Another “Unpopular” Promise of Sin’s Consequences

August 18, 2008

Just sharing a short devotional thought from Hoekstra. Being reminded about the ultimate reality of eternal life is very needy in our material western lives.  

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. (Mat_13:49-50)

Here are some more “unpopularpromises 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” (Joh_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” (Heb_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” (Exo_3:14 and Joh_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” (Rev_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” (2Th_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” (Rom_6:23 and Joh_10:28).

 


What is sin?

October 12, 2007

I think it’s important (and helpful for evangelism) to think about a correct understanding of sin. While we can refer to breaking the commandments of God as sin (murder, idolatry, etc.), it is probably more correct to consider these active manifestations of our rebellion against God as “sins”. Where “Sin” is the condition or state in which the human race is in since the fall of Adam and Eve, “sins” are the various manifestations of this condition that naturally flow from our fallen condition. Paul talks about the two states or conditions in which people are before God in Romans 5:12-21: We are either “in Adam” and thus condemned by the Law and under God’s judgement and wrath; or we are “in Christ” and free from the condemnation that the Law brings and we receive Christ’s righteousness as a free gift accepted by faith. The Law of God, as this website correctly asserts, was introduced by God to expose the state of Sin. The Law does this by showing us our various and many “sins”. We need to have the right distinction in our minds when explaining the gospel. There is Sin (our sinful condition) and there is sin (the various manifestations of our sinful condition). Read the rest of this entry »