Metaphoric Fire

Now do not begin telling me that that is metaphorical fire: who cares for that?  If a man were to threaten to give me a metaphorical blow on the head, I should care very little about it; he would be welcome to give me as many he pleased.  And what say the wicked?  ‘We do not care about metaphorical fires.’  But they are real, sir—Yes, as real as yourself.  There is a real fire in hell, as truly as you have now a real body.

Charles Spurgeon

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2 Responses to Metaphoric Fire

  1. kirinjirafa says:

    I’ve been thinking about this issue a lot lately- I can’t help feeling like the more we talk about pearly gates and gnashing teeth, the more we avoid the real reward and punishment of eternity, that we will be with or without the presence of God. When I’m teaching, I don’t even like to dwell on how great Heaven is going to be or how horrific Hell is, because I don’t want to distract myself or my students from the necessity of loving and worshipping God first. Jesus talks a lot about the torments of Hell, though. Do you suppose that is the point of the Biblical emphasis on the personal benefits or dangers promised in the afterlife? To compel us to make the decision that we wouldn’t make otherwise? Or perhaps is it just to prompt us to take the matter seriously? Isn’t an eternity separate from God enough of a promise of misery? Why do you think there is also the guarantee of physical suffering in Hell?

  2. Seth Meyers says:

    The gifts of God, rightly used, are ladders reaching back up to Heaven. So too the glories of Heaven should point us to the beauty of God’s creativity, kindness, and grace. By not thinking about these things, we are avoiding tools He has specifically made for this end. If a wife ignores the gifts of her husband in order to “focus on him without distraction” he would be rightly bothered.

    The converse applies to eternal torment. The enduring nature of flame, darkness, and hopelessness demonstrate the incalculable weight of God’s hatred. Without these how would we really know what God is like?

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