I saw a person interviewed on TV say this concerning the death of Osama bin Laden, “I hope he rots in hell!” Will he? I think he will, for a number of reasons.
(1) First of all, there is a place of punishment in the afterlife. Although it is only hinted at in the Hebrew Bible (the Christian Old Testament), it is mentioned more frequently in the New Testament. Although we aren’t sure exactly what it’s like, hell isn’t the kind of place you’d like to spend eternity in.
(2) Second, although human justice is flawed, God’s justice is perfect. Therefore, those who do evil will be punished. Since we all do things wrong (although not on the scale of bin Laden), then don’t we all go to hell when we die? We Christians believe that when we put our faith in Jesus, we don’t have to suffer the punishment rightly due to us. We are saved from hell and go to heaven, not on our own merits, but on Christ’s.
(3) Third, bin Laden didn’t even follow the teachings in his own sacred scriptures, the Qur’an. He was in for a nasty surprise when he stood before his Creator last Sunday. Instead of 72 dark-eyed virgins awaiting him in Paradise, I suspect Satan greeted him with these words: “Well done, good and faithful servant. Now you will spend all of eternity in perpetual misery.”