June 19, 2024
Hell

Reading

Revelation 14:9-11 - And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God's wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name."

Summary

Revelation 14:9-11 delivers a stark warning about the eternal consequences of worshipping the beast and receiving his mark. In the end times, an unholy trinity will arise - Satan, the Antichrist, and the False Prophet. They will deceive many and demand worship and allegiance, symbolized by receiving a mark on the forehead or hand. But those who succumb to this deception and align with the beast will face the full fury of God's wrath. The passage describes drinking the wine of God's wrath, poured at full strength, indicating that there will be no mercy or dilution of God's righteous anger against those who reject Him. The fate of these individuals is described in terrifying terms - eternal torment with fire and sulfur, with no rest day or night, in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb. The smoke of their torment will rise forever, emphasizing the unending nature of the punishment. This is not a mere slap on the wrist, but the ultimate and irreversible consequence of choosing to worship the beast and accept his mark. It is a sobering reminder that our choices in this life have eternal ramifications. We cannot casually or accidentally take the mark - it will be a deliberate choice to reject God and pledge allegiance to His enemy. As followers of Jesus, we must remain vigilant and steadfast, even in the face of persecution and hardship, knowing that our eternal destiny is secure in Christ.

Reflection

The reality of hell and eternal punishment is not a popular or comfortable topic, but it is clearly taught in Scripture. Passages like Revelation 14:9-11 pull no punches in describing the fate of those who reject God and align with the forces of evil. As Christians, we cannot ignore or downplay these sobering truths. At the same time, we must remember that God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 33:11). He desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). The warnings about hell are not meant to scare us, but to awaken us to the urgency of the gospel message. They should motivate us to share the good news of Jesus with others and to live our lives in a way that points people to Him. We must also guard against any sense of self-righteousness or superiority. Apart from the grace of God, we too would be destined for eternal punishment. It is only by the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus that we can be forgiven, declared righteous, and granted eternal life. This should humble us and fill us with gratitude, not pride. As we reflect on the reality of hell, let us do so with a sober recognition of the stakes involved. May it drive us to our knees in prayer for the lost, compel us to share the gospel with urgency, and cause us to cling ever more tightly to Jesus, our only hope and salvation. At the same time, let us not be consumed by fear or anxiety. If we have put our faith in Christ, we can have confidence that our eternal destiny is secure. No matter what trials or persecution we may face in this life, we know that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). Ultimately, the reality of hell should magnify the glory of God's grace and the wonder of our salvation. It should fill us with awe at the depths of God's love, that He would send His Son to endure the cross so that we might be spared from eternal punishment and instead experience eternal joy in His presence. May this truth fuel our worship, our obedience, and our witness, until the day when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10-11).

Prayer

Heavenly Father, We come before You with heavy hearts as we reflect on the sobering reality of eternal punishment. We know that Your word is true and that You are a just Judge. Help us to take seriously the warnings in Scripture and to live our lives in light of eternity. Forgive us for the times when we have been casual or complacent about the state of our souls and the souls of others. Give us a fresh sense of urgency to share the gospel and to live in a way that points people to Jesus. Help us to be faithful witnesses, even in the face of opposition or persecution. Thank You for the incredible gift of salvation that we have in Christ. We know that it is only by Your grace that we are spared from the wrath we deserve. Fill us with gratitude, humility, and awe at the depths of Your love and mercy towards us. We pray for those who do not yet know You, who are on the path towards eternal separation from Your presence. We ask that You would open their eyes to the truth of the gospel, convict them of their sin, and draw them to Yourself. Use us as Your instruments to share the message of hope and salvation. Give us courage and boldness to stand firm in our faith, even as the world around us becomes increasingly hostile to the truth. Help us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. We long for the day when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. Until that day, may we be found faithful, holding fast to the truth, and proclaiming the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness and into His marvelous light. We pray this in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.

Generated Image(s)

Eternal torment, fire and brimstone, The wrath of God, a fate to bemoan. Smoke rising ever, no rest, day or night, For those who reject the Lamb's saving light.

Eternal torment, fire and brimstone,
The wrath of God, a fate to bemoan.
Smoke rising ever, no rest, day or night,
For those who reject the Lamb's saving light.

This image was generated by AI from the devotion text.