II Thessalonians 1:1-12
9 They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. II Thessalonians 1:9-10 (ESV)
History is headed somewhere! The Bible teaches that a Day of Judgment lies ahead for every person who has ever lived. Scripture says that Jesus, the Redeemer of fallen men, will come to bring consummation to this age. This will be both the best of days and the worst of days. This should be a source of great comfort and encouragement to all who are ready for that day. They will be ushered into eternal blessing. But, for those who have chosen to remain far from God, it will be a day of severe reckoning.
Hell is not a popular topic in our day. Most people seem to think that hell is reserved only for the worst of unrepentant sinners. It is common in our day to attend a funeral and, no matter what lifestyle the person might have lived, to hear that he/she is now "in a better place."
There was an amusingingly contradictory line in a song many years ago: "I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell." That song, by Blood, Sweat, and Tears, was entitled And When I Die. Interestingly it reflects the "I don't know and I don't care" attitude of many today. But, WE CAN KNOW, and WE MUST CARE.
Let me be clear. WE ALL DESERVE HELL. Because of sin, every human being is already deserving of judgment before a holy God. Jesus came to DELIVER us from the eternal damnation which we deserve. He came on a RESCUE MISSION. Therefore, faith in the sacrificial death and resurrection of Christ is the only means of freedom from the condemnation of sin. He paid the price. This is the offer of grace - the offer of salvation.
Heaven is real. But, Hell is real, too. This passage gives four descriptions of this terrible place.
1) It is a place of PUNISHMENT. If we refuse to accept that Jesus took our punishment on the Cross, then that punishment will fall on us.
2) It is EVERLASTING.
3) It is THOROUGH, in that it is said to be "destruction".
4) It is FROM THE PRESENCE of God. Hell is the absolute absence of God.
Praise God that He has made a way for us! It is so simple, even a child can come. God in His love and mercy has granted to each man the freedom to choose his eternal destiny. Therefore, CHOOSE LIFE!