34 Question 3

Let’s look at a few portions that speak of the punishment of the lost.  Matthew 22:13 says, “Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  Mark 9:43 says, “And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched.”  Listen to the words of the rich man in torment in Luke 16:24, “And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.”  What a terrible place Hell will be to all those who go there.  We just read of an outer darkness, weeping, gnashing of teeth, a fire that will never be put out, and torment from the flames.  Mark 9:44, 46 and 48 all say the same thing, “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”  Matthew 25:46 speaks of a judgment that never ends.  It says, “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”  As much as the glory of Heaven is indescribable, so is the horror of Hell indescribable.

We should realize that all who spend their eternity in Hell will suffer indescribable suffering.  However, scripture lets us know that there will be different degrees of punishment in Hell.  Let’s read Luke 12:40-48, “Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not. Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all? And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.  And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”

In this portion, the Lord speaks of two particular servants.  The first one knew his master’s will but did not prepare for his coming, nor did he do his master’s will.  This speaks of those who know what the Lord requires of us, but do not heed the word of the Lord.  What does the Lord require of all men?  Let’s look at John 6:28-29, “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”  In Acts 17:30-31 we learn that the Lord, “…now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”  For someone to hear the Gospel but refuse to bow their knee to the Lord Jesus Christ there will be greater punishment in Hell.  We here in America are blessed to have free access to the Gospel and we should be very thankful for that.  However, it does bring a greater responsibility.

The second man the Lord speaks of is one that did not know his master’s will but did things worthy of stripes.  This speaks of those who are not as familiar with the Lord’s will.  The word ‘know’ in both of these cases means to have understanding.  There are those who have not given heed to the Gospel.  Perhaps they are in a place where the Gospel is not readily available, or perhaps they have had limited exposure to the Gospel.  Yet, these still “commit things worthy of stripes.”  The Bible is clear in telling us in Romans 3:23 that “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”  No one will ever stand before the Lord and declare innocence.  All have sinned and all are guilty.  Because of their lesser knowledge, these will still be punished severely, but will not receive the greater punishment of those who heard and understood the good news of salvation, but rejected it.

As I said earlier, the horror of Hell is indescribable to all who spend their eternity there.  But there is no need that any should go there.  Salvation is a free gift of God that He offers to everyone.  John 1:12 assures us that, “…as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”  The Lord Jesus, Himself, said in John 6:37, “…him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”  If you have never trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior, today is the day that the Lord would have you be saved.  If you would like to speak to someone about your need of salvation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.  We will show you from the Word of God how that you can be saved and will never have to face the wrath of God.