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A way to live and surely end up in hell

A way to live and end up in hell

“We must warn sinners to avoid those ways that lead to hell. If you would not come to those extreme torments, you must not walk in those paths that lead to them (cf. Ps 1). There is but one path that leads to haven (Matt 7:13–14), but there are many that lead down to the bottomless pit. Beware, therefore, of those paths. Multitudes are going on in paths that lead directly to the chambers of death. I shall particularly mention some of them.

First, a way of drunkenness most certainly leads to hell. There are many that are in this way, and they are in the way to those great eternal torments that we have heard of. The Apostle tell us, 1 Cor 6:9–10, that drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of God (cf. Gal 5:19, 21). A man that continues in this way, and ben’t [sic] changed from this court till he dies, he assuredly goes to hell … therefore beware of this as a way that leads to eternal torments.

Second, another way that leads directly to hell torments is a way of lasciviousness. A way of lascivious acting in various kinds and degrees, and of lascivious speaking, yea, and a way of indulging lascivious thinking. That is, those that live in an unclean way, whether in company or alone, they are going to those torments that we have heard of … 1 Cor 3:17, “IF any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy.”

Another way that leads to hell is a way of keeping bad company. That is, associating with the lewd, immoral, profane persons and being with them that are disorderly and vain in their conversation. I prove that this is a way to hell by the 13th of Proverbs at the 20th verse: “A companion of fools shall be destroyed.” Therefore, if you have addicted yourself to such company, you had best to forsake them, if you would not go to those terrible torments that have been proved shall come upon all wicked men. That is all the motive that I shall propose to you to forsake them: that you shall be damned if you don’t.

Finally, a way of Sabbath-breaking and of profaning God’s worship is a sure way to hell. Is not this a common thing amongst us? Are there not many amongst us—especially young people—that have no regard to holy time, but in their talk and actions trample God’s Sabbath under foot, and make no difference between holy time and other time? In Ex 31:14 we are told that he that defiled the Sabbath shall surely be put to death. That soul shall be cut off from the congregation. They were to be stoned with stones, which sort of death seems to be appointed more especially to represent God’s wrath poured upon the head of the sinner. And how many are there that not only profane the Sabbath, but profane God’s public worship on the Sabbath by an irreverent, indecent, rude behavior. All such as make this a practice are going to hell.

Adapted from my reading this morning: Jonathan Edwards, The Torments of Hell: Jonathan Edwards on Eternal Damnation. Ed. by William C. Nichols (Ames, IA: International Outreach, 2006), 173–75.

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