5 Minute Read

TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

Exodus 28:1-43
Matthew 25:31–26:13
Psalm 31:9-18
Proverbs 8:12-13

TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Matthew 25:46 (CSB): “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Our Verse for Today is as simple as it is powerful. It is easy to read through it quickly … but it is worthy of serious, meditative reflection.

A few verses earlier, in Matthew 25:31, Jesus addressed a sobering topic. He spoke about the day that every person would gather before Him, He would separate them into Jesus-followers and unbelievers, and then pronounce judgment.

He ended His words about the final judgments with our Verse for Today:

Matthew 25:46 (CSB): “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Simple and yet incredibly profound.

So, what does it mean?

For starters, there are only two destinations: one group will be sent to eternal punishment (Hell) and the other group will be sent into eternal life (Heaven).

But, there is something else in this verse that answers the question: “How long will it last?”

When we consider the words, “eternal life,” we understand that it primarily refers to quality and not quantity. It primarily speaks of the fact that the Eternal One comes to dwell inside the Jesus-follower. When we trust in Jesus to forgive us and save us, He comes to take up residence within us (the Eternal One comes to live within us so we have Eternal Life).

But, the word “eternal” also speaks of quantity.

A.T. Robertson, the late New Testament Greek scholar, wrote about this verse. Listen to what he said about the word “eternal” as he addressed of the Greek word from which it is translated (αἰωνιος [aiōnios]):

“The word αἰωνιος [aiōnios] … means either without beginning or without end or both. It comes as near to the idea of eternal as the Greek can put it in one word.”

So, when Jesus said that the righteous would go away to “eternal life” and the unrighteous would go away to “eternal punishment,” He was using a word that literally means “forever.”

I have to be completely transparent on this point. I have done much study on Hell. I have a massive folder that contains months and months of my material as I poured over the Scriptures looking for anything and everything that the Bible says about Hell.

As I developed a greater and deeper understanding of that place, I found myself wanting to believe that it was a temporary place of punishment. As I dug deeper into the horrors of Hell as described by Jesus and the writers of Scripture, I wanted to believe that it was a place where evil-doers were sent, for a time, and then released.

But I can’t believe that it is a place of temporary punishment.

Why?

Because the Bible teaches no such thing. The Bible teaches that Hell will be a place where unbelievers are sent … forever. It will never, ever end.

If you try to imagine what eternity is like, you will realize that the human mind simply cannot comprehend it. We are made to think in terms of a beginning and an end. We cannot fathom being in a place that will never, ever end.

Scripture, however, tells us that Heaven will be enjoyed, forever, by those who have trusted in Jesus. And, in our Verse for Today, we hear Jesus use the same exact word to describe how long people will be in Heaven … and in Hell.

Matthew 25:46 (CSB): “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

This is a serious matter! I sure hope you are ready to stand before Jesus, friend!

If you want to know more about how you can become a follower of Jesus, then simply watch the following fun, easy-to-understand video on how to begin your life with Jesus.

If you still have questions, feel free to e-mail me at mattellis1997@gmail.com. I would love to help you out.