Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Everlasting Destruction

2 Thessalonians 1:9  These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.


The two words “everlasting destruction” have been bothering me a great deal of late. In this letter to suffering Saints, Paul encourages them by telling them that their suffering at the hands of unbelievers is nothing compared to the suffering of unbelievers at the hand of God.  Christians may suffer for a while, the unbeliever’s destruction is eternal.  Everlasting destruction—meditate on that thought.  It should make the unbeliever think twice about whether they are willing to bet their eternal souls on what they want to believe instead of what God says.  It should motivate those of us who are saved to present the Gospel with both its good news for believers and its bad news for unbelievers in an urgent and faithful way.


Do Prophets Exist?

In 1 Corinthians 14:1 Paul says, “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.”  If a prophet is someone who gets new revelations from God today, most of us would argue that with the completion of the Scriptures that type of prophet is not available today.  However, if by a prophet we are simply saying that there are people who speak for God, then that kind of prophet is certainly active today.  You can tell that kind of prophet because they are likely to say, “Let’s see what the Bible says about that!”   When they preach, they preach from the Bible;  and they understand how to interpret the Bible when they preach from it.


If a man or woman is a prophet, their messages must be consistent with all the truth of Scripture.  That means that when we preach the Gospel, a prophet must preach that a person must be “born again” or “born from above.”   They must preach that we must be “saved.”  Salvation is deliverance from the penalty our sins deserve and the new birth is deliverance for a new life with Christ.  They are not two events but two blessings that occur when we receive the Lord by believing in or trusting Him. 


Many today want to preach the Gospel without opening the Bible.  That is a grave mistake since faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17).  A prophet today is presenting truth that anyone could read for themselves. Since people today do not read the Bible, a prophet must tell them what the Bible says.  It is best  to do that by actually reading the passages from the Bible.  People tell me that reading from the Bible with a “seeker”  is “off-putting” and so they don’t do it.  We must remember that the Gospel is an offense to the unbeliever and no matter what we do we cannot make it popular or less offensive.  But the Holy Spirit can and will use the Word of God to convict and convert those who do hunger and thirst after righteousness.


A Prophet Must Preach all the Word of God

A good prophet warns with the bad news.  But a prophet also preaches good news.  Which is most important?  Actually both aspects of the Gospel are equally important;  but if we were going to be unbalanced, it might be better to leave out the good news than to leave out the bad news.  If a person is told that they have cancer, they will search for a cure even if none has been offered them.  If a person is convinced that their sin deserves “eternal destruction” they will start searching for a solution, and they will find it in the same Book that told them of their problem.  They will find out that Christ actually did die for the ungodly and for sinners.  See Romans 5:6-8. 


Today we have people professing to have a relationship with the Lord without believing in eternal conscious punishment.  They don’t believe in “everlasting destruction.”  They have never seen that they were lost.  Many believe that a general faith in a good God that they have “always” believed in is the same as trusting in the Lord as the One who died to put away their sins.  They have been taught how to live like a Christian without being told how to become a Christian. 


What Kind of Christians are We?

Are we the kind of Christians that have heard and believed the truth as preached by faithful prophets?  That truth may have made us uncomfortable, particularly for those who see themselves as good church-going people.  But the true prophet is just as ready to defend the truth about “everlasting destruction” as He is to defend the truth that “Christ died for the ungodly.”  We need to listen to that kind of prophet because “everlasting destruction” is forever.


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of October 26, 2014

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