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 Problem #2 - Sin's Penalty 

The Apostle Paul writes, "For the wages of sin is death." (Romans 6:23) Wages are earned through diligence in labor. A person deserves to be paid for his work. God tells us us that our labor of sinning results in our earning (or deserving) death as a wage.

Speaking of sin, an Old Testament prophet named Ezekiel said, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." (Ezekiel 18:4, 20) God revealed His law to mankind and gave clear warning about the consequences of breaking His law.

Lest the objection be raised that not everyone in the world has heard of the Ten Commandments, Paul tells us that God will judge the person who knows the law by the law, and the person who hasn't heard of the law, God will judge apart from the law (Romans 2:11-16). The person's own conscience will bear witness against him. Even the best of men still fail to keep their own lower standards. God will be just in His judgment of sin. 

Painting "Lake of Fire" by Justin Baldwin

                       “Everlasting Fire”   Matthew 18:8

                       "Fire Unquenchable”  Luke 3:17

                       “Judgment”           Hebrews 9:27
 
                       “Lake of Fire”     Revelation 20:14
 
                       “Second Death”   Revelation 21:8

In physical death the body is separated from the soul. Eternal death is the separation of the soul from the presence of God in a real Hell.

Abraham once asked when interceding before the Lord on behalf of others, "Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?" (Genesis 18:25) God's justice demands a righteous judgment of sin.

Habakkuk testified of the Lord that His eyes were too pure to tolerate evil or to look on wickedness with favor (Habakkuk 1:13). God's holiness demands His judgment of sin.

Throughout Scripture God promises He will judge the sins of men (Jeremiah 1:16; Malachi 3:5; John 5:22-29; Romans 2:1-5; Hebrews 10:30-31; 2 Peter 2:9). God is faithful in keeping every promise of blessing. God is also faithful in keeping every promise of judgment. The veracity of God demands that God judge sin.

It may seem like God is blind to the wickedness and injustice of men. He is not blind. He has witnessed every act. He has heard every word. He knows our motives and has listened in to our thoughts. There is nothing hidden from God. He knows all the facts, and because of that, the judgments of God are true and sure. His judgment will be final. There will be no appeal. God knows us for who we really are. God knows that sin, like a cancer, has dirtied and corrupted all of creation. God's wisdom demands His judgment of sin.

“The wicked shall be turned unto hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:17).

"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." (John 3:36)
 
“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:15)

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

Question: I want you to be honest with yourself and with God. If this was the day you were ushered into eternity, would you be welcomed into heaven -- or -- would you be sent from the presence of God to spend your eternity in hell? If your honest answer is "Hell", or if the best you can say is, "I hope I'd go to heaven, but I'm not sure if God would let me in or not", THEN YOU NEED TO BE VERY CONCERNED FOR YOUR SOUL!

The Bible is very clear that mankind's two problems are bad news. If we were left solely to our own resources it would result in eternal disaster. I'm so glad the Bible has more to say than to simply point out the bad news of our problem. It also points us to God's answer for our problem. And that is the good news.
                
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