The Punishment of the Wicked
2 Peter 2:4-10
For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness…

I. THE CERTAINTY OF THE SINNER'S FUTURE PUNISHMENT might be argued from that attribute of justice which belongs to the Divine character, and the entire purity of which is in Scripture so frequently insisted on. For it is manifestly contrary to justice, that no distinction should be made between the righteous and the wicked.

1. The first instance he adduces is that of "the angels that sinned." The angels, it may be admitted, fell from a loftier elevation in the scale of being than man did; but the final fall of those who perish through their own neglect of the salvation of the gospel, will be more terrible than that of angels.

2. But the apostle deduces the same inference from the Divine judgments at sundry times inflicted upon men — specifying particularly the general deluge, and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrha. And the inference on this latter ground is as just as in the former. For in the first place there can be no reasonable doubt that these remarkable events were purposely intended to manifest in a conspicuous manner the Divine displeasure against sin.

3. But while they serve as manifestations of the general truth, that God cannot look upon sin with allowance, they serve more particularly, as argued by the apostle, to remind us that a day of still more awful judgment is approaching, in which the ungodly shall be subjected, not to the calamity of a temporal destruction, but to a punishment commensurate with the magnitude of their guilt.


1. It has already been apparent in some degree, that the punishment is indescribably dreadful; and it is farther manifest from the fact that it is a punishment which cannot be inflicted upon them in the present life. Our nature in its present state, if subjected to such a torment, would faint, and be consumed; and the punishment, so far at least as the body is concerned, would presently be ended.

2. There is another terrible indication on this subject, in the circumstance that the punishment is one in which man will be associated with the fallen angels. What must be the nature of that torment which constitutes an adequate punishment to fallen angels I

3. And then to all these considerations is to be added the tremendous thought that the punishment is everlasting. The fearful characteristic of those who die under "the curse of the law" is that they die "without mercy." "Their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched; and "the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever."

(T. Crowther.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

WEB: For if God didn't spare angels when they sinned, but cast them down to Tartarus, and committed them to pits of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;

The Punishment of the Angels that Sinned
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