This is Part 4 of 6 parts answering the question, “How long does God allow suffering to continue?” in the larger question, “Why does a loving God allow suffering?” Parts 5-6 will be posted on succeeding days.
The Unbeliever Will Suffer in Everlasting Fire
There are many passages that record the horrible suffering that awaits those who reject God’s plan of salvation in Jesus Christ. Luke recorded in his gospel the account Jesus told of the rich man who had been blessed on earth, but was in torments seeking to have merely a drop of water to cool his tongue, “Then he cried and said, `Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.‘” (Luke 16:24 NKJ)
When Jesus returns at the Second Advent, He will judge between the just and the unjust, the believers and unbelievers. Matthew recorded, “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, `Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matt. 25:41 NKJ) And again Jesus said, “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matt. 25:46 NKJ) This is an everlasting destruction away from the presence of Jesus,
6 since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, (2 Thes. 1:6-9 NKJ)
Finally, Peter recorded the judgment on the unbeliever and his destruction, “But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” (2 Pet. 3:7 NKJ) Do not play with the clear teaching of Scripture! Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ today and avoid this perdition (eternal condemnation) forever and ever. As we will see next, unbelievers were warned even in the Old Testament.
The Old Testament Warning of Everlasting Fire
The Lord did not wait until the Bible was completely written to warn the unbeliever of impending punishment. Isaiah prophesied, from B.C. 740-680 to both the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom of Israel, a warning to judge themselves. He wrote, “The sinners in Zion are afraid; Fearfulness has seized the hypocrites: “Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?” (Is. 33:14 NKJ) Scripture is full of warnings that a destructive, everlasting fire awaits the unbeliever.
Unbelievers Will Experience Tremendous Regret
The unbeliever will experience not only torments he eternal emotional regret eternally for failing to humble himself during his time on earth. Jesus told of the parable of the disobedient servant, “Then the king said to the servants, `Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” (Matt. 22:13 NKJ) Avoid the regret and humble yourself if you have not accepted Jesus as your Savior. The cost of rejection is too great! In fact Scripture describes the cost as full of darkness.
Part 5 will be posted tomorrow.