the hand of the God who hardened it. Sinners must seek the Lord to relent from His judgment upon them and grant them a soft heart. What God has hardened, no man can soften himself so each person must seek the Lord to soften his or her heart and that will only happen in the preparation of the heart that is the work of Christ. It bears repeating over and over again, so one more time. Self and pride are judgments of God in hardening hearts. No human being or a collection of human beings can overpower the work of God and obtain a soft heart. They must seek the Lord for it. The damned in hell would give a thousand worlds to be able to seek the Lord once again. As Jonathan Edwards put it, the damned in hell would give the whole world and all else they could get to have sinned one less time. This is not to say that unregenerate people don’t sin in seeking the Lord, but in seeking the Lord they are no giving themselves to seeking sin without restraint. As Edwards said once again, if a soul in hell could rejoice, those who had sought the Lord would rejoice for how much less their sufferings were. Each sinner should come to a realization that the pleasures of sin are only fleeting and lead to eternal and misery beyond what can be expressed by words. Sinners should seek the Lord because He alone can give grace and save them, but also so that their torment in hell will be less. If a thousand worlds are as nothing to sinners in hell, let those who are not yet there learn the seriousness of sin and learn to flee from the wrath to come. Seek the Lord for grace for He is a gracious God.

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