Monday, May 18, 2009

Escape from an awful evil through Christ

It is our full belief as Christians, that, in order to the pardon of human sin, it was necessary that God himself should become incarnate, and that the Son of God should suffer, suffer excruciating pains, to which the dignity of his person added infinite weight. Brethren, if the wrath of God be a mere trifle, there was no need of a Savior to deliver us; it were as well to have let so small a matter take its course; or, if the Savior came merely to save us from a pinch or two, why is so much said in his praise? What need for heaven and earth to ring with the glories of him who would save us from a small mischief?

But mark the word. As the sufferings of the Savior were intense beyond all conception, and as no less a person than God himself must endure these sufferings for us, that must have been an awful, not to say an infinite evil, from which there was no other way for us to escape except by the bleeding and dying of God’s dear Son. Think lightly of hell, and you will think lightly of the cross. Think little of the sufferings of lost souls, and you will soon think little of the Savior who delivers you from them. God grant we may not live to see such a Christ-dishonoring theology dominant in our times.

From a sermon entitled "Future Punishment A Fearful Thing," delivered March 25, 1866. Image by James Marvin Phelps under Creative Commons License.

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