As a youngster, one of my jobs in the summer was to gather thistles out of the pasture. These weeds are very thorny, so you couldn’t just easily pull them. Instead, I dug them up by the root with a spade, loaded them into the pickup with a pitchfork, took them far away, doused them with gasoline, and burned them. With so many thistles in a large pile, it was quite a sight to see them burn as the black smoke billowed upward.
The book of Hebrews was written as a warning to the Jews in the Acts era about “eternal judgment” (Hebrews 6:2). As the author appealed to his fellow Jews to fully embrace faith in Christ and to remain faithful, he uses an illustration of the earth drinking in rain to produce herbs that are profitable. Then he says, “But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned” (Hebrews 6:8). These words are a direct reference to what will happen to all lost souls in eternal judgment. In Matthew 13:37-43, the Lord Jesus Christ described lost souls as “the tares,” or weeds, a coming harvest at “the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.” “The tares are [or will be] gathered and burned in the fire…And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 13:49-50 confirms this process by saying, “So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just. And shall cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” There will never be any reprieve for those who suffer eternal punishment. The Savior warned that, in hell, “the fire is not [or will never be] quenched” (Mark 9:48), and those there are described as being in constant “torment” (Luke 16:23-24). All lost souls will be “tormented with fire and brimstone…And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever…and they have no rest day or night” (Revelation 14:10-11).
These descriptive warnings are intended to prompt lost souls to trust in Christ alone and to motivate the saved to urgently share the gospel that can spare others this dreadful fate. If you’ve never trusted in Christ apart from all works, please do so right now. If you know Christ as Savior, please share the gospel with someone today.
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