J.C. Ryle, 1878
"He will gather His wheat into the barn — but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire!" Matthew 3:12
This text describes in words, that which should make our ears tingle — Christ shall "burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire!"
When the Lord Jesus Christ comes to purge His threshing floor — He shall punish all who are not His disciples with a fearful punishment. All who are found impenitent and unbelieving — all who have held the truth in unrighteousness — all who have clung to sin, stuck to the world, and set their affection on things below — all who are without Christ. All such shall come to an awful end! Christ shall "burn up the chaff!"
Their punishment shall be most SEVERE. There is no pain like that of burning. Put your finger in the candle flame for a moment, if you doubt this, and try. Fire is the most destructive and devouring of all elements. Look into the mouth of a blast furnace — and think what it would be to be there. Fire is of all elements most opposed to life. Creatures can live in air, and earth, and water — but nothing can live in fire! Yet fire is the portion to which the Christless and unbelieving will come. Christ will "burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire!"
Their punishment shall be ETERNAL. Millions of ages shall pass away, and the fire into which the chaff is cast, shall still burn on. That fire shall never burn low and become dim. The fuel of that fire shall never waste away and be consumed. It is "unquenchable fire."