SMOKE OR THE AROMA OF ROSE OF SHARON?

The smoke of their torments

abstract fire on black

‘And Abraham gat up early in the morning … and he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah … and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.’ Genesis 19:27–28

Suggested Further Reading: Jude 5–18

The assurance that God is just, even in the midst of his hot displeasure, must ever be cherished. The Judge of all the earth cannot but do right. Though he is terrible and dreadful in his anger, as a consuming fire, yet he is still our God for ever and ever, full of goodness and full of truth. There is a deep-seated unbelief among Christians just now, about the eternity of future punishment. It is not outspoken in many cases, but it is whispered; and it frequently assumes the shape of a spirit of benevolent desire that the doctrine may be disproved. I fear that at the bottom of all this there is a rebellion against the dread sovereignty of God. There is a suspicion that sin is not, after all, so bad a thing as we have dreamed. There is an apology, or a lurking wish to apologise for sinners, who are looked upon rather as objects of pity than as objects of indignation, and really deserving the condign punishment which they have wilfully brought upon themselves. I am afraid it is the old nature in us putting on the specious garb of charity, which thus leads us to discredit a fact which is as certain as the happiness of believers. Shake the foundations upon which the eternity of hell rests, and you have shaken heaven’s eternity too. ‘These shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal.’ There is precisely the same word in the original. We have it translated a little more strongly in our version, but the word stands the same; and if the one be not eternal, the other is not. Brethren, this is a fearful thing. Who can meditate upon the place appointed for the wicked without a shudder?

For meditation: ‘For ever’ sounds wonderful when applied to heaven, but appalling when applied to hell. If devils believe and tremble when they think about God (James 2:19), we should tremble and ensure we are trusting in Christ when we contemplate the suffering of the unsaved, which will never end (Mark 9:48; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Revelation 14:11).

Sermon no. 602    20 November (1864)

All rights belong to the collection of Charles Spurgeon(C)

HEARTS DESIRE

What Do You Long For?

BE A BEAREAN ACT 17:11

BE A BEAREAN
ACT 17:11

“Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth.”

Psalm 73:25 

Heart’s Desire

In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when the Beavers inform the children that Aslan is on the move, the children feel a strange stirring in their hearts. Peter in particular says he’s “longing” to meet this Aslan.…he doesn’t say he’s curious; he says he’s longing, and that carries a very different meaning….

To long for something means you’ve had it in your mind for a while, the way you fix your heart on getting that iPod for Christmas…. Longing carries with it the concept of desire.

Yearning Desire. It’s a theme that weaves throughout the life and works of C. S. Lewis. In Surprised by Joy, he introduces the concept of longing as the signature quest of his childhood and young adulthood.

It wasn’t until Lewis converted to Christianity that he eventually realized what he’d been longing for: God. Not the Norse gods of the pagan world, not even the gods or spirits of fantasy worlds, but the God of the Bible — a real, living Being in whom we can have life forever.

With our own friends, part of our role is to help them understand that their longing comes from an inborn desire to know the King of the universe. And, like the Beavers with Peter, we are to tell our friends about the King — that his return is imminent, that he is on the move even now.

We’re all longing to meet the true King. Will you recognize his name when you hear it? Will you help others do the same?

Adapted from Walking Through the Wardrobe by Sarah Arthur (Tyndale) pp 77-83

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House