Day by Day by Grace
by Pastor Bob Hoekstra
Saturday, August 18th
Another "Unpopular" Promise of Sin's Consequences
So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 13:49-50)
Here are some more "unpopular" promises from Jesus. This series of promises intensifies the warning He gave in our previous meditation concerning the consequences of sin. "If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins" (John 8:24). Our present verses reveal by promise the absolute certainty of, and dreadful extent of, sin's consequences. In a world that wants to ignore eternity and deny accountability, these are unpopular promises.
All who die in the guilt of sin will definitely be judged some day. It is an absolute certainty. A day of accountability is coming. "So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just." Those who die before this day will also face judgment. "It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). The place of final judgment for the unsaved will be the great white throne. "Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it... And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God... And the dead (the unredeemed dead) were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books... And they were judged, each one according to his works... And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire" (Rev 20:11-15).
This absolutely certain judgment also has a dreadful extent. It is eternal. Sin is a spiritual crime against God. The true and living God is eternal. He is the great "I AM" (Exodus 3:14 and John 8:58). Therefore, the consequences of sin are also eternal. Thus, all unbelievers will be "cast into the lake of fire and brimstone... And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever" (Revelation 20:10). The ultimate torment of hell will be separation from God's presence for eternity. "These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord" (2 Thessalonians 1:9).
The absolute certainty of, and the dreadful extent of, the consequences of sin make earlier promises we have examined all the more critical. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord... And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish" (Romans 6:23 and John 10:28).
Everlasting Father, I know that I deserve eternal judgment due to my sins against You. I praise You for the gracious gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ, my Lord. Use me to help others know of the reality of judgment and the availability of everlasting life, Amen.