“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death“
Now we come to a menacing verse.
“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars
In contrast to Christians who have an eternally right standing with God, we now turn to those who have no standing with God. These others will have part “in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone.”
We see eight characteristics of the non-Christian. First, the “cowardly” are those who are spineless. They cave into their fears rather than trust God to save them eternally. They live in stark fear of death. It is cowardly not to receive Jesus as your Savior.
“Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14-15).
The “unbelieving” are those who do not place personal faith in the finished work of Christ for their salvation (John 3:16-18). This is the issue that results in judgement. These people may not be dishonest or sex perverts; they simply reject the cross as the only way of salvation.
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).
The word “abominable” means polluted. Pollution here carries a wide meaning. Non-Christians are polluted with sin. Some people have the character of “murderers,” and disdain human life. Meanwhile, the “sexually immoral” undervalue virtue (Hebrews 13:4).
The “sorcerers” give themselves to pagan cults. The Greek term is pharmicia, carries the idea of cultists who operate with drugs. These people practice witchcraft, spiritism and demonism. “Idolatry” will be rampant in the Tribulation.
The last category of those cast into the Lake of Fire is “all liars.” God will cast the deceitful and hypocrites into a Christless, Godless eternity.
People without any of the above characteristics will experience eternity in heaven. All Christians will experience ultimate sanctification. They will live without sin before God forever. They will never exhibit any of these eight characteristics in eternity.
shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone,
The lost must die a second death after their physical death – the death of eternal separation from God. The word “part” means allotment.
which is the second death.
The Second Death is eternal separation from God (20:14). We die once when our physical life ceases to operate (Hebrews 9:27). We die a second time when we enter a Christless eternity. A Christian will never die a second death (John 5:24).
Good works do not qualify us for Heaven nor do bad works keep us from Heaven.
Bad works do not bar us from Heaven. That would be salvation by works. This verse describes those who do not know God. Good works cannot earn us eternal life. A spiritual birth is necessary for eternal life [regeneration].
“And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation” (Hebrews 9:27-28).