A Sure Guide to Heaven – Part 5 – The miseries of the unconverted


As I continue to study this book by Joseph Alleine, I stand in awe of the power of this man’s words.  These are not the powerful words of a man that talks because he loves the sound of his own voice.  You know the type don’t you?

This is a man that is passionate for unbelievers to see their misery.  I think of the words of the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ as though God were pleading through us:  we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

He is pleading and begging for them to see their state of unbelief.  Do we do this with the one’s we love?  Do we do this with anyone?  If you are a believer, unbeliever, unsure or unwittingly deceived, I hope you will spend some time and contemplate these words.  Alleine does not rely on his own strength, but the power of God’s Word to convince, rebuke and exhort with all longsuffering those in opposition. (2 Timothy 4:2)

So unspeakably dreadful is the case of every unconverted soul, that I have sometimes thought if I could only convince men that they are still unregenerate, the work were more than half done.  But I find by sad experienced that such a spirit of sloth and slumber possesses the sanctified that, though they are convinced that they are yet unconverted, often they carelessly sit still.  Through the love of sensual pleasure, or the hurry of worldly business, or the noise and clamour of earthly cares and lusts and affections, the voice of conscience is drowned, and men go no farther than some cold wishes and general purposes of repenting and amending.

It is therefore of high necessity that I not only convince men that they are unconverted, but that I also endeavour to bring them to a sense of the fearful misery of this state.  Page 80

But I must proceed, as I am amble, to unfold that misery which, I confess, no tongue can unfold, no heart can sufficiently comprehend.  Know therefore that while you are unconverted: Page 83

1: the infinite God is engaged against you

As much as heaven is above the earth, omnipotence above impotence, so much more terrible is it to fall into the hands of the living God, than into the paws of bears and lions, yea, furies or devils.  God Himself will be your tormentor; your destruction shall come from the presence of the Lord (2 Thess i 9). Page 84

                [1] His face is against you.  ‘The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them’ (Ps xxxiv 16)).

                [2] His heart is against you.  He hates all the workers of iniquity.  Man, does not your heart tremble to think of your being an object of God’s hatred?

                [3] All His attributes are against you.  His justice is like a flaming sword unsheathed against you.  ‘If I whet my glittering sword, and my hand take hold on judgment, I will render vengeance to mine adversaries, and will reward them that hate me;  I will make mine arrows drunk with blood’  (Deut xxxii 41-42).

So exact is justice that it will by no means clear the guilty.  God will not discharge you, He will not hold you guiltless, but will require the whole debt in person from ou, unless you can make a Scripture claim to Christ and His satisfaction.  When the enlightened sinner looks on justice, and sees the balance in which he must be weighed and the sowrd by which he must be executed, he feels an earthquake in his breast; but Satan keeps this out of sight and persuades the soul, while he can, that the Lord is all made upo of mercy, and so lulls it asleep in sin.  Divine justice is exact; it must have satisfaction to the utmost farthing.  It denounces ‘indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish to every soul that doeth evil’ (Rom ii 8-9). Page 85

The holiness of God is against you.  He is not only angry with you – so He may be with His children – but He has a fixed habitual displeasure against you.  God’s nature is infinitely contrary to sin, and so He cannot delight in a sinner out of Christ.  Page 86

He sees how you will come down mightily in a moment, how you will wring your hands, and tear your hair, and eat your flesh, and gnash your teeth for anguish and astonishment of heart, when you see you are fallen irremediably into the pit of destruction. Page 87

2: The whole creation of God is against you.

The very air would say, ‘Lord, must I give this man breath, to set his tongue against heaven, and scorn Thy people, and vent his pride and wrath, and filthy talk, and belch out oaths and blasphemy against Thee? Page 89

3: Satan has his full power over you.

Not that you intend to do him homage.  They will be ready to defy him, and him that should say so of them; but all this while they serve him, and live under his government.  ‘His servants ye are to whom ye obey’ (Rom vi 16).  O how many then will be found to be the real servants of the devil, who take themselves for no other than the children of God!

If he forbids you to read or pray, you hearken to him, and therefore his servants you are. Page 90

Do you live in the willful practice of any known sin?  Know that you are of the devil.  Do you live in strife, or envy, or malice?  Verily he is your father.  O dreadful case! Page 91

4: The guilt of all your sins lies like a mountain upon you.

However you may make light of it now, you will one day find the guilt of unpardoned sin to be a heavy burden. Page 92

5: Your raging lusts miserably enslave you.

Who would serve such a master, who work is drudgery, whose wages are death? Page 93

6: The furnace of eternal vengeance is heated ready for you.

If the burning furnace heated in Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery rage, when he commanded it to be made seven times hotter, was so fierce as to burn up even those that drew near to throw the three children in, how hot is that burning of the Almighty’s fury!  Surely this is seventy times seven more fierce.

In a word, when the smoke of your torment shall ascend for ever and ever, and you shall have no rest day and night, no rest in your conscience, no ease in your bones; but you shall be an execration and astonishment, and a curse and a reproach, for evermore (Jer xliii 18)? Page 94

7: The law discharges all its threats and curses at you.

Its words are as drawn swords, and as the sharp arrows of the mighty.  It demands satisfaction to the utmost, and cries, Justice! Justice!  It speaks blood, and war, and wounds, and death, against you.

8: The gospel itself binds the sentence of eternal damnation upon you.

Hear the terror of the Lord. ‘He that believeth not shall be damned.’ ‘Except ye repent, ye shall all perish.’  ‘This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light.’ (MK xvi 16; Lk xiii 3, Jn iii 19). Page 95 & 96

O sinners, do you make light of the wrath to come?  I am sure there is a time coming when you will not make light of it.  Why! The very devils believe and tremble.  What! are you more hardened than they?

Awake! Awake!  O sinner, arise and take your flight.  There is but one door that you may flee by, and that is the narrow door of conversion and the new birth. Page 97

If the Lord has not spoken by me, regard me not; but if it is the very word of God that all this misery lies upon you, what a state you are in! Page 98

Oh, do not then contend with God.  Repent and be converted, so none of this shall come upon you.  ‘Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near.  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon’ (Is lv 6-7). Page 99

Friends if God does not punish unrighteousness then He is not righteous.  I find much hope in these words and I hope you do as well.  You will either be affirmed or convicted.  Humble yourself today under His mighty hand.