And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
~ John 6:39-40, Romans 2:6-9
For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
~ Galatians 6:8
And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
~ Daniel 12:2, Matthew 25:32
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
~ Revelation 20:12
The Resurrection of Damnation, by Samuel Davies.
Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
~ John 5:28-29
See a glorious multitude, which none can number, openly acquitted, pronounced blessed, and welcomed into the Kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world (Mat 25:34)! Now they enter upon a state that deserves the name of life. They are all vital, all active, all glorious, all happy. They shine brighter than the stars in the firmament, like the sun forever and ever. All their faculties overflow with happiness. They mingle with the glorious company of angels. They behold that Saviour Whom unseen they loved. They dwell in eternal intimacy with the Father of their spirits. They are employed with ever new and growing delight in the exalted services of the heavenly sanctuary. They shall never more fear, nor feel the least touch of sorrow, pain, or any kind of misery, but shall be as happy as their natures can admit through an immortal duration. What a glorious new creation is here! What illustrious creatures formed of the dust! Shall any of us join in this happy company? Oh, shall any of us feeble, dying, sinful creatures share in their glory and happiness? This is a most interesting inquiry…
The prospect would be delightful, if our charity could hope that this will be the happy end of all the sons of men. But, alas! Multitudes…shall come forth, not to the resurrection of life, but to the resurrection of damnation!
What terror is in the sound! If audacious sinners in our world make light of it…their infernal brethren that feel its tremendous import are not so hardy, but tremble, groan, and can trifle with it no more.
Let us realise the miserable doom of this class of mankind. See them bursting into life from their subterranean dungeons…Horror throbs through every vein and glares wild and furious in their eyes. Every joint trembles and every countenance looks downcast and gloomy. Now they see that tremendous Day of which they were warned in vain and shudder at those terrors of which they once made light. They immediately know the grand business of the Day and the dreadful purpose for which they are roused from their slumbers in the grave: to be tried, to be convicted, to be condemned, and to be dragged away to execution.
Conscience has been anticipating the trial in a separate state, and no sooner is the soul united to the body than immediately conscience ascends its throne in the breast. (It) begins to accuse, to convict, to pass sentence, to upbraid, and to torment. The sinner is condemned, condemned at his own tribunal before he arrives at the bar of his Judge.
The first act of consciousness in his new state of existence is a conviction that he is condemned—an irrevocably condemned creature. He enters the court, knowing beforehand how it will go with him. When he finds himself ordered to the left hand of his Judge, when he hears the dreadful sentence thundered out against him, “Depart from me, ye cursed” (Mat 25:41), it was but what he expected. (At the present time,) he can flatter himself with vain hopes and shut his eyes against the light of conviction, but then he will not be able to hope better. Then he must know the worst of his case. The formality of the judicial trial is necessary for the conviction of the world, but not for his: his own conscience has already determined his condition. However, to convince others of the justice of his doom, he is dragged and guarded from his grave to the Judgment Seat…
With what horror does he view the burning throne and the frowning face of his Judge—that Jesus Whom he once disregarded…How he (wishes) for a covering of rocks and mountains to conceal him from His angry eye! But all in vain. Appear he must. He is ordered to the left among the trembling criminals.
Now the trial comes on. All his evil deeds and all his omissions of duty are now produced against him. All the mercies he abused, all the chastisements he despised, all the means of grace he neglected or misimproved, every sinful and even every idle word, nay, his most secret thoughts and dispositions are all exposed and brought into judgment against him. When the Judge puts it to him, “Is it not so, sinner? Are not these charges true?” conscience obliges him to confess and cry out, “Guilty! Guilty!”
Now the trembling criminal being plainly convicted and left without all plea and all excuse, the supreme Judge, in stern majesty and inexorable justice, thunders out the dreadful sentence, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Mat 25:41). Oh tremendous doom! Every word is big with terror and shoots a thunderbolt through the heart. “Depart! Away from My presence! I cannot bear so loathsome a sight. I once (called) thee to come to Me that thou mightest have life, but thou wouldst not regard the (call). Now thou shalt never hear that inviting voice more. Depart from Me—from Me, the only Fountain of happiness, the only proper Good for an immortal mind.”
“But, Lord,” we may suppose the criminal to say, “if I must depart, bless me before I go.”
“No,” says the angry Judge, “depart accursed. Depart with My eternal and heavy curse upon thee; the curse of that power that made thee; a curse dreadfully efficacious, which blasts whatever it falls upon like flashes of consuming, irresistible lightning.”
“But if I must go away under Thy curse,” the criminal may be supposed to say, “let that be all my punishment. Let me depart to some agreeable or at least tolerable recess, where I may meet with something to mitigate the curse.”
“No, depart into fire. There burn in all the excruciating tortures of that outrageous element.”
“But, Lord, if I must make my bed in fire, oh, let it be a transient blaze that will soon burn itself out and put an end to my torment.”
“No, depart into everlasting fire. There burn without consuming, and be tormented without end.”
“But, Lord, grant me,” cries the poor wretch, “at least the mitigation of friendly, entertaining, and sympathising company. Or, if this cannot be granted, grant me this small, this almost no request, to be doomed to some solitary corner in hell, where I shall be punished only by my own conscience and Thine immediate hand. But, oh, deliver me from these malicious, tormenting devils! Banish me into some apartment in the infernal pit far from their society.”
“No, depart into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels. Thou must (be) one of their wretched crew forever. Thou didst join with them in sinning and now must share in their punishment…”
Sentence being pronounced, it is immediately executed. “These shall go away into everlasting punishment” (Mat 25:46)…to the pit…There they are confined in chains of darkness and in a lake burning with fire and brimstone forever—forever! In that dreadful word lies the emphasis of torment: it is a hell in hell. If they might be but released from pain, though it were by annihilation after they have wept away ten thousand millions of ages in extremity of pain, it would be some mitigation, some encouragement. But, alas! When as many millions of ages are passed as the stars of heaven or the sands on the seashore or the atoms of dust in this huge globe of earth, their punishment is as far from an end as when the sentence was pronounced upon them. Forever! There is no exhausting of that word. When it is affixed to the highest degree of misery, the terror of the sound is utterly insupportable. See, sirs, what depends upon time, that span of time we may enjoy in this fleeting life. Eternity! Awful, all-important eternity depends upon it.
All this while, conscience tears the sinner’s heart with the most tormenting reflections. “Oh what a fair opportunity I once had for salvation, had I improved it! I was warned of the consequences of a life of sin and carelessness. I was told of the necessity of faith, repentance, and universal holiness of heart and life. I enjoyed a sufficient space for repentance and all the necessary means of salvation. But fool that I was, I neglected all, I abused all. I refused to part with my sins. I refused to engage seriously in religion and to seek God in earnest. And now I am lost forever without hope. Oh! For one of those months, one of those weeks, or even so much as one of those days or hours I once trifled away! With what earnestness, with what solicitude would I improve it! But all my opportunities are past, beyond recovery, and not a moment shall be given me for this purpose any more. O what a fool I was to sell my soul for such trifles! To set so light by heaven and fall into hell through mere neglect and carelessness!”
Ye impenitent, unthinking sinners, though you may now be able to silence or drown the clamours of your consciences, yet the time—or rather the dread eternity—is coming when they will speak in spite of you, when they will speak home and be felt by the most hardened and remorseless heart. Therefore, regard their warnings now while they may be the means of your recovery.
You and I…are concerned in the solemn transaction of the Day I have been describing. You and I shall either be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye; or while mouldering in the grave, we shall hear the voice of the Son of God and come forth, either to the resurrection of life or to the resurrection of damnation (Joh 5:28-29). And which, my brethren, shall be our doom? Can we foreknow it at this distance of time? I proposed it to your inquiry already, whether you have any good reason to hope you shall be of that happy number who shall rise to life? Now I propose it again with this counterpart: Have you any evidence to hope you shall not be of that wretched, numerous multitude who shall rise to damnation? If there be any inquiry within the compass of human knowledge that demands your solicitous thoughts, certainly it is this.
“What is needed today is a Scriptural setting forth of the character of God—His absolute sovereignty, His ineffable holiness, His inflexible justice, His unchanging veracity. What is needed today is a scriptural setting forth of the condition of the natural man—his total depravity, his spiritual insensibility, his inveterate hostility to God, the fact that he is “condemned already” and that the wrath of a sin-hating God is even now abiding upon him. What is needed today is a Scriptural setting forth of the alarming danger in which sinners are—the indescribably awful doom which awaits them, the fact that if they follow only a little further their present course they shall most certainly suffer the due reward of their iniquities. What is needed today is a Scriptural setting forth of the nature of that punishment which awaits the lost—the awfulness of it, the hopelessness of it, the unendurableness of it, the endlessness of it.”—A. W. Pink