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Isn’t Hell an Overreaction to Sin? | Messages | Churchisonline.com

by John Piper
The Bible Gives Light

Audio Transcript

Ask yourself, do you deserve the wrath of God forever? If your mind right now is saying, “I don’t think so. I think that hell would be an overreaction to what I’ve done and the kind of person that I am.” If that’s the way your mind is working right now, let me just have you consider four things.

1. It was one sin alone that brought the entire world under the curse of God as we know it today with tsunamis and floods and pestilence and cancer and arthritis and blindness and deafness and death. One sin! Ponder that.

2. James 2:10 says, “Whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.” And you have not committed one sin — you have committed tens of thousands of sins. Each one is the breaking of the whole law.

3. Galatians 3:10: “All who rely upon works of the law are under a curse, for it is written: ‘Cursed be everyone who does not abide in all things written in the book of the law to do them.’” God’s wrath and curse falls upon one failure, not many, merely.

4. Consider that any offense, any dishonor against an infinitely worthy, an infinitely valuable, an infinitely dignified, an infinitely beautiful being is an infinite sin and deserves an infinite punishment.

Let me say that again, because if you were to press me and say, “How can an eternity of suffering be an appropriate response to a finite amount of time of sinning?” If you just take time as the measure, you’d say, “That’s out of proportion. I sinned for 80 years, and I’m getting endless ages of punishment? How can that be an appropriate response?”

I’d say, if all you had to measure by was time, it wouldn’t be. That’s not what measures the grievousness of sin. The grievousness and heinousness of sin rises to its infinite proportions, not by the extent of time covered in an act of sin but by the one whom we dishonor. If you dishonor a toad, you’re not very guilty. If you dishonor a man, you’re very guilty. If you dishonor God, you are infinitely guilty because he is infinitely worthy of every millisecond of worship in your life. We don’t give it, therefore we multiply the storehouse of wrath.

Therefore, I conclude: the wrath of God will be eternal, and the wrath of God will be terrible, and the wrath of God will be deserved, right, just.

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