LAWTON CHURCH OF GOD, LAWTON OKLAHOMA

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Lesson 13 Future Reward and Punishment

 

Devotional Reading:   Revelation 21 and 22

 

Memory Verse:           Matthew 25:34

 

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

 

LESSON TEXT

 

Matthew 16:27. For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

 

Romans 2:7–11. To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 10But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 11For there is no respect of persons with God.

 

2 Thessalonians 1:6–10. Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 7And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

 

Matthew 25:46. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

 

COMMENTS ON THE LESSON TEXT

 

Matthew 16:27. Man shall receive his final reward at the coming of Christ.

Romans 2:7–11. The righteous are now seeking glory, honor, and immortality. They shall receive glory, honor, peace, and eternal life. Immortality and eternal life here mean the same and refer to the endless reward of the righteous. The unrighteous and disobedient shall receive indignation, wrath, tribulation, and anguish. The awards shall be made without respect of persons.

2 Thessalonians 1:6, 7. God’s righteousness is upheld in the rewards he administers. The righteous shall receive rest and the wicked tribulation when Christ comes. Vv 8, 9. The punishment is for those who do not know God and who do not obey the gospel. The punishment is described as terrible and unending. V10. This occurs at the same time as the blessing of the righteous.

Matthew 25:46. The duration of the punishment of the wicked will be the same as the duration of the reward of the righteous.

 

LESSON TOPIC: FUTURE REWARD AND PUNISHMENT

 

I. THE FACT OF FUTURE REWARDS

 

1. Reason calls for future and final rewards.

 

2. The Bible teaches future and final rewards for all.

 

II. THE PLACE OF REWARD

 

1. The rewards are not received on this earth.

 

A) This earth is a place of probation. Here each one is given opportunity to prepare for the eternal state. Here the wheat and tares grow together. The earth is not a suitable place for eternal existence. Change and decay are everywhere evident which are not to be expected in an eternal home. B) The earth will be destroyed at the day of judgment so it cannot be the eternal home of either the righteous of the wicked.

 

2. The righteous will be rewarded in heaven.

 

A) This is their hope. Ancient saints looked for such a reward (Hebrews 11:8–16), and such Christ promised (Matthew 5:12). It is the place where Christ and the Father now are and where we shall enjoy their presence in eternity. B) It is a prepared place (John 14:1–3). Christ is now preparing for the reception of his people in a place now existing. This he calls his Father’s house. He shall come for us and take us to that place where he now is. Hence it shall not be this earth made over. The new heaven and earth will not be this earth. We cannot tell just where heaven is located, but it is a real place to which Christ ascended and from which he will return.

 

3. The wicked will be punished in hell.

 

A) This is not the grave. The grave is not a place of punishment but a place to which all go regardless of character. It is only the body that enters the grave. Hell, as used in the Bible, may sometimes refer to the grave but certainly not when referring to the eternal punishment of the wicked. B) It is a place and not a mere condition. The wicked will be cast into hell (Psalm 9:17), and man, both soul and body, may be sent there (Matthew 10:28). No doubt it is the condition’s existing there that makes it hell but it is a place nevertheless. C) It is a place of punishment. The wicked shall be in a state of conscious suffering in hell. This is described as weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:12), and a place of unquenchable fire.

 

III. THE NATURE OF THE REWARDS

 

1. The reward of the righteous.

 

A) There shall be no more sorrow, pain or death. All tears shall be wiped away and gladness will fill every heart. The beauty and glory of the place will be a constant pleasure. B) Temptation will not be there and the danger of falling will be over. The battle will be over and the final victory won. The victors need fear no future attack but can forever rejoice in their security. There shall be peace and joy unalloyed. C) There shall be the privilege of association with all the holy saints and angels. We shall sit down in the kingdom with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and converse with the holy prophets of old. Our own loved ones who died in the faith will be there. D) Best of all the righteous shall come to know Jesus and the Father as we now know our friends. We now see through a glass darkly but we shall then see face to face and know was we are known. E) The full blessings are beyond our imaginations, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard” the things that await the blessed.

 

2. The punishment of the wicked.

 

A) It will not be annihilation. The wages of sin is not physical death which all suffer, both good and evil. The wicked are represented as in conscious suffering beyond the judgment so they will still be in existence. B) It will not be the pains of literal fire. Though hell is described as a place of fire it can scarcely be literal fire, for it is also represented as a place of blackness, and darkness. Literal fire cannot affect a spirit being like the devil and his angels. As fire is the figure used the reality must be terrible. C) It will be the loss of all that is good. To be forever separated from God and from every holy influence, to have no hope of every attaining to purity or the blessings of heaven will be a severe punishment. D) The remorse of conscience and remembrance of neglected opportunities, gone forever, will bring mental anguish and despair. E) The punishment of hell is represented as a positive infliction.

 

IV. THE DURATION OF THE REWARDS

 

1. The reward of the righteous will be eternal.

 

The Bible so promises. It is called an incorruptible inheritance, eternal salvation, everlasting life. We will reign for ever and ever. This truth is universally admitted. No one has been known to argue that the blessed reward in heaven will come to an end.

 

2. The punishment of the wicked will also be eternal.

 

A) The Bible so declares. It is expressed by such terms as everlasting punishment, everlasting destruction, eternal damnation, and eternal judgment. B) The means to be employed will be eternal; eternal fire and undying worm, with no offer of salvation and no crossing of the gulf man is left to endure the circumstances of his own creation which he is powerless to change. C) Abandoned to all that is evil it is but natural to suppose that he will continue in sin and thus add to his own guilt. The sinner can never escape the natural consequences of his own sin.