Reward and punishment after death

The souls of those who do what is right are in God’s hand. They won’t feel the pain of torment. To those who don’t know any better, it seems as if they have died. Their departure from this life was considered their misfortune. Their leaving us seemed to be their destruction, but in reality they are at peace. It may look to others as if they have been punished, but they have the hope of living forever. They were disciplined a little, but they will be rewarded with abundant good things, because God tested them and found that they deserve to be with him. He tested them like gold in the furnace; he accepted them like an entirely burned offering. Then, when the time comes for judgment, the godly will burst forth and run about like fiery sparks among dry straw. The godly will judge nations and hold power over peoples, even as the Lord will rule over them forever. Those who trust in the Lord will know the truth. Those who are faithful will always be with him in love. Favor and mercy belong to the holy ones. God watches over God’s chosen ones.

10 The ungodly will get what their evil thinking deserves. They had no regard for the one who did what was right, and instead, they rose up against the Lord. 11 Those who have contempt for wisdom and instruction will be miserable. People like this have no hope. Their work won’t amount to anything. Their actions will be worthless. 12 They will marry foolish people. Their children will be wicked. Their whole family line will be cursed.

13 What a contrast to the barren woman who has kept herself pure, who hasn’t had sex with another in sin. She will be blessed. When God inspects entire lives, she will bear fruit. 14 Even the eunuch who doesn’t break the Law with his hands and doesn’t think evil thoughts against the Lord will receive a precious gift for his fidelity and a special place in the Lord’s temple. 15 Everyone will praise the fruit of good work. Good sense is a root that never withers.

16 The children of adulterers, however, will come to nothing. The seed of people who have sex with others in violation of the Law will dry up. 17 Even if they live to old age, their lives won’t amount to anything. In their old age they will have no honor. 18 If they die young, they will have no hope or comfort on Judgment Day. 19 The family line of those who don’t do what is right will come to a bad end.