2009-05-02 - The Memory of the Wicked in Hell
Jonah 2:2, I cried for help from the depth of Hell.
Give me some credit for not masking the topic and leading you into reading this with a sweet pretence of a title. It is a fearful topic to consider. Will the memory of those who do not repent and come to Christ be active in Hell? Will they remember that they knew of Christ, and yet did not believe in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins? It seems so, and it is a hard-hitting topic to consider. As we consider it, my hope is that it may lead those who do not yet trust in Christ, to consider anew the things of Christ, and those who do trust in Christ, to renew their desire to see souls snatched from the promised flames of God's wrath.
We read in Scripture of the pit that has no bottom, the fire that is not quenched, and the worm that eats the flesh and does not die. These may be metaphorical, or that may be the reality. Regardless, what the picture of Scripture communicates is that no one wants to be in Hell. However, and here is my main point today to the one who will not come to Christ and repent from their sins: God will not need to afflict you, because you will be your own tormentor. The sinner will be the sinner's own executioner. The cup of God's wrath that the impenitent will drink will be mixed by themselves. How do I know this? My friend, you have a memory. It is all you need to wrack yourself forever with the pains of Hell. Your own memory will be a means to torment yourself.
How will memory do this? Frankly, lots of ways, and I will give you a couple. Memory will look back forever on past sins. Each of these sins will serve as a stinger in the heart. Maybe the memory of past sins was the sins of pleasure. This is even a worse state to be in. The memory of past pleasures will only remind the sinner of the pleasures he/she once had - from which they are forever banned. The sweetness of sin will be bitter in Hell. The memory will remind the soul of all the warnings given to repent. The memory will then be stronger than it is now. It will have lots of time to reflect, even mull over (timeless time really - time without time) and over and over past sins, past opportunities to secure forgiveness, that were lost. Secret sins will come out, for all to see. Words of profanity, spoken while living, will echo in the ears until they painfully rebound in the head like a cacophony of screams. We feel shame, when we consider some of our sins now. How much greater shame will we know, when our foolishness is known by all of Heaven and our companions in Hell? Do you not think that they will mock you for having heard of the need to repent, and having forsaken it? Surely they will. Surely you know this.
Such is quick look at the memory of the wicked in Hell and we have barely scratched the surface. We have not really spoken of our companions in Hell. The worst of the worst will be there, and their sin will only be perfected. Our consciences - do you feel your conscience now? In Hell, your conscience will be your constant tormenting companion. You will know the sinfulness of sin in Hell, and you will have no excuse. Put memory aside and consider that your conscience alone will grind you into a fine powder, but you will still exist. It is a sobering thought that if you do not come to Christ and trust His grace and mercy freely offered - it is a sobering thought that you will remember reading this in Hell.
Soli Deo Gloria,