Will you be present with the Lord?

In 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8, we are told what will happen when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven: “He (Jesus) will come with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to obey the good news of our Lord Jesus.”

One of these days, we will all stand in judgment before God, and evil on every level will be terminated once and for all. The Scriptures warn us that those who have chosen to live their life without God here on Earth will then be given that opportunity for all eternity.

In Luke 16, Jesus told a story that provides further insight into what hell will be like. He told about a rich man who had died. The rich man had lived his life in luxury every day. He wore the finest clothes, ate the finest foods and enjoyed the very best of everything life had to offer.

At the gate in front of the rich man’s house, there was a poor man. The poor man’s name was Lazarus. He was covered in sores. The best meal Lazarus could hope for was a few of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table.

In Luke 16:22-23, we are given a glimpse into what happens after life here on Earth is done: “Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and his soul went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side.”

The Bible tells us that for a believer to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (see 2 Corinthians 5:8). For those who are without Christ, to be absent from the body is the beginning of their suffering and eternal separation from God.

While some seem to believe hell will be a party with all of their friends, Scripture refers to it as a place of unspeakable torment where there will be weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Although hell might be heavily populated, it won’t feel anything like a party. Hell appears to be a place of isolation. It is referred to as a place of outer darkness. It is the land of no more good.

There’s no more beauty, no more joy, no more laughter, no more peace, no more friendship, no more hope and no more second chances. And that’s why the rich man in Jesus’ story continued to plead for help.

We will pick up the story there next time.