The Destiny Of Sinners 6 Foot Brushed Metal Print
The Destiny Of Sinners 6 Foot Brushed Metal Print
The Destiny of Sinners a Self-Created One
And it shall come to pass, when you shall show this people all these words, and they shall say to you…
I. AS IT IS IN ITSELF. It is a fearful prospect which is here held out to the unbelieving Jews. They are to experience a complete change of condition. The land of promise, national independence and honor, family purity and happiness, and the institution and ordinances of true religion are to be forfeited. The land to which they are to be exiled is unfamiliar to them - full of strange scenes and customs; a scene of bondage and tyranny. This is but an illustration of the eternal destiny of sinners. Much must necessarily be vague in their conceptions of it, but it will be a greater change from their present circumstances and experiences than can be imagined. The parable of the rich man and Lazarus teaches that there will be a complete reversal of relations and conditions. How impossible for the lost to reconcile themselves to circumstances so different from those to which they have been accustomed! Their nature will be wholly enslaved, and the best service they can render will be exacted for objects unworthy of it and known to be so. Hell, so far as Scripture allusion to it can be understood, is represented as abnormal, unnatural, a state in which the soul shall be filled with fruitless reset, and sink into lower and still lower deeps of degradation and misery. It is depicted as a strange and sunless land, irradiated by no celestial smile and no sunrise of hope.
II. AS THE SINNER REGARDS IT. The picture drawn by Jeremiah is vague and yet terribly suggestive. It is so foreign to the experience and expectation of his hearers that they look upon it with incredulity and astonishment. Instead of evoking from them expressions of repentance and fear concerning the way in which they are walking, it provokes questions that exhibit the callous indifference and self-deception of hardened hearts. They cannot conceive of such a fate awaiting them. What have they done? Is it just that their conduct should be so dealt with? If any offence had been committed, surely it was out of all proportion to such a judgment, and so on. Is not this the attitude of the sinner today? The more awful the future predicted for him the more secure he feels in himself now. He fails to trace the definite line of connection between the germ and the fruit of his sin. It is a part of his infatuation to misapprehend the law of the Divine reward and punishment, and even the real outlines and proportions of the Divine character.
1. A destiny in his view so disproportionate to his offence becomes incredible. And just as the Jew could not conceive of the features and characteristics of the life upon which he was to enter when this prophecy should be fulfilled, the transgressor now fails to realize the position he must occupy when circumstance will depend only upon character. Passing consequences may be seen and partly estimated, but the final outcome of it all is, because of its very nature and extent, unreal to him.
2. The future of the sinner is strange and unreal to him, and therefore fails to impress him as it ought.
III. AS EXPLAINED BY GOD. This is one of the main purposes of revelation, viz. to connect the present with the future and to interpret their relations. Whilst it is true that every sinner already contains within himself the elements of his future punishment, it is also true that of himself he could not forecast the actual extent or nature of the destiny he is working out. It is necessary, therefore, both for emphasis and enlightenment, to supplement experience with revelation.
1. Their punishment was but the natural development of their sin. The latter was of old date. Their fathers forsook Jehovah, did not keep his Law, and went after other gods. The tendency was inherited by themselves, and in aggravated degree: "Ye have done worse than your fathers." They now paid more attention and honor to idols than to Jehovah, and when this is the case it cannot last long. The veil of decency will be cast aside; the real character will betray itself, and shame will cease. They became more and more "sold under sin." The vices of a false religion weakened their character and made them a ready prey to the ambition and rapacity of their neighbors. The same law is apparent in spiritual destiny. Let the sinner be warned. He may be sure his sin will find him out.
2. It was but right that they should be so punished, as they had added to their ancestral offence an intolerable personal aggravation. The terms of the covenant were flagrantly violated, and they had forfeited the land by their moral unfitness to occupy it. If an earthly country could be so hallowed as not to admit of being occupied by unclean idolaters, how much less possible must it be for confirmed sinners to stand in the presence of God amidst the multitudes of redeemed! Heaven would be bell to such persons.
3. The spiritual condition that was so dealt with presented no ground for consideration. God said, "I will show you no favor." It was a deliberate sin, and there were no signs of repentance. The day of grace, however, was with them whilst the prophet spoke. So is it represented to be with the preaching of the gospel. Whilst God calls to us his mercy still continues. "Now is the accepted time;... now is the day of salvation." But in that day present obstinacy will be the worst condemnation. "I called, and ye refused," etc. - M.