<470214> 2 Corinthians 2:14-17 ? ?But thanks be unto God, who always leadeth us in triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest through us the savor of his knowledge every place. For we are a sweet savor of Christ unto God, in them that are being saved, and in them that are perishing; to the one a savor from death unto death; to the other a savor from life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not as the many, corrupting the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God, speak we in Christ?; 5:11 ? ?Knowing therefore the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest unto God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences?; <540416>1 Timothy 4:16 ? ?Take heed to thyself and to thy teaching. Continue in these things; for in doing this thou shalt save both thyself and them that hear thee.?
?Omne simile claudicat? as well as ?volat? ? ?Every simile halts as well as flies.? No symbol expresses all the truth. Yet we need to use symbols, and the Holy Spirit honors our use of them. It is ?God?s good pleasure through the foolishness of the preaching to save them that believe? ( <460121>1 Corinthians 1:21). It was a deep sense of his responsibility for men?s souls that moved Paul to say: ?woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel? ( <460916>1 Corinthians 9:16). And it was a deep sense of duty fulfilled that enabled George Fox, when he was dying, to say: ?I am clear! I am clear!?
So Richard Baxter wrote: ?I preached as never sure to preach again, And as a dying man to dying man.? It was Robert McCheyne who said that the preacher ought never to speak of everlasting punishment without tears. McCheyne?s tearful preaching of it prevailed upon many to break from their sins and to accept the pardon and renewal that are offered in Christ. Such preaching of judgment and punishment were never needed more than now, when lax and unscriptural views with regard to law and sin break the force of the preacher?s appeals. Let there be such preaching and then many a hearer will utter the thought, if not the words, of the Dies Ire, 8-10 ? ?Rex tremende majestatis, Qui salvandos salvas gratis, Salva me, fons pietatis. Recordare, Jesu pie, Quod sum causa tue vie: Ne me perdas illa die. Querens me sedisti lassus, Redemisti crucern passus: Tantus labor non sit cassus.? See Edwards, Works, 4:226-321; Hodge, Outlines of Theology, 459-468; Murphy, Scientific Bases of Faith, 310, 319, 464; Dexter, Verdict of Reason; George, Universalism not of the Bible; Angus, Future Punishment; Jackson, Bampton Lectures for 1875, on the Doctrine of Retribution; Shedd, Doctrine of Endless Punishment, preface, and Dogmatic Theology, 2:667-754.
<- Previous Table of Contents
Was this article helpful?