When Christ shall sit upon the throne of His glory to judge the world, only two sentences will be given. To those on His right hand, He will say, "Come, ye blessed of my Father inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:" These righteous shall go away into life eternal. To those on His left hand, He will say, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." These shall go away into everlasting punishment. Matthew 25:31-46.
Jesus has also revealed to us that the great majority of the world will be told to depart into everlasting fire and that the small minority will be invited to come into the everlasting kingdom. 2 Peter 1:11. He said, "Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Matthew 7:13, 14.
Fire! Do we know anything more horrible? Everlasting! Do we know anything more lasting? Some refuse to accept these words. Yet, they remain. Some may respond, "This is only symbolic language." If it is symbolic, the symbol is never as strong as that which is symbolized! Jesus is faithful to warn us. Notice that the everlasting fire was, first, prepared for the devil and his angels. Both Peter and Jude speak of angels that "kept not their first estate" and "left their own habitation." 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6. An insight into this terrible event is, I believe, found in the events of Revelation 12:7-10. The devil and his angels were doomed to eternal damnation on the very day they first sinned against God. God gave them no "plan of salvation."
The punishment for unrepentant and unforgiven sin is horrible to describe. Jesus said that if we will not cut off sin in our lives, we will be cast into hell, "where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." Mark 9:43-48. In the book of Revelation, the apostle John wrote that he saw the devil cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and false prophet were and that these "shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." 20:10. In chapter 20, verses 14 and 15, the Bible says death, hell, and whosoever was not found written in the book of life were cast into the lake of fire. In 21:8, the Bible says, "the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." Truly, our God is a consuming fire! Hebrews 12:29.
God has given the devil certain limited power to tempt us to sin. We see this in the garden of Eden, in the life of Job, in the devil's temptation of Jesus, and in our own lives. However, God will not suffer (allow) Satan to tempt us beyond our ability to resist him. 1 Corinthians 10:13. Otherwise, He would not be just in holding us into account for our sins. The fact of the matter is, all of us have sinned, and the wages of this sin is death. Romans 3:23; 6:23. Yet, God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, and Jesus carried all of our sins in His own body to the cross. Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sin and, now, through His gospel, and, through our obedience to the gospel, offers us forgiveness and the hope of eternal life. Mark 16:15-16.
Have you accepted this free gift through faith, repentance, baptism, and faithful godly living? In 2 Corinthians 5:10, 11, when Paul said we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad, he said, "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men." Yes, the Lord has terror. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10:31. To fear God and to keep His commandments is the whole or all of man. Ecclesiastes 12:13. He said He was going to take vengeance on all who do not know Him and who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-12. Yes, it is true. In Revelation 14, John wrote that God was going to take vengeance on those who worshipped the beast and his image and who would not receive the everlasting gospel that was preached unto them that dwell on the earth to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. We, too, will be tormented with fire and brimstone, and the smoke of our torment will ascend up for ever and ever. We will have no rest day or night. Hell has no light, love, rest, comfort, peace, hope, or end. Read Luke 16:19-31.
Dear friends, we need to behold the goodness and the severity of God. Romans 11:22. By the love of God, we persuade you to obey the gospel today before it is too late!
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