“The Reality of Eternal Punishment”Categories: In the Bulletin
Matthew 25:46 states an important fact: the righteous will inherit eternal life and the unrighteous will inherit eternal punishment. While most people believe in heaven less believe in the reality of hell. A survey from a number of years ago revealed that only 60% of Americans believe in hell. And out of that number, only 4% thought they would go there! But, what did Jesus say, Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. Matthew 7.13-14.
While a majority agree that hell exists, a growing number of individuals question the duration of punishment.
In Revelation 14:11 we are told the lost are tormented forever and ever, and they have no rest day or night. John continues his explanation of the torment of hell by stating the devil and his angels will be tormented day and night forever and ever, Revelation 20.10. Regarding heaven, Revelation 21.25 and 22.5 tell us there will be no night. Heaven will be one eternal day of joy where the redeemed will worship and serve God. Hell will be the exact opposite. The Bible describes hell as a place of outer darkness (Matthew 25:30; 25:41, 46). Hell will involve separation from everything holy. 2 Thessalonians 1:9 says, These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power. Matthew 25:41 indicates a punishment that will involve a fire that burns throughout eternity! Since the punishment and fire are eternal—we must assume that those receiving it will remain conscious throughout eternity!
Both heaven and hell will be places of everlasting consciousness. Everlasting awareness is not the same as everlasting life. Whereas heaven will be a place of eternal glory, honor, peace, and immortality, hell will be a place of eternal separation (death) from God and the saved. In hell, the lost will experience indignation, wrath, tribulation, and anguish, Romans 2.6-11. The eternal destruction of which the Scriptures speak is a loss of well being—not a loss of being, 2 Thessalonians 1.7-9.
What is the bottom line? You don’t want to go to hell! Do whatever possible to get home to heaven! Have you received forgiveness of your sins? Are you prepared face eternity?
— Matthew Allen