The Unanswered Prayer
When preaching one evening, I was seeking to show the terrible position those will be in who shall begin to stand without and knock, after the Master of the house has risen up and shut to the door; how that agonizing cry, “Lord, Lord, open to us,” will be unanswered, and only their awful doom announced.
Suddenly one in my audience mockingly shouted out, “I’m going to hell; and I shall call out and ask them to open the door.”
Solemnly I warned that careless one of the awful reality of the lake of fire—that if once there, he would be there for ever.
Solemnly, my reader, I would repeat those words to you. “If once you are in the lake of fire, you will be there for ever.”
Perhaps you say, “Ah! but God is merciful.” He is indeed; gladly I own it. Nay, He is more. He is LOVE. In wondrous, matchless love He has given His only begotten Son, “that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Jesus, the Son of God, has answered all the claims of the holiness and righteousness of God. There is redemption through His blood, and God is now seen to be just, and at the same time the “justifier of him that believeth in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26).
But God is “LIGHT” as well as “LOVE,” and if you are still unrepentant and unbelieving, I warn you that the JUST God, who now justifies every believer, will soon condemn every unbeliever to the eternal torments of the lake of fire. There the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever. “Their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”
In Luke 18:13-14, we find a man on earth, crying to God for mercy to him a sinner. At once mercy flows forth boundless and free. The publican goes down to his house justified.
In Luke 16:23-24, a man in hell cries for mercy, but receives none. The day of grace for him has passed; has passed for ever. The great gulf is fixed—yes, fixed for ever. The tree has fallen, and as it fell so it lies, and so it lies for ever.
Reader, will you cry from hell for mercy? I warn you that will be “too late;” once there, you will be there for ever.
“Now is the accepted time—Now is the day of salvation.”
Scattered Seed 1885, p. 116