Monday, September 24, 2018
“And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city” (Mark 6:11 KJV).
Are there degrees of punishment in Hell and the Lake of Fire? Indeed!
Eternal judgment is undoubtedly the least popular Bible topic. Yet, dear friends, we must not pretend the Scriptures are silent on the subject. There is a most (!) terrible (!), everlasting (!) doom (!) awaiting those who leave this world without knowing Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. As pleasant as Heaven is, is how dreadful Hell is. In abject agony, the souls of the hopelessly damned (even now!) let out their bloodcurdling screams, “Water! Water! We just want one drop of water! Tell our relatives and friends not to come here! This is a horrific place! What indescribable torment! Water! Water! One drop of water! Water! Water!” Throughout the endless ages to come, those chilling shrieks are heard loud and clear….
One frequent objection to the Bible doctrine of Hell and the Lake of Fire is that Almighty God simply cannot be fair in punishing everyone in the same place since some people lived worse than others. For instance, it is commonly asked, “How can a little, sweet grandmother wind up in the same place of torment as cruel dictators Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin?” Rather than God judging man (as it should be), man sits in judgment of God. Still, God already anticipated such complaints, and therefore provided answers in Scripture!
There are certainly degrees of eternal punishment. While it will all be “hot,” “flames,” “torment,” some temperatures will be much greater than others. Some damned souls arrive at a “warm” oven: here, it is “slightly uncomfortable” (comparatively speaking, of course). Other souls wake up in a scorching furnace: think of a sea of molten rock oozing from Earth’s interior or an enormous forest fire raging out of control. Whatever balminess, such suffering is totally unknown to us!
What factors determine the temperature of eternal judgment for a particular soul? The Bible says there are at least two issues that we must consider in this regard….