his is one of the danger-signalswhich God has placed across the sinner's pathway to Hell. At every turn of the Broad Road there are notice boards giving warning of the Destruction which lies ahead. The Sunday School teacher, the prayers of godly parents, the sermons of faithful preachers, the little Gospel tract, the warnings of conscience, the innate fear of death, the declarations of Holy 'Writ, are so many obstacles which God places in the way of the sinner-so many barriers to the Lake of Fire.
One chief reason why God wrote the Bible was to warn the sinner of the awful consequences of sin, and to bid him flee from the wrath to come. Our text is one of these warnings. There are many such scattered throughout the Bible. We mention one or two at random. "Be sure your sin will find you out" (Num. 32:23). "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Heb.9:27). "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:5). "How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?" (Heb. 2:3).
Our opening text naturally divides itself under three heads:
I. A Terrible Fact
"Because there is wrath."
The reference here is to God's Wrath. In regard to the wrath of God let us now contemplate four things:
Scripture speaks of God's wrath "waxing hot" (Exod. 23:14). It declares "Great is the wrath of the Lord" (2 Kings 22:13). It makes mention of "The fierceness and wrath of Almighty God" (Rev. 19:15). It refers to God's wrath coming upon sinners "to the uttermost" (I Thess. 2:16). Everything about God is unique. His power is omnipotent. His wisdom is a great deep. His love is unsearchable. His grace is unfathomable. His holiness is unapproachable. And like all His other perfections and attributes God's wrath is incomparable, incomprehensible, infinite. It will be the Wrath of the Almighty! And what will the wrath of the Almighty be like when it comes upon sinners "to the uttermost"? And what power of resistance will poor, frail creatures of the dust have for enduring the full weight of it? None. None whatever. It will overwhelm them. It will utterly consume them. It will crush them more easily than we can a worm beneath our feet. It will sink them into the lowest depths of hopeless despair. It will be intolerable and unbearable. And yet it will have to be endured - consciously endured - endured day and night for ever and ever! May these unspeakably solemn thoughts prepare the unsaved reader for the next division of our text.
II. A Solemn Warning
In view of this terrific fact, "Because there is wrath, beware lest He take thee away with His stroke." (Job 36:18)
Sinners are even now threatened with God's wrath, yea, they are by nature "children of wrath." It is true that God's wrath now slumbereth for a while, because this is the day of salvation. It is true that the time for the full and final and open manifestation of it has not yet arrived. It is true that sinners often defy God now with apparent impugnity, and because of this the wicked spread themselves like green bay trees. "Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of Thy ways. What is the Almighty, that we should serve Him, and what profit should we have if we pray unto Him?" (Job. 21:14, 15). Let all such heed the Divine warning, "Because there is wrath, BEWARE lest He take thee away with His stroke." Sinner, be not deceived, God is not mocked. "O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end! For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges. For their vine is of the vine of Sodom and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter. Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps. Is not this laid up in store with Me, and sealed up among My treasures? To Me belongeth vengeance and recompense; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste" (Deut. 32:29, 31-35). The sinner is treading a path more slippery than ice, and unless he forsake it, in due time his foot shall slide. The bow of God's wrath is already bent: the arrow of His vengeance is even now fitted to the string, and nothing but His infinite forebearance stays its release. My reader, the only reason why you have not already been cast into Hell fire is because it has been the good pleasure of the Most High to stay your doom. Flee then from the wrath to come while there is yet time.
"And thinketh thou this, O man that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?" (Rom. 2:3). Did Adam escape the judgment of God? Did Cain, did Pharaoh, did Achan, did Haman? The only reason God has not "taken thee away with His stroke" before this is because He endures with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.
The time of the sinner's opportunity for fleeing from God's wrath is exceedingly brief and limited. The sad and tragic thing is that so few realize it. The sinner sees little cause for alarm and fails to apprehend his imperative need of promptly accepting Christ as his Saviour. He imagines himself secure. He goes on in his sin, and because judgment against an evil work is not executed speedily he increases in his boldness against God. But God's ways are different to ours. There is no need for God to be in a hurry - all eternity is at His disposal. When one man robs another, instantly the cry is raised, "Stop thief!" lest he should soon be out of reach. When a murder is committed the hounds of the law at once seek to track down the guilty One. A reward is offered lest he should succeed in escaping justice. But it is different with God. He is in no haste to execute judgment because He knows the sinner, cannot escape Him. It is impossible to flee out of His dominions! In due time every transgression and disobedience shall receive "a just recompence of reward."
"Because there is wrath, beware lest He take thee away with His stroke." (Job 36:18) The immediate reference is to death - the removal of the sinner from this earth to suffer the vengeance of eternal fire. Scripture furnishes many solemn examples of God's stroke "suddenly cutting off sinners out of the land of the living." "And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censor and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which He commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord" (Lev. 10:1, 2). Again, "Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand. In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the King's palace. And this is the writing that was written, Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting In that night was Belshazzar the King of the Chaldeans slain" (Dan. 5). Unsaved reader, you may be enjoying the health and strength of youth, yet, thou knowest not how soon the dread summons shall come, "This night shall thy soul be required of thee." Turning now to the last clause of our text, we have mention of:
III. An Utter Impossibility
"Because there is wrath, beware lest He take thee away
with His stroke, then a great ransom cannot deliver thee." (Job 36:18)
Independent Bible study convinced him that much of modern evangelism was defective. He advanced the majority of Puritan principles when he saw this need. To Arthur W. Pink, the spiritual decline of Britain was an obvious consequence of the presentation of a "gospel" that could neither wound (by the conviction of sin,) nor heal (by the regeneration of the hearts of men.)
Pink preached the truth of the scripture as relating to grace, justification and sanctification. He was not afraid to tell the truth of the misery of "Eternal Punishment," or the joy of "Eternal Security."
After his death in 1952, Pink's works were republished by The Banner of Truth Trust, and reached a much wider audience than before.