Tuesday, April 21, 2009
The Lake of Fire Helps Us Keep the Right Perspective
It is easy to slip into the trap of thinking we deserve better than our current situation. I fall prey to this sinful temptation much more frequently than I would like to admit. When we begin to think this way, we then complain and gripe about other people, get angry about our circumstances, etc. We may even get upset with God.
I have recently begun to say 3 little words to myself when I begin to think I deserve better: Lake of Fire. The Lake of Fire is what I deserve. The Lake of Fire is what you deserve. Since we have all rebelled against God by sinning, we all rightfully deserve to be tossed headlong into the lake which never stops burning.
The bible mentions the Lake of Fire in a few different places toward the end of the book of Revelation:
Revelation 19:20, "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."
Revelation 20:10, "The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever."
Revelation 20:14-15, "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."
Regardless of whether or not the "fire" in the Lake of Fire is literal or symbolic, it is clear that this will be a place of unending torment, at least at a spiritual level. This is what we deserve - forever and ever.
However, God in his great grace and mercy has seen to save some of us from the horrors of the Lake of Fire. He saves those whose names have been written in the Book of Life before the world began.
Revelation 13:8, "All who dwell on the earth will worship him (the Anti-Christ), whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."
When I remember that I deserve nothing better right now than an express ticket to the Lake of Fire, it helps me keep the right perspective. It helps me to keep from complaining and/or getting angry about my circumstances. It helps me remember my rightful place in God's creation.
Dwell on the Lake of Fire. It is a good reality check.