Your Kingdom Come! - 8

Those who have willfully participated in the final rebellion described in Revelation 20:7-10 will not be found written in the Book of Life, and therefore will be be 14 “cast into the lake of fire.” This lake of fire is one of the symbols which occur in this book - “He sent and signified (Greek semaino = to give a sign) it by His angel to His servant John.”

In this book, the prophetic fact is given in a symbol, with an occasional suggestion of what it means added, to enable the Scripturally educated reader to discover the meaning of that symbol. The hint which is given in verse 14 is “This is the second death.”

The first death is what happens at the end of everyone’s life - “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” - Hebrews 9:27. While “Man who is in honor, yet does not understand, is like the beasts that perish” - Psalms 49:20, but those who do have a knowledge of God’s purpose are placed in a position of responsibility and each “shall give account of himself to God” - Romans 14:12.

One who is disposed to wilful wrongdoing dies in the natural course of events. But if he has also rejected God’s call to repentance in the gospel then he will be restored to life for punishment. After the appropriate few stripes or many stripes - Luke 12:47, death a second time. This is not a natural death, but directly inflicted by divine displeasure. It consigns its victims to an oblivion from which there is no reclaim by resurrection - “The wicked shall perish...like the splendor of the meadows, shall vanish. Into smoke they shall vanish away” Psalms 37:20.

God, who is righteous, will mete out punishment, limited by time and severity, to fit the crime, before “destroying both soul and body in hell = Gehenna = the place where trash is turfed)” - Matthew 10:28. In this way the “meek” can look forward to living in a world which is completely devoid of bad actors!

And so will be fulfilled Paul’s prediction that “The last enemy that will be destroyed is death” - 1 Corinthians 15:26. And so what will remain will be a population of deathless beings, reclaimed by God’s intervention from the sin and death - wonderfully fulfilling the stated purpose of God with His earth -

•   “The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth” - Psalms 34:16.

•   “Let the wicked be ashamed; Let them be silent in the grave” - Psalms 31:17.

•   “Evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the Lord, They shall inherit the earth. 10 For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more; Indeed, you will look diligently for his place, But it shall be no more. 11 But the meek shall inherit the earth, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace” - Psalms 37:9–11.

•   “The upright will dwell in the land, and the blameless will remain in it; 22 but the wicked will be cut off from the earth, and the unfaithful will be uprooted from it” - Prov. 2:21, 22.

•   “Wait on the Lord, And keep His way, And He shall exalt you to inherit the land; When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it” - Psalms 37:34.

•   Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” - Matthew 5:5.