Jesus has died, been buried, and resurrected from the dead (1 Cor 15:3,4). This gospel has been preached to every person, in every nation (Col 1:23) All who turn not from sin to this gospel shall be punished. “Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,”says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people” (Heb 10:28-30). The apostle John defined sin as such, “Whosoever commits sin transgresses the law, for sin is the transgression of the law” (1 Jn. 3:4). Who’s law? God’s law!
The only accurate gauge by which we have to measure the seriousness and shockingly evil sin is, is the punishment that God has decreed against it. Many unpleasant things befall man in this life which come as a consequence of man’s sin and disrespect of God’s law. Since the beginning of time, the world has been laden with a vast burden of woes, pains, and death. The journey of human life is scattered with tears. The whole earth on which we live has become filled with cemeteries. Death, preceded by incalculable pains of the body, tears, and anguish has been the history of man. “Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin” (Rom. 5:12). All of this pain and woe, Paul said is caused by sin. It is a punishment the infinite God laid upon man because of his sin.
Is there any punishment after death ? Jesus said, “My friends, be not afraid of them who kill the body, but after that have nothing more they can do.” They can take your body and burn it and dismember it, but that does not hurt your soul. They have no more that they can do which inflicts any pain upon you. “But,” He continued, “I will forewarn you whom to fear. Fear Him who after He has killed, has power to cast into hell.” (Lk 12:4) Furthermore, in Luke 16, the rich man died (vs 22), and in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torment in the flame, so there definitely is punishment after death for those who transgresses God’s law.
Is there a final judgment for all of mankind?” The Hebrew writer said, “It is appointed unto man once to die, and after this the judgment” (Heb 9:27). In addition then to all the judgments on earth, there is a final judgment that comes after death. “So then each one of us shall give account of himself unto God” (Rom. 14:12). “When the Son of Man shall come in His glory and all the holy angels with Him, then shall he sit upon the throne of His glory and all nations shall be gathered before him” (Mt. 25:31 f; Jn. 5:28,29). “And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne” (Rev. 20:12).
What kind of punishment will God place evil men? God’s infinite justice necessitates punishment to those who have violated His infinite holiness by disobeying His righteous commands. Jesus forewarned us by saying, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels” (Mt. 25:41). Everlasting Fire! A lake that burns with fire and brimstone!! Furthermore he said, “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Mt. 25:30). Men gnash their teeth only, when they are enraged against themselves, when they are tormented with anguish and self-reproach.
How long will that punishment last? Christ stamped the word “eternal” upon the duration of the sinner’s punishment. “And these shall go away into eternal punishment: but the righteous into eternal’ life” (Mt. 25:46). Eternal punishment for the wicked and eternal reward for the saints of God.
How is it, then, that a man or woman can consent to live in sin day by day and still realize the awful consequence of such a life? Knowing that they shall incur this horrendous penalty if they were to die today, and this would be their unending fate, how can they neglect so great a salvation by their obedience to the gospel of Christ? (Heb 2:3).
Therefore what was said on the day of Pentecost and to every Christian convert thereafter, “Repent and be baptized, everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believes not shall be condemned” (Mk 16:16 f; Rom 10:10). There is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism (Eph 4:5). There is no salvation by any other means. Anyone who does not obey this one gospel shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power (2 Thess 1:7-9).