“The devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur, where the beast and the false prophet are also. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
This passage tells us about a terrible place and difficult to talk about. It is a place reserved in God’s holy wrath for all who reject Him and live as rampant rebels against Him. People talk about it lightly and even joke about it, showing they have thought little about the reality of that place, or else they don’t care.
We start with the company in this hell. It is for the torment of the unrepentant and those not covered by the shed blood of Christ, who is still, the Saviour of the world. He still offers freedom from this place. The Bridegroom still waits for the final number of His people, His Bride, to be brought into the family and kingdom. But the Beast and the false prophet are thrown into this place and also Satan himself, along with his hoards of demons and all evil and fallen angels. It will be bad company and will bring much distress to humans who find themselves in that place. It will not just be the physical suffering, though that is terrible, but the condemning consequences of sin that will haunt the unbeliever. The conscience will be wide awake and the memory active to remember all evil deeds, words and motives, and the reverberations of those deeds with regards to other people. There will be no escape from guilt and shame.
We must seek the LORD, while there is still time.
Beloved, do not be caught out when the LORD returns and you are not ready and your sins are still pulling you down in destruction. It is the most pressing of items on any agenda, indeed supersedes everything. Where we as people spend eternity is of most important thought and attention. The gospel message still goes out and the Word of God, the Bible, is still open. Do not neglect your soul, which never dies and needs the Lord so badly. He ever waits to bring your into His warm embrace and forgive you and lift you up to His glory.
Only a fool ignores this issue and many will find themselves in that dreadful place because of neglect of their soul and no care for God or themselves. Do not be found with them.
“Seek The LORD while he may be found. Call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts. Let him return to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, to our God, for he will freely pardon.”
At the end of the gospel age Satan will be released from the Abyss for a short season. He will be permitted to deceive the nations of the world that do not know God and gather them together for the final battle of Armageddon, which will not register physical fighting against the people of God, for CHRIST will overcome them with a Word from His mouth.
The mighty army against the Lord is described as like the sand of the sea. They go over the whole earth and surround the people of God. There seems to be no escape for the saints, or deliverance for the city of God, Jerusalem, the city of peace. The fighting never gets started, for the fire falls from heaven and consumes them all. This is the fire of the holiness of God, who when they see it, they quake with fear and loathing of the one who sent it.
Satan, the Beast and the false prophet are finally thrown into the lake of fire forever, to be tormented day and night, such are the consequences of sin and being found obeying the voice of evil and not the holy God.
“Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Most certainly I tell you, inasmuch as you didn’t do it to one of the least of these, you didn’t do it to me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
The stakes could not be higher.
Blaze Pascal the 17th Century French philosopher reasoned that it was folly to not believe in God, even from a philosophical point of view. If God is not real and you live a good life, you lose nothing and if we die like animals, then that’s it. But, if God is real and you have not believed, you will lose everything. You lose your soul and find yourself forever experiencing the second death.
This is a sobering thought. Indeed the topic today is very serious and solemn. We will all face the LORD in one of the two camps. Either we will hate Him and be deluded to follow the evil, and lose our eternal souls in the lake of fire forever, or we will be with Him in the fight against evil and overcome with Him. We are only safe as we trust in what Jesus did for us on the cross, and seek the forgiveness we so desperately need for our sin.
There is no fence to sit on. Either we believe or we don’t. Either we love the LORD or we hate Him.
We do have the capacity to choose, for God tells us to be wise and chose rightly.
“Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in truth. Put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River, in Egypt; and serve the LORD. If it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose today whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”