Degrees of punishment
Pastor Mark Jeske
Not everyone believes that there will be a judgment day. Their disbelief will not make it disappear, of course. That day will come without warning, like a thief in the night. When they experience it, they will be in shock.
Those who do believe are usually intensely curious about how the divine decisions will be made. It pleases some people to construct a mental picture of the judgment process that conforms to their idea of justice. Far better to humble ourselves before the Word and just let God explain to us what he is going to do. Only faith in Christ and the shedding of his blood will make us clean enough to approach him. Only faith in Christ will open the gates for us.
Another misconception of judgment day is that the experience of hell is the same for all the condemned. Not so, according to Christ himself. The Judge will tailor a judgment that exactly fits each situation. Does that mean that there will be different degrees of torment, depending on how much people knew and on how strenuously they rebelled against God’s will?
“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you” (Luke 10:13,14).
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