I while ago I posted something about hell, and included some throwaway statement like ‘people receive punishment in hell according to their bad works on earth.’ Helpfully, I now can’t find that post anywhere. Anyway, someone commented saying they didn’t believe me and asked me to justify what I said. Absolutely fair enough, people don’t do that enough! The problem was that I couldn’t find the particular verse that had led me to that conclusion in the first place.
The good news is that after probably about a year I’ve found a good quote about it, and (more importantly) the Bible passages! Here’s the quote, from Randy Alcorn:
Because God is fair, hell won’t be the same for everyone. The severity of punishment will vary with the degree of truth known and the nature and number of sins committed.
And here are the Bible passages:
Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.” (Matthew 11:20-24)
And in the hearing of all the people he said to his disciples, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.” (Luke 20:45-47)
Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. (Romans 2:3-5)
Fair enough? I’m glad we had this little talk.