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Sobering Doctrine

Posted by: David Carroll

2 Thessalonians 1:7b-10a (NIV)

... when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed.

Reading through the bible like this, I have to take the readings as they come. I probably would not have chosen this verse for today, but God did. The topic of this verse, not talked about much today, is the doctrine of eternal damnation. I understand the silence, I am wincing even reading this passage. I can't think of any passage any clearer and more graphic about the subject than this. Here we have a good description of what Hell is: being separated from the Lord forever. Don't get the idea that everlasting destruction implies annihilation. We will all have a conscious existence forever. It is not a temporary place of separation while you work things out. It is everlasting.

I beg anyone reading this, wake up, and know whether you will spend eternity in heaven or whether you will be shut out forever from the presence and majesty of the Lord. How can you know? This verse says it. Those who do not know God and who do not obey the gospel of our Lord. How can you know God? By knowing Jesus Christ because he said "if you have seen me, you have seen the Father." What is the gospel of Jesus Christ? That he was God who became a man, who was crucified on a cross to pay the penalty of our sin, he was buried and rose again on the third day. He lives. He lives in me through the Holy Spirit. He lives in anyone who will repent of their sins and trust in Him for salvation from this everlasting destruction we have been reading about.

Jesus had a few things to say about this too:

Matthew 13:40-43 (NIV)

"As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

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