TL-1 - Whom Will God Punish, and Why?
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“Enter by the narrow gate for wide is the gate and broad is the way
that leads to destruction and many there are who go in by,” Matthew
7:13-14. Jesus here made it abundantly clear that the road that leads to
eternal destruction is a wide path, and abroad gate, and many are going
down that path. Who is it exactly that is going down that wide path to
destruction? Why is it that God is going to send them to eternal
Welcome to our study of: Who will God punish, and why?
It is true that God is a loving God, 1 John 4:8 “God is love.” It's true
that “God wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth,”
1 Timothy 2:4.
In fact the Bible says the ‘Lord's not slow concerning His promises as
some men count slowness but is long-suffering toward us not willing that
any should perish but that all should come to repentance.’ God is a God of
love. He wants all men to be saved. God doesn't want anyone to be lost or
perish; however, God being a fair and just judge, Genesis 18:25, it is also
the case that God will punish some people out of His fairness and His
righteousness. He must do exactly that. So who will God punish, and why
will He punish those people?
The Scriptures teach that God will punish those who do not know Him
that is those who were not New Testament Christians. Listen to the words
of 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10, “And to give you who are troubled rest with us
when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels 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. These shall be
punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and
from the glory of His power when He comes in that day to be glorified in His
saints and be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony
among you was believed.”
Paul makes it abundantly clear that part of those people who were
going to be punished are those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus said in Matthew 25 when there was that great
separation scene between the sheep and the goats, he said “Those who
are going to be punished are those who do not know God they will go away
into everlasting destruction.”
When we think of those, who one day are going to be lost, we’ve got
to realize it's those who were not New Testament Christians. Friend how
important it is that we obey the gospel and become children of God. God
does want all of His children to live faithfully and to go to heaven.
To escape punishment you've got to become a New Testament
Christian. There's no other way. Peter said in Acts 4:12 “Nor is there
salvation in any other, for there's no other name under heaven given
among men by which we must be saved.” Christians are the only ones who
have their sins washed in the blood of the Lamb, Revelation 1:3-4. They’re
the only ones who have their sins forgiven. Acts 2:38 when Peter preached
the gospel he preached “Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins.”
If you're not a New Testament Christian you are in that class of people who
will one day suffer in eternal torment.
As you notice 2 Thessalonians 1 there are two classes of people:
those who do not know God and those who do not obey the gospel of our
Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Those who don't know God are those who
have never entered into a relationship with Him. Those who do not obey
the gospel doesn't just include initially obeying the gospel-but it is a
continual idea. Those who don't live faithful to the gospel every day, not
only will those of never become Christians suffer punishment, but wayward
children of God will also be punished in that day. Listen to what Paul said to
Christians in 1 Corinthians 10:12. Paul said “Let him who thinks he stand
take heed lest he fall.” It is the case that Christians must be vigilant. We
must make sure that were living like we ought to. If we're not careful, we
Some people of talk the idea that once you become a child of God
you can never be lost, once saved always saved. That's just not what the
Bible teaches. In fact in Galatians 5:4 Paul said, writing to the church in
Galatia, “You who attempt to be justified by law you have become severed
from grace,” listen “you have fallen from grace.” You have fallen out of
Christ. They cannot be right with God if they don't stay faithful.
Let me give you an example. Acts 8 Simon the sorcerer hears the
word of God preached. In verses 12-13 he is baptized. He obeys the
gospel and becomes a Christian. He reverts back to his old way very
quickly. He sees that through the laying on the apostles hands the power of
the Holy Spirit is given. He says ‘I'll give you money if you will give me that
power.’ Peter says “Your money perish with you. You thought the gift God
purchased with money you got neither part nor portion in this matter your
hearts not right with God.” Peter said “You need to repent and pray to God
if the evil thought of your heart might be forgiven you.”
What's significant is Peter said “Your money,” listen “is going to
perish with you.” Who is in that class of people who will be punished?
Christians who live in sin. There is nothing more repulsive the God then a
child of His who goes back into the world. It's disgusting in God's eyes.
How do we know that? 2 Peter 2:20-22. Here's the grotesque image God
chooses to think of when a child of His goes back. “It's like a dog returning
to its own vomit or a sow having washed returning to its wallowing in the
mire.” What a filthy and disgusting image that is! That's how God feels
when one of His children, who have been washed in the blood of the Lamb
and who's been sanctified and made holy, turns back to the world.
A child of God can so sin as to be lost. If they remain in that sin, they
will be a part of that group who one day is going to be punished.
We also know that God is going to punish all the disobedient
throughout the ages in that final day. All those throughout the ages that
lived in disobedience will be punished. I want you notice what the Scripture
says in 2 Corinthians 10:5-6. The apostle Paul says “Casting down
arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of
God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,” and
notice, “and being ready, Jesus is ready to punish all disobedience when
your obedience is fulfilled.” On that final day when all men stand before the
bar of God and give an account, those who lived in disobedience will be
punished. They'll hear that horrific statement ‘Depart from me you worker of
iniquity. I never knew you. Cast the unprofitable servant into outer
darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ This reminds us of
the need to obey God. Matthew 7:21 Jesus said “It's not everybody that
that looks up into heaven and says ‘Lord, Lord’ that's going there, but he
who does the will of My Father in heaven.” It’s not just enough to name a
name. You've got a do what God says. Luke 6:46 as Jesus thought about
the Pharisees and their hypocrisy, Jesus asked them this, “Why do you call
me ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do the things which I say?” You can’t just call
Him ‘Lord, Lord.’ You've got to do what He says. You have to obey Him.
Jesus said “If you love me, if you say you love me, keep my
commandments,” John 14:15. He is the author of eternal salvation to all
who obey Him. There is a dire need to make sure that I am living obediently
to God and His cause.
Who else is going to be punished by God? The Scriptures teach that
all the wayward angels, who did not submit to God and who left their proper
domain or authority, are also going be punished on that day. Listen to the
words of Jude. The scripture says “And the angels who did not keep their
proper domain but left their own abode, He, God, has reserved in
everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of that great day as
Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them in similar manners to
these, having given themselves over to sexual morality, gone after strange
flesh, are set forth as an example,” notice, “suffering the vengeance of
eternal fire.” God created these angels. They’re ministering spirits the Bible
tells us. Some of them rose up against God and didn't remain under proper
authority. God says those angels, on the final day, are also going to be
What's the practical lesson for us? I'm not listening for a voice from
an angel. I'm not infatuated with the idea of angels. I know they were God's
servants. The Bible teaches us “Even if we,” Paul said, “or an angel from
heaven preached to you any other gospel that we have preached, let him
be accursed,” Galatians 1:6. We do not worship Angels. We are not waiting
to hear a message from an angel. Angels can and have disobeyed God in
the past, and thus we have to listen to the word of God.
Our message today is found in the Bible. Hebrews 1:1 “God who at
various times in various ways spoke in times past of the fathers by the
prophets,” notice, “has in these last days spoken to us by His son.” I'm
listening today to the word of Jesus. John 12:48 Jesus said “He who rejects
me does not receive my word has that which judges him. The word that I've
spoken will judge him in the last day.” I am going to be judged by the word
of God. Don't be infatuated so much with Angels and listening for a
message. Some of them are going to be punished, because they did not
Who else will be punished? The Bible teaches that enemies of the
cross of Jesus Christ will be punished by God on the last day. Notice Paul's
words in Philippians 3:18-19. Paul said “For many walk of whom I told you
often, and now tell you even weeping that they are enemies of the cross of
Christ whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, whose glory is in
their shame, who set their mind on earthly things.” What about the enemies
of the cross? Their end is also going to be eternal destruction.
Now you might be thinking to yourself, ‘Who would we identify as an
enemy of the cross?’ Anyone who promotes anything other than the
simplicity of Christ and His doctrine is an enemy of the cross. False
teachers are enemies of the cross. ‘They have itching ears.’ Bible says
‘they’ll heap up for themselves teachers after their own desires and draw
many away.’ That's why we've got to preach the word, 2 Timothy 4:1-4. the
Bible teaches that those who don't know God and those who do not
acknowledge Him as God are also enemies of the cross. Atheist are
enemies of the cross of Jesus Christ. Remember the Bible says “The fool
says in his heart there is no God.” You can know there's a God. You can
look around and see. Those who claim not to believe in God are enemies
of the cross. Agnosticism and agnostics are enemies of the cross. An
agnostic is someone who really is not sure and doesn't know whether you
can know or not. ‘Might be a God. Might not be a God. Who really knows?
We just live the best life and hope for the best in the end.’ That is not the
mindset Jesus promoted. Jesus said “You shall know the truth and the truth
will make you free.” Ungodly, immoral people who live in debauchery and
sin are enemies of the cross of Christ. They trample and knew the son of
God, Hebrews 10:26-29.
There's another class that will be punished. The Bible teaches those
who are worldly, that is those whose mindset and goals and hope is set on
this world, they're going to be punished in the last day. Matthew 7:13-14
again teaches us most of this world is going down the wrong path that
leads to destruction. This world that we live in right now, although there are
many beauties created by God, this world is temporary. We must not put
our hope on this old world. Listen to what Peter said as he thought about
the end of all things. In 2 Peter 3:9 the Scripture says “The Lord is not slack
concerning His promises as some men count slackness, but is
long-suffering toward us not willing that any should perish but that all
should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in
the night in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise and the
elements will melt with fervent heat,” notice, “both the earth and the works
that are in it will be burned up. Therefore since all these things will be
destroyed what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and
godliness looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God because
of which the heavens will be dissolved being on fire and the elements will
melt with fervent heat.” What's going to happen to this old world? Jesus
had already said Matthew 24:34-36 “The earth and all that’s in it will one
day burn up, will pass away, will cease to exist, but he who does the will of
God that's the person who will live forever.”
We must not put our hope on this world. James 4:4 uses very strong
language to describe worldliness. James says “Adulterers and adulteresses
do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?
Whoever therefore makes himself a friend of the world has become God's
enemy.” You can't have both. Jesus said “You cannot love God and man or
earthly riches, Matthew 6:24. The command is do not love the world or the
things of the world, 1 John 2:15. God is saying that not just because he
despises the world, which is gone after Satan and his devices, but because
He wants to warn us not to get caught up in that trap.
Who else is going to be punished on the last day? The Bible also
teaches that great enemy of old, Satan himself, is going to be punished in
everlasting fire on the last day. Look in Matthew 25:41. The Scripture reads
in Matthew 25:41 “Then He, Jesus, will also say to those on the left-hand
‘depart from me you cursed into the everlasting fire,’ notice ‘prepared for
the devil and his angels.’ Revelation 20 is a great separation scene again
and that old serpent that Dragon of old, is cast into the bottomless pit of fire
and brimstone- again a picture of Satan and his eternal destruction.
Friend if we follow the devices of Satan, if we give our heart to his
things: his teaching, his worldliness- then we’re going to go where Satan
himself will spend eternity. It's not that much fun to follow the devil when
you think about the end result. Too many times we get caught up in the
here and now and the impulse and immediacy of the fun. When we lose
sight of the fact the devil has already lost. You’re on the losing side if you
follow Satan. You will be punished forever.
The Bible also teaches that the unjust of this world will be punished
by the Father. People who don't deal righteously, people who cheat, and lie
and deceive, and steal, the swindlers, the ponzi scheme- people of this
world, those who try to trick people, and be a great con artist- the unjust-
will also be punished- if they don't change their ways. Notice the words of 2
Peter 2:9. The Bible reads “Then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly
out of temptations and reserve the unjust under punishment for the Day of
Judgment.” Here we’re clearly taught that people who are not fair, just, and
righteous in their standards and their judgments will not go to heaven on
the final day. And so judges, those who run businesses, those are in places
of authority; how we need to strive to make sure that we have just
standards and that we follow the teaching of God.
Another class of people the Bible teaches that one day will be
punished are the immoral of this world. From the time of Genesis all the
way up to today the world has had it. Those of the world who have run
immorality, they follow the path of immorality and ungodliness. We have got
to make sure, if we’re going to be saved, we avoid immorality.
Now I want you to notice what the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
Listen to these words. The Scripture says “Do you not know that the
unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived neither
fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,
nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor liars, nor extortioners.” Nor
will what? “Nor will they inherit the kingdom of God and such were some of
you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified which were justified in
the name the Lord Jesus and by the spirit of our God.”
It's clear from this text that those who live in immorality will not make
it to heaven. Notice the people mentioned: adulterers (those who take other
spouses), fornicators (those who live in sexual immorality before marriage),
and notice especially those who do not hold to God's standard of marriage.
God’s standard is a ‘man shall leave his father and mother be joined to his
wife and the two shall become one flesh,’ Genesis 2:24. One man, one
woman for life. Look at what the text says ‘homosexuals and sodomites will
not inherit the kingdom of God.’
Friend the homosexual agenda is often times being pushed down our
throat like it's something that everybody ought to except and if you don't
accept you're like a racist. Friend, that's not at all a fair comparison. Listen
very carefully. The Bible says in no uncertain terms: homosexuals will not
go to heaven. That's what God says. That's how clear it is. They will not, if
they continue in that lifestyle, inherit the kingdom of God. And so
immorality, thieves, murderers, extortioners- those are people who one day
sadly will suffer eternal punishment- if they don't change.
Now one more class that we want to look at of people who will be
punished, if they don't change, and that is all the complainers and
grumblers of this old world will be punished on the final day. Notice what
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:10. The Scripture says ‘Nor complain as
some of them also complained and were destroyed by the destroyer.’ He is
talking about the Israelites, who throughout the traveling from Egypt to the
Promised Land, began to complain and murmur. They saw the miracles.
They received the food from heaven. And yet, how did they show God their
thanks? ‘What did you know bring us out here to kill us? Oh that we were
back by the flesh pots in Israel. We’re tired of this manna.’ When God gave
them something different, they began to complain again. God despises
those who are not thankful.
Too many times instead of being humbly grateful, we’re grumbly
hateful. Are we really doing God right if we complain and murmur and
speak against God in a way that's not pleasing to Him and dishonors all
that He's done for us? We have got to make sure not complain or murmur.
The Bible says this, Philippians 2:14-15, ‘Do all things,’ listen to that ‘all
things without murmuring and complaining.’ At times that's hard. It's hard
for each of us, because sometimes our human nature takes over. We want
to complain and grumble a little bit. That's not what God wants us to do.
God says “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ
Jesus for you,” 1 Thessalonians 5:17-21. Let's be careful to make sure that
we're not in this class of people whose one day going to be destroyed.
What you might be thinking to yourself, ‘What is it then that I need to
do to make sure I'm not one of these people who's going to be destroyed?’
First of all, you need to obey the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus said “I
am the way, the truth, the life; no man comes to the Father except by Me.”
Jesus is the only way.
Are you sure today that you're a child of God? How do you become a
Christian? The Bible makes it abundantly clear to become a child of God;
you have to hear God's word. Romans 10:17 says “Faith comes by hearing
and hearing by the word of God.”
Once you’ve recognized the message of God, the truth of the Bible,
and once you’ve accepted that message, then you must believe in Jesus.
Jesus said in John 8:24 “Unless you believe that I'm he you'll surely die in
your sins.” I've got a believe Jesus is the Savior of the world.
Having believed, I can't stop there. I've got a make that life change
known as repentance. Jesus said in Luke 13:3 “Unless you repent you will
all likewise perish.” I have got to change my way of thinking and change my
way of acting to God's way of thinking, acting, and way of living.
Then I have got a make that good confession. In Matthew 10:32-33
Jesus said in essence, ‘If you won’t confess Me before men neither will I
confess you before the father who is in heaven. If you will confess me
before men, I'll also confess you before the Father who is in heaven.’ I
have got to say like the Ethiopian eunuch did “I do believe Jesus is the
Christ the son the living God,” Acts 8:36-38.
Then the Bible teaches to be in that class of people, who’s one day
going to live in heaven, you must be immersed in water for the forgiveness
of your sins.
Acts 22:16 we have Paul's own accounting of his salvation
experience. In Acts chapter 9 the Lord told him ‘now you go into the city
and it'll be told you what you must do.’ We turn to Acts 22:16 and the Bible
says, Ananias speaking to Saul, ‘Why are you waiting? Arise and be
baptized.” Listen, “and wash away your sins calling on the name the Lord.”
Jesus said “He that believes and is baptized will be saved. He that does not
believe shall be condemned.”
Then once you've obeyed the gospel, you've got to live faithfully
every day. Romans 6:4 the Bible teaches us ‘we come up out of the waters
of baptism to walk in newness of life.’ You’re a new creature. You've got a
If anyone's in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed
away. All is new. I'm getting a second chance and with that the Bible says
‘we must live faithful.’ Jesus said “Be faithful unto death, and I'll give you
the crown of life.” You’ve got to seek first God's kingdom. Above all else
seek first the kingdom of God, Matthew 6:33.
Make it your life’s aim and goal to glorify God in everything that you
say and do.
We ask you today of those two classes, those who are going down
the wide way that leads to destruction, and those on the narrow road that
leads to heaven-which class are you in?
Are you sure you're on the right path to heaven? If not, we encourage
you today obey the gospel. Become a child of God. Live faithfully so that
one day you can know for sure ‘I’ve got a home in heaven with all the
redeemed of the ages.’
Won't you do that before it's too late?
Study Questions for Topical Lesson 1:
“Who will God punish, and why?”
1. In Matthew 7:13-14, what does it say about the path to destruction?
2. According to 1 John 4:8, what is God?
3. According to 1 Timothy 2:4, what does God want?
4. Who will be punished according to 1 Thessalonians 1:7-10?
5. According to Matthew 25, who did Jesus say would be punished?
6. What did Peter preach in Acts 2:38?
7. According to Galatians 5:4, can you fall from grave/fall out of Christ?
8. According to 2 Peter 2:20-22, how does God view a Christian living in sin?
9. According to Matthew 7:21, who is going to heaven?
10. According to John 14:15, if we love Jesus what will we do?