How many times have we heard well meaning preachers, when confronted with exegeting a passage on the eternal punishment of the wicked, say something like "Now I wish this part wasn't in the Bible. I wish it wasn't true, but it's there, and I have to preach it." Such an expression is ungodly and wicked.
It is ungodly because it betrays unbelief in the righteousness of God. The eternal punishment of the wicked is absolutely just. It is just, because our father Adam longed for eternal life without the giver of life (Gen. 3:10). It is just, because Adam believed the devil rather than God (Gen. 3:6). It is just, because we are Adam's children (Gen. 5:3). It is just, because God has continually showered the good gifts of natural creation upon his ungrateful creatures who have continued to hate him (Matt. 5:45). It is just, because every expression of the thoughts of our hearts are only evil continually (Gen. 6:5). It is just, because even our best deeds (never mind our idolatry, murders, genocides, rapes, lies, adulteries, occult practises, gossipping, greed) are like filthy tampons (Isi. 64:6). God's eyes are so pure (Habb. 1:13) that even when he looks upon our best deeds, our humanitarian efforts, our charity work, etc, all he sees is actions dripping with menstrual blood. It is just, because we killed the second Adam, God's dear Son, for daring to challenge our sin (Luk. 20:13). It is just, because God could have annihilated creation long before now, but he didn't. In his great mercy he has prolonged the day of salvation and still mankind rages on in rebellion (2 Cor. 6:2, 2 Pet. 3:9).
Not only is such a sentiment ungodly, but it is wicked. It fails to love what God loves and hate what he hates. When God's people are born into the new covenant, he writes his laws upon their hearts (Heb. 8:7-13). No longer is the law booming from outside to fearful sinners who can't keep it (Heb. 12:18). Now, having been fulfilled in Christ, it becomes the heart of the new believer through the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22). To hate final judgement is to be ambivalent about sin and therefore, about God and the agony Christ suffered. It is to hate the law that is supposedly engraved on the believers' heart. No, the Christian loves the law; even the sentences against sin that it pronounces (Rom. 1:32).
So when the Christian reads of God's judgement in Scripture, he finds with Ezekiel that even God's words of 'lament and mourning and woe' (Eze. 2:9) taste 'as sweet as honey' (Eze. 3:3). Indeed, when God judges the earth, the cry of God's people isn't, along with Brian McLaren, a pietistic lament that attempts to sound more compassionate than God. No, they sing hymns rejoicing in the righteousness and goodness of God's judgement (Rev. 19:1-3). Can you imagine one of our boyband worship leaders penning a hymn about the destruction of the whore of Babylon with a chorus going: "Oh Babylon, gonna get some shocks. God's gonna dash your babies heads on rocks." (Ps. 137:9)?
While the Christian never takes delight in the death of the wicked (Matt. 23:37, Eze. 18:32), and while he yearns for those who don't know Christ and are headed for destruction (Rom. 9:1-5), he still has a correlating sense of sweetness and joy in the doctrine of eternal punishment.