Our God is a Consuming Fire

Not prepared for you. God in that day,—the Lord Jesus Christ in that hour,—when that word shall be spoken, will be just as sorrowful as he was in the hour of the cross. He will be just as sorry that these have to go into that place, which was not prepared for them, as he was in the hour of the cross. It is not his pleasure that any should be there. They are there because of that sin to which they have inseparably joined themselves. And that being their irrevocable choice, they simply have the opportunity now of receiving indeed, and to the full, that which they have chosen. They always had their choice; they made their choice; they stuck to their choice: and when they receive the consequences of their choice, indeed there is no room for complaint. God has done all that he could do, but they would not have it.

So, though it is a fact that the Lord does not desire any of this to come upon any man, yet, as "God is a consuming fire," that is the way that he must come. Being a consuming fire, and coming as he is, he comes in flaming fire to visit upon wickedness that which is due; and whoever is joined with the wickedness has to go the same way.

"Taking vengeance on them that know not God." They had an opportunity to know God. Multitudes professed that they did know God, but in their works they denied him. They had the form of godliness,—the profession,—but they denied the power thereof. You know the words: "In the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts . . . reprobate concerning the faith." And destruction comes to them, not because they had no chance, but because they despised all the chances they had: not because they had no opportunity to know God, but because they rejected every opportunity that God ever gave them to find him out, and know him when he revealed himself.

God is altogether clear; for Jesus said: "If any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him." John 12:47, 48.