We are continuing our series on the most unpopular doctrine of hell:
2nd Thessalonians 1:5-10 (CSB) It is clear evidence of God’s righteous judgment that you will be counted worthy of God’s kingdom, for which you also are suffering, 6 since it is just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you 7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted, along with us. This will take place at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his powerful angels, 8 when he takes vengeance with flaming fire on those who don’t know God and on those who don’t obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will pay the penalty of eternal destruction from the Lord’s presence and from his glorious strength 10 on that day when he comes to be glorified by his saints and to be marveled at by all those who have believed, because our testimony among you was believed.
Unfortunately, critics often erroneously suggest that Paul never teaches about hell, which would only be true if you only looked for the word “hell” in his writings, but his teachings here clearly demonstrate otherwise.
Paul’s doctrine on the judgment of God appeals to Old Testament passages about hell:
Psalm 79:6 (CSB) Pour out your wrath on the nations that don’t acknowledge you, on the kingdoms that don’t call on your name.
Isaiah 66:14-15 (CSB) Look, the LORD will come with fire— his chariots are like the whirlwind— to execute his anger with fury and his rebuke with flames of fire. 16 For the LORD will execute judgment on all people with his fiery sword, and many will be slain by the LORD.
The apostle Paul warns that Jesus will return for judgment against the ungodly to take revenge with flaming fire against those who rejected God.
There is no backdoor to redemption in hell; it is eternal destruction from the presence of the Lord.
Philippians 3:18-19 (CSB) For I have often told you, and now say again with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction; their god is their stomach; their glory is in their shame. They are focused on earthly things