July 21 2022
Today, Thursday July 21
The Lake of Fire
“Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.
Remember John described Jesus Christ coming as the Conqueror (Rev. 19:11-16). Now in these verses (Rev. 19:17-20:3), John tells us about His conquests at His Second Coming. In this passage we are told how Jesus defeats the kings of the earth and their armies, the beast (Antichrist) and his false prophet, and finally Satan (Rev. 20:1-3).
Yesterday we talked about the defeat of the armies of the kings of the earth (vv. 17-19, 21). These warriors have assembled to fight "against the Lord and against His anointed" (Ps. 2:1-3), but their weapons prove futile. The battle turns out to be a slaughter—a "supper" for the scavenger birds! This is the account of the well-known "battle of Armageddon." Today we will look at the defeat of the beast (Antichrist) and the false prophet.
Since Satan's "henchmen" are the leaders of the revolt, it is only right that they be captured and confined. They are cast into “the lake of fire” which is the final and permanent place of punishment for all who refuse to submit to Jesus Christ. "The beast" and false prophet are the first persons to be cast into the “lake of fire”. Satan will follow 1,000 years later (Rev. 20:10), to be joined by those whose names are not recorded in the Book of Life (Rev. 20:15).
Today, when an unbeliever dies, his soul and his spirit go to a place called hades or sometimes translated hell. According to Jesus, hell is a very real place of torment. Jesus actually spoke more about hell than He did heaven. In Luke 16:19-24, Jesus said in a discussion with the Pharisees, these words: "There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Then he cried and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.'”
From my study of Scripture over the years, I have come to believe that in the Old Testament and up to the time of the Cross, when a person died, they went to Sheol. Sheol was divided into two compartments. One side was “hades” or hell side, where there were literal flames and torment. The other side was called Paradise or “Abraham’s bosom”. Jesus said the rich man went to the hell side while the beggar Lazarus went to the Paradise side. Remember Jesus told the thief on the cross next to Him, that “today you will be with Me in Paradise”. We also believe that it was during the three days that His body was in the grave, Jesus took everyone in the Paradise side to the “third heaven” (2 Cor. 12:2), the place where the throne of God is and where Jesus is presently seated at His right hand. This is where believers go today when they die (2 Cor. 5:6-8; Phil. 1:19-23).
One day, at the end of the Millennium, Hades will be emptied of its dead, who will then be cast into the lake of fire to join Satan, the beast, and the false prophet. We read about this in Revelation 20:13-15: “The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”
My friend today is the best day to make sure that Jesus is your Lord and Savior! Please don’t delay and gamble with your soul!