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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Mar. 31, 2008

  • 2008 Mar 31

Inescapable Eternal Punishment

We are studying prophetic Scriptures that are coming to pass just as God promised that they would. Today I want to look at the most frequently fulfilled prophecy of all. The one event that God promised would happen, warned everyone to prepare for—and yet it takes almost everyone off guard and by surprise. That is of course death—and the judgment of God upon all who die in their sins.  

Every second two people die somewhere on this planet. Have you ever thought what happens just one moment after death? So that we would know and be ready Jesus instructs us in His Word. Open with me to John 8:24.

First, Jesus warns that the very worst thing that could happen to anyone is for them to die in their sins.

  • John 8:24 "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

Next, He lets us know that death does not end life, it just changes the location. There is no cessation of conscious existence. Look with me again at II Corinthians 5:6, 8—

  • 2 Corinthians 5:6, 8 “So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”

Today we will study the final truth Jesus speaks of most frequently. He lets us know that the dead awaken from the momentary rest of death in a very real, very painful, very different place. The first thing that they experience is the inescapable reality that they will now have to live with the results of their choices.

So every second over and over again the prophecy of God's Word happens. People face death alone. People face death in their sins. People face death in horror, pain, and the endless punishment their sins deserve.

That is what many experience—one moment after death. Now listen with me as Jesus told a parable in Luke 12:16-20. Stand with me as I read these verses.

  • Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. 17 And he thought within himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?" 18 So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” ’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’

One of the most vivid recollections of my youth took place in the middle of one dark and rainy   night in July of 1966.   In the pitch black of that night, I awoke with a start--by the seeming pain of being struck in the face. Something had hit me, and was now sliding down my face and neck.   It was absolutely dark, so dark I could feel it.  

I was cold, clammy and so tightly packed in that it was hard to move! And, then above all that there was a brief flash of fear and fright of the unknown. Where was I? What was happening? Why is it so dark? What hit me and was rolling down my face and neck?  

Well, as I sat up, my head hit the canvas of the tent, the steady low rumble of my Dad’s snoring form soon fully awakened me. And then as I laid back processing all that, I was struck again. A larger cold drop of water hit my face from directly overhead. It ran down my face, then my chin and down my neck.

Then in the dark I understood. I was camping with my dad, it was the middle of the night, and then the awful realization of the inescapable result of a wrong decision I had made… I settled back into my cold sleeping bag to lay all night under the persistent drip of cold rain water on my face. Why? I had disobeyed—and now I faced the inescapable consequences of my sin.

Dad had said repeatedly as we set up our tent before the rain had started, “Don’t touch the tent once we are inside- it will drip”.   At ten, my curiosity drove me to test his word. So there in the dark I had waited for him to start his patterned breathing that signaled sleep. Then I did it. I disobeyed him. Just one finger raised in the dark directly over my head was all I did. I touched the tent, and nothing happened—at that moment. So, I went to sleep confident that all was well. Dad was mistaken. I was okay. Until the consequences warned of—became reality that dark night.

As the drops of water rained down on me faster and faster all night long, I faced the horrible reality of the results of disobedience. The deserved pain from negligence and willful disobedience is always hardest to face.  

The inescapable reality most humans will face a moment after they die is that they were not prepared for meeting God. They died in their sins. And all who die in their sins face an inescapable eternal punishment.


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