Scripture: Revelation 21:8: But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death. (ESV).
Devotional: Many people assume that as long as they don’t mess things up in their time here on earth, they’ll go to heaven when they die. But Scripture says the opposite. God created us for heaven, but the rebellion of the human race, in which we are all participating, has destined us for Hell.
Hell, not heaven, is our default destination.
Notice the breadth of who is described as going to Hell in today’s passage. Included in that list are the ones you’d expect: murderers, sorcerers, etc. The “really bad” guys.
But it also includes a lot of people who could be found in the church, like:
- The cowardly– those who would never stand for Jesus in front of their friends
- The faithless– those who went to church but never really trusted God enough to obey him with their relationships or their money
- Idolaters– those who wouldn’t put God first in their lives
- Liars-those who came to church but whose submission to God was not sincere
Hell is an eternal place of torment, and all of us—no matter where we fall in that list—are deserving of its agony. You may see that and think “wow, that seems a little harsh”. But what we often fail to understand is that sin against an infinitely holy God is infinitely wicked.
Whether you doubt that, or simply don’t understand it, you can trust in the sovereignty, holiness and graciousness of our Almighty God. From the beginning, when Adam and Eve obliterated God’s shalom by their disobedience, God has been responding with grace. Despite the consequences that they had to face, God provided a covering for them. He did not abandon them, but continued the relationship, albeit on very different terms.
Throughout history, God has made a way for those who seek Him. His heart is always inclined toward restoration and reconciliation.
- How does hearing that “Hell is our default destination” impact the way you view the lengths God has gone to in order to save us from that end?