I want to talk to you about the 25th verse of the 16th chapter of Luke – just two words: “Son, remember!” You that were here yesterday will remember that I spoke to you about the love of God; and you that were here last week will remember that I spoke to you of heaven, and tried to lure you on to that world of light. And if I consulted my own feelings, I should be preaching to you about these things today. But if a man is going to be a servant and a messenger of God, he must believe the message just as he finds it. I would not dare to go out of this city without delivering to you this side of God’s truth. Some people come to me and say: “You do not really believe that there is such a thing as everlasting retribution and future punishment, do you?” Yes, I do. The same Christ that talked to us about that bright upper world, has given us a picture of the world of the lost. In this portion of the Scripture we have read today, it has been drawn very vividly by the Master himself. We hear a voice coming up out of the lost world, of a man that was once upon the earth, and fared sumptuously every day, and yet was lost, not for time, but for eternity. Over and over again, Christ while here warned those that hung upon his lips. We talk about the all-recording angel keeping record of our life; God makes us keep our own record. We won’t need any one to condemn us at the bar of God. We will condemn ourselves. It will be our own conscience that will come up as a witness against us.
I have been twice in the jaws of death. Once I was drowning, and the third time I was about to sink I was rescued. In the twinkling of an eye everything I had said, done, or thought of, flashed across my mind. I do not understand how everything in a man’s life can be crowded into his recollection in an instant of time; but nevertheless it all flashed through my mind. Another time, when I thought I was dying, it all came back to me again. It is just so that all things we think we have forgotten will come back by-and-by. It is only a question of time. We hear the words, “Son, remember!” and it is a good deal better for us now to remember our sins, and confess them before it is too late. Christ said to his disciples, “Remember Lot’s wife.” Over and over again, when the children of Israel were brought out of Egypt, God said to them, “Remember where I found you, and how I delivered you.” He wanted them to remember his goodness to them; and the time is coming when, if they forget his goodness and despise it, they will be without mercy. What Satan wants is to keep us from thinking; to drown our memory, and stifle our conscience. A man came into the inquiry-room the other night, and said he wanted to be a Christian; but he could not believe that there was any future punishment. I said: “What are you going to do with that man who has been selling liquor for twenty years? A widowed mother goes to him and says, ‘I have a son who goes into your place every night; he is being ruined, and it is killing me.’ She begs him not to sell any more liquor to her son; she begs and pleads with him. He orders her out of the store, and goes on and ruins that widow’s only son, as he ruins thousands of others. Is he going to be ushered right into glory when he dies? What would you do with him? Would you take him right into heaven?” He said he did not know what he would do. But the Word of God teaches us plainly that there is future retribution. If it does not teach that, it does not teach anything. If the Word of God tells us about the glory of heaven and the mansions that Christ is going to prepare, it tells us also about the torments of hell; it tells us about the rich man lifting up his face out of torment, and crying for one drop of water.
This was not presented to us, then, just to frighten people. Some people say: “How you are trying to frighten us; you say such things just to alarm us.” I would consider myself an unfaithful servant if did not so warn you; the blood of your souls would be required at my hands if I did not warn you. I do not want you to say I came here and never said anything about the lost souls; I do not want any of you to think I have covered up this doctrine; and I say it to you because God says it. Christ says, “How shall you escape the damnation of hell?” No one spoke of the lost as Christ did; none knew it as Christ did. If man were not lost, what did Christ come into the world for; or what does the death of the Son of God mean? It it not better for us just to bow to the Word of God, and take it as God spoke it?
Are there some here who are almost persuaded to be Christians? Take my advice, and not let anything keep you away. Fly to the arms of Jesus, this day and hour. You can be saved, if you will Son, remember! I have warned you to-day. Daughter, remember! you cannot say that I did not lift up a warning voice to-day, and exhort you with all my soul to escape the damnation of hell!
~ This is from Mr. Moody’s sermon “Future Punishment” in The Gospel Awakening