The words from John in Revelation were meant to not only foretell future events, but warn and upbraid us to keep out eyes open and to be in control on our own choices—-not blind or being lead around like like a pig with a ring in it’s nose. Are we living like citizens of God’s Kingdom or those outside the Kingdom?
Here’s what Jesus said in the last chapter:
“He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” Revelation 21:6-8
Let’s be clear about what Jesus, the Lamb of God, our Redeemer, the Lover of our Souls, the Alpha and Omega, says about the coming judgment—and what He says is weighty. He gets those that love Him excite about their new home. There will be those within a new, incredible city—a city so large than 1,000,000,000 souls would each have almost three cubic miles of living space—-enormous beyond anything we can imagine—-and laid out, designed and apportioned more beautiful than any artist could create. Get excited about it! And the God who knows us and every detail of our personality has prepared, designed and furnished this place for each of us.
But there’s also a place of eternal torment for many—and particularly those guilty of these things seven things. Jesus tells John to record these things to let us know: These things do not belong and will not exist in the new heaven and new earth. I think that it is wise to take note of these things, because they are mentioned two times in Revelation—-and two times means,”pay attention”. Before you brush away or smile at these sins, know this: Jesus does not smile at them. He wept for those that ignored Him….
Here’s the point of today’s devotion: In heaven, there is no place for people that do these things. In fact, I think that those of us within the city will be no inclination or recollection of the perverse pleasure we once took in committing these sins. These traits are unbecoming of one that wants to be a citizen of heaven, and, quite honestly, they don’t belong in the membership of our churches today. Yes, we might have been guilty of these sins in the past, and perhaps we’re still learning to let go of these things and allow the Holy Spirit to erase these habits that led to these sins, but if you live for these things you’re not living like a citizen of Gos’s kingdom—-something’s wrong. Your salvation might, in fact, be a mirage. So think about these thing and ask yourself, “Since you’ve been redeemed, or confirmed or born again, are these things still present in your life?” And if they are, are they at least diminishing as He is increasing His presence within you?
So, this new, perfect, eternal city of Jerusalem will not be a place for:
The Cowardly. Are you a coward? You’d better change. And if you can’t change, you’d better find the One that can change you. I think that in context, this refers to those that
deny Him out of fear of being ridiculed or persecuted and those who are afraid of confronting sin. In the latter, it’s a matter of not having the courage to stand up and say “this is wrong and we should not be doing this.” It’s moral fortitude and a preparation to be singled out as a zealot, if need be, for pointing out things going in the church or the nation that are contrary to God.
This might surprise you, but in truth God’s opinion is that there is ample reason to believe in God when you hear and see truth. If you choose not to it’s blood on your hands—-you’re responsible. We’re supposed to act upon what we know to be true and not hide behind excuses or chase reasons to doubt. It’s a choice—-not a destiny. He says that there’s no excuse. Yes, a lot of what we want to do or prefer to do could be enjoyed if we deny the truth about right and wrong, God and Satan, life and death. But God will have none of it. Micah 6:8.
Again, we don’t talk much about this in Christian living, but to be vile is to be vulgar, disgusting, loathsome. depraved. Okay, so there it is and it seems a given that people of a vile outlook and life-style would not be within God’s kingdom, so why do we wink at it so much when star athletes, celebrities or those in leadership display behavior like this?
We don’t need to call people that are vile our friends, our heroes or allow them to be role models for our children. Not because we’re better, but because we know better. The danger of association is assimilation…..
Taking away life. We’re not supposed to even let folks that murder keep on living. In a Christian society a person that steals another person’s life has forfeited their own—-but we’re getting further from that way of thinking. It seems like we think less of the life that was stolen and more of thief—-i.e the murder’s—-needs and self-esteem. We have things quite backwards.
To murder is to steal not only another’s life, but perhaps their opportunity to be redeemed or to redeem others! Murderers extinguish not just a life, but the possibility of that life to choose meaningful things and even bring others to Jesus Christ.
The Sexually immoral
In simple terms, sexual immorality is essentially the engagement in sexual acts outside of the sanctity of marriage, the divine union of creating and fostering life. The word used here is Pornea—-from whence we get pornography
The Magical arts
The Greek word used for the word “sorcery” in the New Testament might surprise you; it is “pharmakeia” from which we get our word “pharmacy”. What do you find in pharmacies? Drugs and lots of them! The word sorcery in Greek means “the use or the administering of drugs” so sorcery can absolutely mean the use of drugs but this can refer to illegal drugs and even the abuse or misuse of legally prescribed drugs. Since alcohol is a drug, could alcohol be implicated? Certainly we know drunkenness is sin. Many in the drug culture of the 1970’s used drugs to “expand their minds” or to “meditate” and this meditation or “expanding” allowed an open door for evil spirits or demons to come in, thus the secondary meaning of the Greek word “pharmakeia” is “sorcery, magic,” or “deceptions” which is what mind-altering drugs often do or open the door for.
This references an image-worship or divine honour paid to any created object—including good things or good institutions. Paul describes the origin of idolatry in Romans 1:21-25 : men forsook God, and sank into ignorance and moral corruption ( 1:28 ).
The forms of idolatry are,
Fetishism, or the worship of trees, rivers, hills, stones, etc.
Nature worship, the worship of the sun, moon, and stars, as the supposed powers of nature.
Need I say more? We know what a lie is and we know of people that lie whenever they speak. Lying is simply being not honest. God hates it—period. We know how much we hate being lied to….we know how lying corrupts and confuses any relationship….we see how it destroys marriages, friendships and careers——it’s wrong. It is contrary to common sense and it has no place in the life of the Christian and will not exist in heaven. Are you getting rid of your tendency to lie when you get caught doing something that embarrasses you? Have you put exagerration and embellishment to death?
Relationships will crumble and people will refuse to trust you if you lie. But the person most hurt by your lying is really you. You know you’re lying when you lie and you allow yourself to get used to it and you will have to answer to God for it. It’s time for all of us to make a bold decision to never let lies have any part of our lives. Are you up for it? You can overcome your compulsive lying habit!
And how can you tell your child or a friend or a politician is lying? The signs are pretty obvious, and if you’re a parent you are aware of these tell-tale signs.
The child is vague; offering few details
They child repeat the questions before answering them
They speak in sentence fragments
They won’t give eye contact
They fail to provide specific details when a story is challenged or change the story
A friend will often display grooming behaviors such as playing with hair or pressing fingers to lips or look up at the ceiling——you’ve seen it before.
Friends and adult associates often get louder and more animated if they think that the lie is failing.
Okay, but what’s the point of all of this? I must take a sober look in the mirror, routinely, to see if my life is closer and closer to being what a true citizen of God’s Kingdom should be, or am I a fraud, a charlatan, an imposter…….an actor. If I find no remorse for cherishing any of these sins or if I find myself making excuses for any of these sins, I have good reason to pause and talk to God about it.