Reflection: This is the Apostle John’s vision of the fate of the saved on the one hand and of the unsaved on the other, i.e., after Christ has delivered his final judgment. The language is clearly metaphorical, but what does it mean? What will be the fate of sinners who are not redeemed? Another way of asking the same question is this: What is the nature of Hell? If universalism is put aside, the two main possibilities are (i) eternal conscious punishment, or, (ii) annihilation (possibly after a suitable period of punishment). There are many passages in the New Testament (including
today’s) which speak of “death” or “destruction” for the unsaved, lending considerable Scriptural support for annihilation. But the traditional view (eternal conscious punishment) is also arguable. Either way, the prospect is truly awful. By contrast, the prospect of inheriting eternal life with Jesus (Heaven) is wonderful.
Questions: Do you always keep in mind the ultimate prize – Heaven? Do you ever dwell on the ultimate nightmare – rejection by Christ?
Prayer: Father let me never lose sight of the vision of Heaven. Whatever the fate of unrepentant sinners may be, and I will leave that to you, let me never lose sight of its dreadfulness. Amen
We have been reading the Bible with Roy Williams. Tomorrow we begin a new series on Fatherhood with Rick Pekan.