Retribution: Receiving what one deserves; in particular, the punishment of evil. Christianity has traditionally held a doctrine of final judgment in which God will judge all people on the basis of their actions on earth. The church also holds that God has judged sin through the sufferings and death of Jesus (understood as making propitiation for human sins, thus making it possible for humans to face God's judgment without terror). A retributive theory of punishment is one that views punishment not merely as a deterrent or an incentive to reform but as something that a wrongdoer deserves.1
1. C.Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), p. 102.