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Our God is a Consuming Fire

However, in that day, as in all other days, it is not upon men themselvesthat God’s wrath is visited; but upon the sins of men, and upon men only as they are identified with their sins. "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven," not against all ungodly men, not against all unrighteous men, but "against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men." Romans 1:18. And only as the man clings to his ungodliness, only as he holds down the truth in unrighteousness, shall it be that the wrath of God will be revealed from heaven against him: and even then not against himprimarily, but against the sin to which he clings, and will not leave. And as he has thus made his choice, clinging fast to his choice, he must take the consequences of his choice, when his choice shall have reached its ultimate. So it is written, and I read it again, "The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth [who hold down, who press back the truth] in unrighteousness."

Continuing from where we read a moment ago, "Then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: even him, whose coming is a after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceiveableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." "Believed not the truth." They knew of it; it was presented to them; their hearts told them, the Spirit of God told them, that it was the truth; their own consciences approved of it all: but they would not believe the truth; they "had pleasure in unrighteousness," and held down, and pressed back, the truth in unrighteousness; and "for this cause" it is that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven, and strikes them.

Yet, as already stated, the wrath of God is not primarily against them, but against the thing which they love; against the thing which they cling to, and will not be separated from. And at last, in that great day when the judgement is set, and on the right and on the left are all the people who have ever lived, those on the left will depart "into everlasting fire, prepared"— not for them, but "for the devil and his angels." The Lord has done his utmost that they might never see it. He gave his Son to save them, that they might never know it. It was not prepared for them. He does not desire that they should be lost; but they have to go there because there is the company which they have chosen; that is the place with which they have connected themselves, and from which they would not be separated. Therefore, he says, "depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."

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