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A Few Sighs from Hell Kindle Edition
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
The rich man in this parable represents the ungodly and is contrasted with the beggar who represents the godly.That is not to say that all rich men are ungodly(or that all poor men are godly)or that to be wealthy is sinful in itself but the wealthy are subject to temptations-such as pride,inordinately caring for their possessions(they often place to high a value on them and to low a value on the things of the world to come).There is also the judgement(which is a judgement of outward appearance)that surely God is pleased with them and their outward prosperity is proof of that.This type of thinking ignores the numerous warnings,in the Word of God,not to set one's heart upon riches,and how exceedingly rare and difficult it is for a rich man to enter heaven.This is clearly by God's design-ICorinthians 1:26,29 'For ye see your calling,brethren,how that not many wise men after the flesh,not many mighty,not many noble are called... that no flesh should glory in his presence.' The wealthy and the mighty one's of this world often fall to the temptation to glory in themselves,or what they have accomplished,or in the power they have attained,or the wealth they have accumulated, but they do not glory in the Lord,who is the one who has caused them to differ from their fellow man in these things.
As soon as the rich man departed from this world-'in hell he lift up his eyes being in torments!' Obviously, the author did not believe in soul sleep for he writes-"as soon as ever they die,they go into hell." Often I hear unbelievers speak of loved ones who have recently died and were in great pain and suffering,and they'll say I'm thankful that their suffering has ended.However,if they're unbelievers not only has their suffering not ended but it has become far worse,for they too will lift up their eyes and be in torment.
The godly Bunyan is asking the reader to consider what kind of thoughts they will have on their death bed-the godly-A life well spent serving the Lord Jesus,which will bring great comfort even as death approaches or the ungodly as Bunyan so poignantly illustrates here-"the sight of an ill spent life,thy sins flying in thy face,thy conscience uttering itself with thunder claps against thee,the thoughts of God terrifying thee,death,with his merciless paw,the devils standing ready to scramble for thy soul,and hell enlarging herself,and ready to swallow thee up...".
Mr.Bunyan speaks of some in his day, that in speaking to them about the state of their souls,they are so ignorant of these things,it is like they had no souls to be concerned about.Man is made in the image of God,yet many in our day live as Psalm 14 verse 1 states-'the fool has said in his heart there is no God'.I think these type of people are much more characteristic of this generation.Just like the fool who says in his heart,there is no God,it is great folly to be ignorant of the true state of your soul(and to live as if you do not have a soul that upon death will reside in hell,if you remain impenitent and unbelieving).
The most horrific aspect of hell's torments must be its eternality-Bunyan writes "when you have been in hell so many thousand years,as there are stars in the sky,or drops in the sea,or sands on the sea shore-yet you have to lie there forever,how it will torment your soul." In this life,if you live a full one,on average it will be seventy to eighty years,this life seems long and endless at times but the whole of it compared to eternity will be far less than one drop of water from all the oceans of the world or one grain of sand from all the beaches and deserts in the world.The suffering and torments of hell will be endless.
John Bunyan's 'A Few Sighs From Hell'(there is the kindle version on Amazon,and it is also available in print from Bottom of The Hill Publishing,and from Old Paths Gospel Press with the title-Groans Of A Lost Soul and a hardcover ed.from Northampton Press entitled 'Sighs From Hell)is one of the greatest evangelistic books ever published.May our Sovereign Lord Jesus be pleased to mightily use it,in this generation,to awaken lost sinners from their slumber,to gather in His elect and to help His people be more effective instruments in His hands.
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