Will God allow our disobedience and idolatry to go unpunished?
No, every sin is against the sovereignty, holiness, and goodness of God, and against his righteous law, and God is righteously angry with our sins and will punish them in his just judgment both in this life, and in the life to come.
Proof Text: Ephesians 5:5–6
For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
Righteous Lord, if we think that we are good, we deceive ourselves. We deserve your wrath. We have broken your commands, and we have not loved you with our whole hearts, minds, and strength. We can only plead the righteousness of Christ and ask you to let our punishment fall on him. Amen.
When Paul preached before Felix and Drusilla, he essentially had three points—righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come (Acts 24). The fact that Felix and Drusilla were in an adulterous relationship did not prevent Paul from speaking very clearly about the justice of God. It was, if you like, almost a hallmark of his preaching. At the end of his address in Athens he says the same thing: “[God] has fixed a day on which he will judge the world” (Acts 17:31). The Bible makes it clear that we won’t escape detection or conviction or sentence forever. There is going to be a payday.
The idea that God is too kind ever to condemn sin and that everyone in the end will go to heaven does not actually find a basis in the Bible itself. Paul’s warning in Ephesians 5 is to those who have professed faith in Jesus, so that they will not pay attention to those who suggest other than what he’s teaching them, namely, that this day will come—a day that is fixed, a day that will be absolutely fair, and a day when the judgment rendered will be absolutely final.
Historical Commentary by
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Who is Charles Haddon Spurgeon?
Not to punish the guilty were to exact the penalty of suffering from the innocent. Think what an injury and injustice would be inflicted upon all the honest men in London if the thieves were never punished for their roguery. It would be making the innocent suffer if you allowed the guilty to escape. God, therefore, not out of arbitrary choice, but from very necessity of rightness, must punish us for having done wrong.