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Will Sinners Be Punished after They Die?


What is the destiny of wicked people after death?

Some people claim that a loving God would never punish people. Others say that physical death is the fate of the wicked, or that we suffer enough from the troubles of this life. What does the Bible say?

 

Consider the fact that righteous people also suffer the fate of physical death, and many good people suffer in this life just as much as evil people. If troubles and death are the only punishment for sin, would God be fair to let the righteous suffer like the wicked?

 

What does the Bible say about the punishment of sinners? In Luke 12:4,5, Jesus said: “Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But … fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell.” Notice that the punishment we should fear is not just the death of the body. Everyone has to die physically. The punishment to be feared is hell after physical death.

 

What will hell be like? Jesus Himself describes it in Matthew 25:41 as being “everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” Luke 16: 24 tells about a man who suffered similar anguish, and there he pled for just a drop of water on his tongue. He said, “I am tormented in this flame.” Surely these passages describe a horrible fate that all sensible people seek to avoid.

 

Will this be your fate? It does not need to be. God is a loving God who does not want you to be punished forever. He sent His only Son to die on the cross so you can have eternal life (Romans 6:23; 5:6-9). “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” – Mark 16:16.

 

But God is also a just God, so people who reject the sacrifice of Jesus will surely be punished. Jesus will come “in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” – 2 Thessalonians 1:8.

 

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(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2019

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