I have been just a dying now for more than a week; and all around me have thought me so. I have had clear views of eternity; … oh, what anguish is raised in my mind, to think of an eternity for those who are Christless, for those who are mistaken, and who bring their false hopes to the grave with them! The sight was so dreadful I could by no means bear it: my thoughts recoiled, and I said, (under a more affecting sense than ever before,) “Who can dwell with everlasting burnings?” Oh, methought, could I now see my friends, that I might warn them to see to it, that they lay their foundation for eternity sure.
A narration from the book, The Suffering Savior. Krummacher 1798-1868 was a German Reformed pastor. Friedrich Wilhelm Krummacher
A Continuation of the Warning Passages of Hebrews _ William Gouge commentary
A reading from Plumer’s Commentary on Hebrews 3:7-19
The security of all flesh is wondrous great, for there is a fearful sleep fallen both upon the good and the evil. The foolish virgins are sound asleep, and the wise are asleep also. And suppose the Lord be at the door, and the hour of judgment at hand, and the seventh angel ready to blow the last trumpet, when time shall be no more; yet it is scarcely one of a thousand, yea, one of ten thousand, is to be found that is prepared, and busying themselves to meet the Lord, who is making speed to come in the clouds: and how soon that fire shall break forth, which shall kindle the heavens above your head, and the earth under your feet, and shall set all on fire; how soon the trumpet shall blow, and the shout shall cry, “Rise, Dead, and come to judgment,” is only known to God, and to no mortal man. Will ye not then be wakened till this trumpet waken you?
It is a part and duty of spiritual wisdom, as also an evidence of a due reverence of God, to take notice of extraordinary occurrences in the dispensations of his providence; for they are instructive warnings, and of great importance in his government of the world. In them the “voice of the Lord crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see his name.” And there is a mark left on them, — as profligate persons, — who will not see when his hand is so lifted up. An example of this wisdom is given us here in our blessed Saviour, who, on the report that was made unto him of some severe providential accidents, then newly fallen out, gives an exposition of the mind of God in them, with an application of them unto the present duty of them that heard him, and ours therein.
John Owen observes the fearful comment of falling into the hands of the living God. As well the rest of this recording is Owen opening up Hebrews 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left to us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. Owen wrote, “This denouncing of threatenings unto believers is suited unto their good and advantage in the state and condition wherein they are in this world; for believers are subject to sloth and security, to wax dead, dull, cold, and formal in their course. These and many other evils are they liable and obnoxious unto whilst they are in the flesh. To awake them, warn them, and excite them unto a renewal of their obedience, doth God set before them the threatenings mentioned.
8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) 12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
Impenitent sinners cannot shun the threatened punishment; so neither can they do any thing to deliver themselves from it, or to relieve themselves under it. This is implied in those words of the text, Can thine hand. be strong? It is with our hands that we make and accomplish things for ourselves. But the wicked in hell will have no strength of hand to accomplish any thing at all for themselves, or to bring to pass any deliverance, or any degree of relief.