Daily Devotional by A. W. Tozer

Wednesday - May 29, 2024

Untitled Document

Painful Truths

The doctrine of eternal retribution has been held and taught by an overwhelming majority of Christians since the days of the apostles. Almost all, if not quite all, of the church fathers and of the great doctors and saints down the centuries believed that the Bible teaches that the finally impenitent will be cast into a hell from which there is no escape and with no further opportunity to repent and avail themselves of the mercy of God and the benefits of Christ's atonement. They believed, as the vast majority of Bible-loving Christians today believe, that the personality of the impenitent man is perpetuated beyond the moment of physical death, and that the man must face a strict accounting of deeds done on earth and hear the sentence of doom pronounced against him.

I have read the arguments put forth against this belief and acknowledged the force of them, and though my human heart could welcome any gleam of hope, however faint, that might yet remain for the lost, the Scriptures are too plain to allow that hope to exist.

Frederic W. Farrar, the celebrated dean of Canterbury, pleaded with great moral earnestness and overpowering eloquence for what he called "eternal hope" for all men, and like a defense attorney managed to find among the works of the Latin fathers quotations to support that hope. But the weight of evidence on the side of the traditional belief is too great; there can be only one conclusion: the Bible teaches the doctrine of eternal retribution, and every calm, reasonable man will accept the doctrine; or if he rejects it he will reject the Bible along with it. The man who will not believe in hell must surrender his right to believe in heaven.


Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:14–15


There are great truths of God's Word that are joyfully received. They give peace, hope, encouragement and much more. There are also truths that are painful to us. They declare to us the condition and doom of loved ones who have never experienced the second birth.


Father, may painful truth in Your Word motivate me to share Your Good News with those who have yet to receive it.