What must be the apostate professor's doom when his naked soul appears before God? How will he bear to hear that voice telling him that he is banished forever from His presence and that he will not be the recipient of mercy?
"Depart from Me, you cursed; you have rejected knowledge, and I reject you." What will be this wretch's shame at the last great day when, before the assembled crowds, the apostate shall be unmasked? See the profane, and sinners who never professed faith, lifting themselves up from their beds of fire to point at him. "There he is," says one; "will he preach the gospel in hell?" "There he is," says another; "he rebuked me for cursing and was a hypocrite himself!" "Aha!" says another; "here comes a psalm-singing Methodist--one who was always at his meeting; he is the man who boasted of his being sure of everlasting life, and here he is!"
No greater eagerness will ever be seen among satanic tormentors than in that day when devils drag the hypocrite's soul down to perdition. Bunyan pictures this with massive but awful grandeur of poetry when he speaks of the back way to hell. Seven devils bound the wretch with nine cords and dragged him from the road to heaven, in which he had professed to walk, and thrust him through the back door into hell.
Watch out for that back way to hell, professors! "Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith."1 Pay attention to your condition, and see whether you are in Christ or not. It is the easiest thing in the world to give high marks when grading your own paper. Be honest and fair. Be gracious to all, but be rigorous with yourself. Remember, if you are not building on the rock, your house will collapse. May the Lord give you sincerity, constancy, and firmness; and in no day, however evil, may you be led to turn aside.
verse 1 Deuteronomy 31
verse 2 Psalms 119:97-120
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.