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SALVATION QUESTION 214
Will people suffer different degrees of punishment in hell?
It is generally believed that the correct response to this often asked question is - no. Many believe that when sinners go to hell, all suffer alike. But they would also likely be the first to decry our judicial system that would put both a murderer and thief in the same prison for the same length of time.
God has committed all judgment to the Son. “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son” (John 5:22). He declares it again in Acts 17:31, “Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”
Jesus Christ is God and it is said of Him that He is ‘holy’ and ‘just’ - “But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you”(Acts 3:14). Since He is holy, he must judge sin. Since he is just He must do it righteously. That would not be so if He were to judge a moral living man and a man like Hitler (if he died in his sins) alike. Hitler would deserve more punishment.
The following Bible verses attest to Christ’s ways in judgment:
1. “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD” (Ezekiel 18:30).
2. “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works” (Revelation 20:13).
3. “Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert” (Psalm 28:4).
4. “And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes”(Luke 12:47-48).
5. “Who will render to every man according to his deeds” (Romans 2: 6).
Jesus Christ is the only one who has the right to judge. He is both the Saviour and Judge of men (cf. Acts 10:42). If He is your Saviour He will never be your Judge.
Dear reader; if He is not your Saviour when you die you will be punished for your own sins in hell. Will you hear those fateful words, “Depart from me ye workers of iniquity for I never knew you” (Matthew 7:23). Think about an eternity in hell. Are you being wise in putting the matter off until it is too late?
All comments and questions to: Harold Smith
Updated March 13th, 2014 by Sandra Felix