The second death

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulphur. This is the second death.”

Revelation 21.5-8

As we ponder these words today let’s begin by focussing on the certainty of what they say, for they come from the one who is ‘seated on the throne’ (the centre of power and authority); from the ‘Alpha and the Omega the beginning and the end’, therefore from the one who has all authority and power for he is the absolute ruler.

 In our world absolute power is often a frightening thought, but here is absolute power and authority in the hands of the all righteous, perfect, holy God. As a consequence of this ‘these words are trustworthy and true.’ What a glorious thought in a world were often truth counts for nothing!

So take these ‘truths’ to heart today, thank God for them and glory in them.

Everything will be made new.

Thirst will be quenched from the spring of the water of life at no cost to the thirsty.

All that is spoken of in the first eight verses of this great chapter is the inheritance of the victorious – those who have overcome and washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 7.14) – Christians.

Christians who are Children of God.

Then the scene changes in v.8 with the word ‘But.’

All who are listed will be consigned to the lake of burning sulphur – the second death.

Can we thank God for this? Can we glory in this?

Yes! For these are the just and righteous acts of the Holy God.

Yes! Because his called, chosen and faithful people are promised freedom from the presence of all those things that have spoiled God’s world.

Yes! But surely with an increased sense of urgency to point our fellow men and women, made in God’s image, to the way of salvation which is Jesus Christ.

In the light of the hope, the glorious hope we have, of the new heaven and the new earth with all evil dealt with and banished for ever, let us seek to have the compassion of the Lord Jesus for those who are blindly headed for that second death and, by all means, seek ways to share the good news of the way to avoid such an end.

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