By Ronald and Nathele Graham
“And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” Revelation 20:13-14. The lake of fire is a place of eternal torment and you don’t want anyone you know to end up there. You don’t want to end up there. It is where the Beast and the False Prophet will be cast into and it is a place of eternal suffering. The only way to avoid spending eternity there is to place your hope and faith in Jesus. Those who have accepted His free gift of salvation will live eternally with Him and will avoid the Lake of Fire. Don’t even think that eternity separated from God in the Lake of Fire is one big party. It is eternal torment.
Jesus was very clear when He talked of salvation. The purpose of His life on earth was to offer us the only way of salvation…to be our kinsman redeemer. When Adam chose to sin, fellowship with God was broken. No longer could Adam and Eve live in Paradise…Adam’s sin had condemned mankind to be separated from God and we are still under that curse. We can’t begin to imagine the glory that Adam and Eve knew in the Garden of Eden where they had fellowship with God. Sin cannot go unpunished and because of Adam’s choice he and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden. We live in this world and can see much beauty around us, but that is pale when compared to the Garden of Eden. We only know this world, and we accept the evil that surrounds us as “normal”. Wars, hatred, and anger are just a part of life as we know it and we are numb to it…we don’t feel the outrage against sin that we should. We who are born again believers in Jesus Christ know there is a beautiful life waiting for us, but for now we have to live in this world of sin. Nicodemus was a Pharisee who sought to know the truth. One night he came to visit Jesus to find answers to his questions. “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3. The English word “again” is translated from the Greek word “anothen” which means: from above, from God, from God above, anew, over again. Everyone is born once and has inherited the sin nature from Adam’s sin, but we can only be “anothen”, or born again, if we accept the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the atonement for our sin. The very instant that we say yes to Jesus Christ we are born again. Adam’s sin separated us from God, but Christ’s sacrifice gives eternal life to all who admit they are sinners and ask Him for forgiveness. He is our Saviour and our only way to salvation. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6. Accepting Christ is the only way to avoid the lake of fire.
Once a person trusts Christ for salvation, the Holy Spirit is sealed within him or her. In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he spoke of being sealed with the Holy Spirit upon accepting Christ. “… after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise,” Ephesians 1:13. God’s Holy Spirit is sealed within us at the very moment we truly believe. Paul also wrote about this to the believers in Corinth. “Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts,” 2 Corinthians 1:21-22. Faith in Christ seals our destiny. The born again believer in Christ need have no fear of spending eternity in the lake of fire. We who are born again receive much comfort from these verses. God “stablisheth” us when we become born from above. The word translated “stablisheth” is the Greek word “bebaioo” which means: to make firm, to establish, confirm, to make sure. This is done through God’s power, not ours. Outside of God we have no power, no firm foundation, and no hope. It is our choice whether to accept Christ as our Saviour, but rejection of Him will only bring eternal torment.
If a person chooses to reject Christ they have chosen to spend eternity in the Lake of Fire. There are many reasons a person may reject God. Some blame God for things that have happened to them, but the evils of this world come from Satan. In rejecting God they have to believe He exists, but that is not faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Some people believe in god, but not God. Allah is god (satanic and evil) and cannot do anything except lead his followers into the Lake of Fire. Mormons believe in someone they call Jesus, but he is another false god that leads to the Lake of Fire. Many people expect that being a “good person” by human standards or religious works to be enough to meet the criteria to avoid the lake of fire, but good works will not save you, only faith in Jesus Christ. Those who choose to reject God’s free gift of salvation are destined to everlasting damnation in the lake of fire. It is an individual choice. “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be foregiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” Matthew 12:30-32. There is no middle ground. Either you admit that you are a sinner in need of a Saviour and accept Jesus Christ, or you have rejected Him. It is a choice each person has to make for themselves.
Thank God that we have a choice in where we will spend eternity. Once we are born from above (have said yes to Jesus) our choice is sealed. We can’t back out of that choice once we’ve made it, and who would want to? We are held safe in God’s hands; He keeps us and sanctifies us, never to be lost again. You see, God doesn’t wish that any should parish but that all should come to repentance. Once we are in His hands we are forever in His hands. “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” John 10:28-30. You may be way out of fellowship and missing out on the joy of your salvation, but if you have accepted Christ as your Saviour you will avoid the Lake of Fire. You can have a more fulfilling life if you fully surrender to Him and strive to be like Him. You will earn eternal rewards if you live for Him, but your salvation is secure once you sincerely believe in Him. Being born from above brings new responsibilities. We need to study God’s word and conform to it. We need to tell others about the Gospel. There needs to be a change in our life and attitude because we are no longer the same person as we once were. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17.
As believers we can see what’s happening around this fallen world and certainly we can equate these things to what Jesus tells us to look for concerning the end times. The Rapture will happen soon…very soon. Then, for those who have chosen to reject Christ, life will become difficult…very, very difficult. Daniel’s 70th week will begin and last 3 1/2 years of that week will bring great sorrows. Jesus described it this way “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Matthew 24:21. Some people will come to know Christ during that time, but don’t think it will be easy. The horrors of that time are unimaginable to us, but we can read Revelation and get a glimpse of what those who have rejected Christ will face. The False Prophet and the Beast are pure evil and Satan rules them. Their destiny is to be cast into the lake of fire; those who reject Christ will join them. “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15. You don’t want to go there. It is an eternal choice. If you do not accept Christ now then you have chosen to reject Him. Your choice needs be made today before you step into eternity. That eternity will either be spent in Heaven with Christ surrounded by perfect love, or it will be spent in the lake of fire in eternal separation from God’s love and in eternal torment.
Do you want to avoid the lake of fire? The only way to do that is to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. He is the only way to eternal life.