It is clear from the Bible that one of two destinations awaits each person after this life. Paul wrote about the judgement of God in Romans 2:6-11 “who ‘will render to each one according to his deeds’: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness — indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.” The contrast is between eternal life versus indignation, wrath, tribulation and anguish. Jesus described the judgement in Matthew 25:31-34; 41; 46 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” The contrast is between inheriting the kingdom with eternal life versus everlasting punishment with fire.
What does the Bible say about the eternal punishment? Revelation 21:6-8 “And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” The punishment for the rejected ones is having part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone.
Look at what is written in 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 “Since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.” The punishment here is described as the vengeance of the Lord Jesus and everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord.
Jesus described the punishment in Mark 9:42-48 “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched — where ‘Their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched — where ‘Their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire — where ‘Their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’” The punishment here is described as fire that shall never be quenched and where even the worm does not die; this implies to me that the tormented continue to be tormented.
Jesus gave the story of the rich man and the beggar Lazarus in Luke 16:22-26 “So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’” The rich man was in torment in flames and wanted even temporary coolness for his tongue.
Fear of God’s punishment can be a powerful motivator for those who are lost. In Philippi, Paul and Silas were in prison singing praises to God when there was a great earthquake. The jailer came to Paul and Silas in fear. Acts 16:29-32 “Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. And he brought them out and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ So they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.’”
To those who are not saved, they may be motivated to be saved because of fear of eternal punishment. As a true Christian, you can praise the Lord that you don’t have to fear the punishment that is described above. Your motivation in life should be love for God who sent His Son to die for you and take your penalty upon Him. Therefore, my encouragement is to love the Lord your God. I also encourage you to make your call and election sure. 2 Peter 1:10-11 “Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”