Our Compline reading today is once again set in Revelations and once again I sighed because Revelations is so deep and all in prophetic language much of the time and difficult to understand, then I ended up feeling GLAD. After I found the video today on the subject our reading in Revelations is talking about - The Second Death.
I already had previously given some theological thought on this subject. Would the God and Father that I know, choose to permanently destroy a sentient creation? Would he really inflict eternal punishment on those who make bad choices and decisions? The thought didn’t sit right with me, it didn’t match what I know about God.
People that are pure evil, and never repent or regret their sins, psychopathic serial killers. Recidivist child abusers and those like Hitler, who commit atrocities and crimes against humanity, yes, because he is a God of Justice. I have seen evil face to face and for God not to be a God of Justice is unthinkable. But eternal punishment for most of us? Because we have all sinned, God’s bar is raised pretty high. Many won’t have had the opportunity to find Jesus and gain salvation and many are the reasons people reject Jesus, some because they have been lied to about Him. I had already pondered the thought that those like atheists or agnostics who choose death, wanting there to be NOTHING after death, for life to just END. May get their wish eventually and after judgement, endure a second death, death of the spirit, in the lake of fire. But NOT eternal punishment.
The video today at Compline makes far more sense to me. SPOILER ALERT - GO WATCH NOW BEFORE YOU CONTINUE TO READ.
The idea that the lake of fire in Revelation is like a goldsmith’s crucible, only burning away the sin and dross of the spirit to purify it. That God ultimately will save the purified person is awesome, and gladdens my heart. Only those that are so evil that there is no good left in them at all would perish in the crucible. There would be very few like that. The more sin present, the longer they would have to remain in the fire. Not just humans, but angels, who are also his creations, also sentient and will receive the same judgment. Only the first will be last.
I am glad that I have already been through one death, here on earth. Jesus paid the full price for my sins, when I asked him to be my Lord and Saviour. When I was baptised I died with Christ, went down into the water and rose up with him again, born anew. So when my physical body passes, it will be my second death. For me just a short transition - a journey home. Thank you Jesus, the ultimate reason to be GLAD!