There Will Be A Future Punishment Of The Wicked

If the discourses of Christ Himself do not teach us that punishment comes to some after death, then we might as well give up all hope of learning anything from the Bible. Archibald Alexander provides us with scriptural evidence for this teaching:

“And if your hand offends you, cut it off: it is better for you to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched; where the worm dies not, and the fire is not quenched.” (Mark 9:43-44)

Our blessed Savior says, “Fear not those who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The same solemn truth is repeated in Luke: “But I will forewarn you whom you shall fear: fear him, who, after he has killed, has power to cast into hell.” Matt. 10:28; Luke 12:5. Here the casting into hell comes after the death of the body, and must therefore mean future punishment beyond the grave. The truth is so plain, that argument or comment seems to be superfluous: it cannot be made more evident. . . .

[T]hose who have done good, [go] to the resurrection of life; and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation.” John 5:29. These are also the words of Him who is TRUTH itself, and they teach as clearly as words can teach, that after the bodies of the wicked have lain for a time in the grave, they will come forth unto the resurrection of damnation. . . .

“Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” “Depart, you cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” “These shall go away into everlasting punishment, and the righteous into life eternal.” Matt. chapter 25. Is there no reference to future punishment in these solemn declarations of our Lord? If not, then there is no reference to the future blessedness of the righteous. If ten thousand people were set to read this portion of Scripture, and each to declare what he believed to be the plain import of the words, can it be believed that there would be found one individual who would doubt whether or not future punishment was threatened here? Certainly not, unless he had been perverted by the false glosses of Universalist teachers. . . .

Our Lord, in the explanation of the parable of the tares, says, “As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of the world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Matt. 13:40-43. And in the parable of the net cast into the sea, in the same chapter, our Lord, in the application, says, “So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and separate the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Matt. 13:47-50. In these passages the punishment threatened is to be inflicted by the ministry of angels at the end of the world, and must, of course, be future punishment. And as this tremendous punishment of being cast into a furnace of fire is threatened to all workers of iniquity, it must be endured after the resurrection. There is here no need of exposition. (“Future Punishment: The Universalist Refuted”)

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