Forthright Magazine

The Kingdom and the Judgment

Many do not want to contemplate a judgment, yet our Lord knew such was coming. He used a seine net to illustrate what would happen. A seine net sucked up all kinds of fish. The fisherman would pull the net to shore and sort the fish. The ones good for eating were placed into vessels and sold at market. The others were thrown away. Jesus said the parable described events at the end of the age. The angels would be sent forth to separate the wicked from the just. The wicked would be cast into a furnace of fire where there would be wailing and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 13:47-50).

Christians should set a goal of being found among the good the Lord will keep. Paul emphasized the need for holding on to the good (1 Thessalonians 5:21). The man who would be an elder must be "a lover of what is good." Older women are to be teachers of good things, specifically teaching younger women to be “good." Titus and other young men were to show themselves "to be a pattern of good works." Jesus "gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works (Titus 1:8; 2:3, 5, 7,14).

Our final goal should be to be among those separated into the group of good people in the day of judgment. We should do good deeds to be rewarded by the Lord (1 Peter 2:12; Ephesians 6:8). Each will appear before Christ’s judgment seat to receive a reward according to what he did in the body (2 Corinthians 5:10). His words were consistent with the Lord’s teachings (John 5:28-29).

The Lord spoke of a furnace of fire in which there would be “wailing and gnashing of teeth.” The fire will be for the chaff and those who do not bring forth good fruit. Jesus warned his disciples to cast aside things that offended them lest they should enter hell’s fire with that offending member. He described the fire as everlasting "where ‘their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’" It was not intended for man, but for the devil and his angels (Matthew 3:12; 7:19; 18:8-9; 25:41; Mark 9:46, 48).

Paul told the brethren at Thessalonica, "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" (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).

Jesus delivered a revelation through John. He wanted to reassure those suffering Christians of the first century. He said the devil would be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. He also said those whose names were not found written in the book of life would be cast into the lake of fire. He went on to list those types of sin which would consign one to the lake burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Revelation 20:10, 14-15; 21:8).

No doubt, hell is real. The Lord told us those things we must do to be counted among the good. We should strive to be among that number the angels will separate to be with their Lord in eternity!


Gary C. Hampton
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