By Raymond E. Harris
The foregoing seems to be the attitude of many today. Such a flippant, devil may care, attitude betrays either ignorance or self-deception and hardness of heart.
In John 5:28-29, Jesus said, “. . . the hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”
In Matthew 25, we find Jesus setting forth over and over the great contrast between the final state of the saved and the lost. The first of these accounts is in Matthew 25:1-13. Those that were unprepared for the Lord’s return were rejected with the brief and dreadful statement, “Verily I say unto you, I know you not.”
In Matthew 25:14-30, the “wicked and slothful servant” is sentenced with this blood-chilling declaration, “and cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
And in the last part of the chapter (Matt. 25:31-46) those portrayed as selfish, insensitive or “just too busy” to be concerned with others are scalded with the pronouncement “Department from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire: prepared for the devil and his angels.”
Hence, no teaching of the Bible is any more emphatic then that which says that the sinful, the wicked and the disobedient will be separated from God and punished eternally.
Consider the statement of John found in Revelation 20:12-15: “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of these things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and Hell (Hades, the spirit world, R.E.H.) delivered up the dead which were in them; and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death (separation, R.E.H.). And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
Some perhaps have never considered the desperate and hopeless state of being eternally separated from God. None of us has ever existed a moment outside God’s mercy and grace. He continues to send the sunshine, the rain, and all man’s needs upon the just and the unjust. But, one day that will all cease. The redeemed will enjoy God’s presence and His blessings forever. But what of the lost! They will be eternally separated from God’s presence, love, mercy, grace and care. To reject and disobey God will bring his eternal justice – damnation!
There will be no light-hearted, sarcastic jesting about God in the everlasting confines of Hell. Just pain, weeping, despair and regret!
Repent or perish! Turn or burn!
Guardian of Truth XXX: 8, p. 243
April 17, 1985