People with diabetes and other conditions know that a wound is especially dangerous. You can lose toes, feet and legs if you have an open wound that is not carefully managed.

It seems that there are spiritual conditions that fester and destroy the whole being of a person.

Matthew 24:
50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

In ancient times, slave owners held complete mastery over their slaves. Slaves were considered property, and one who displeased his master could be severely punished, even killed. Such actions were within the master’s legal rights. Jesus may have used this particularly gruesome punishment to illustrate the spiritual truth of his example: a hypocrite will be cut off from any life with God.[1]

Hell, Sheol, Hades… whatever exists after death for the faithless, it is not pretty. Whether it is described as outer darkness, a place where the worm never dies or a lake of fire; it is horrible to exist without God’s love.

As people drowned in the rushing water of Noah’s flood, they found themselves without hope and without option. The floodwaters were overwhelming.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote these words about God’s justice.

Though the mills of God grind slowly; yet they grind exceeding small; Though with patience He stands waiting, with exactness grinds He all.[2]

Hell may not fit into our ideas of a loving God—but that may speak more about our squeamishness than it does of God’s right to deliver consequence.

Should God force those who hate him to endure His presence forever? Should God rescue the crushed and weak, and then ask them to remain surrounded by their oppressors? Grace creates a new world where lions rest next to lambs, but not without the lion having its’ nature changed. Otherwise, the Kingdom would be exactly what we already have—a world where lions consume lambs violently.

It is a loving God that warns people about consequences and invite them into the healing of Jesus. But don’t be sentimental and wishy-washy about a person’s capacity to utterly defy and reject the love of God.

[1] NIV Quest Study Bible Notes
[2] "Retribution", Poetic Aphorisms, 1846