Revelation 22:15

Read Introduction to Revelation


“But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie“
But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.
In contrast to those who receive rewards from Christ are those who remain on the “outside.” Those without Christ are like “dogs.” Dogs in the first century were not domestic animals as they are in our day. They were scavengers who ate garbage. Many were wild. Generally, they were hated creatures. The people of this verse are bestial who live like dogs. They know little more than what they taste, feel, hear, see and smell. They cannot see eternal things.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
Faith gives sight to eternal things. It reaches out to the future and brings it into the present.
Notice the nasty crowd here. They are described as those who practice sorcery (9:21; 18:23; 21:8) and the sexually immoral, murderers, idolaters and those who love and practice a lie. These practices typify the lost. Those that do not accept the shed blood of Christ for them do not have that right.
“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
Not everyone is going to Heaven.
Those without Christ are dog-like people. The dog of the first century was no pet. He was a scavenger who invaded garbage dumps. God depicts the non-Christian as someone who lives on garbage. They are an unsavory crowd because they do not have God in their lives.
The wonder of the gospel is that it can turn people who live on garbage into people who possess eternal life. Will you accept the fact that Jesus paid for your sins on the cross and that you can do nothing about your salvation except believe that Jesus gives us eternal life for free? You do that by faith (Romans 4:5; 5:1).

17 Responses to “Revelation 22:15”

  • I believe everything you said, but all the “dogs” have already been cast into the lake of fire. This verse makes it sound as if the “dogs” ie the sexually immoral, idolaters, etc. are hovering just outside the gates of the city of the New Jerusalem. If I’m not mistaken, all unbelievers are gone from the face of the new earth, no?

  • Terry, the “dogs” here are not canines but unsaved people.

  • Thank you for the reply. Yes, I understand who the dogs are, but haven’t they already been cast into the lake of fire? Why does the Bible need to refer to them being outside the city if they are gone from the world? That was my only question. And not one anyone can really answer for sure.

  • Terry, my apology for not reading your blog carefully.

    It does not appear to me that John is speaking chronologically but in principle, or logically. As you say, people were cast in the Lake of Fire in chapter twenty in a chronological sense. This verse, it appears to me, is speaking in principle because of the future, active, indicative of verse 14. The future in the Greek of “may have the right” is not chronological but logical progression. The Greek tenses operation with aktionsart,or kind of time, not time per se. Also, the “will enter” is aorist, middle, subjunctive, the subjective indicates that John is not talking about a reality but something hypothetical. There is no verb “are” in the Greek text in verse 15. The two participles of verse 15 merely describe the characteristics of the lost. These things indicate principle to me.

    Thanks for your thoughtful blog.

  • Grant,

    Is it possible, Revelation 22:15 portraits for lack of a better term “sinning saints”, while Revelation 21:8 are those who have never received Christ as savior? I know and have known people who claim to have been saved, but have back slid as “dogs returning to their vomit”. Is it possible that this group has defiled themselves in such a manner that they have “missed hell itself”, but because their garments are so defiled due to their earthly carnal walk that they are not allowed to enter “New Jerusalem”? Revelation 21:8 and 22:15 both indulging in the same sinful activities … the difference maybe being the 22:15 crowd truly trusted Christ for their salvation and then strayed, while the 21:8 crowd completely rejected the One who took away the “sin of the world”? I have always believed like most others that both are the lost, but lately the difference in the way they’re referenced “lake of fire vs outside the city” has caused me to ask more questions.


  • Mike, it appears to me that Revelation 21:8 is talking about those who never came to Christ. The “second death” refers to hell throughout Scripture. The passage here contrasts those who live in eternity with God and with those who do not. The people in this verse are “outside” eternal life.

  • Thanks for your reply, Mike

  • Mr. Grant

    I was so excited to see these posts, because I just started studying these two portions of scripture myself! I find Rev.21:8 & Rev. 22:15 very interesting as they are so close to say the same. However, there are two very distinct and important differences between the two, to me anyway.

    The differences are these;
    1) Rev 21:8 states “unbeleivers” Rev 22:15 does not.
    2) Rev 21:8 states they are thrown into the lake of fire, which is the second death. Rev. 22:15 does not.

    As I said, I am just starting to study this, and my first thoughts are these.

    Rev.21:8, no doubt God is talking about Hell bound unbeleivers.

    But seems in Rev. 22:15, He is talking about those who actually got saved but either didn’t follow Christ after salvation, or, turned back to their old ways and friends. Or, was just satified with keeping themselves out of Hell. These people will now have to be satified with living away, (outside of Heaven). They wanted nothing to do with Christ, now Christ has nothing to do with them. Even though they didn’t keep true to their word, God who can’t lie, keeps His word. They escape Hell by the skin of their teeth, but are not allowed the priviledges of those who lived for Christ.

    Again, the main reason I am leaning this way is because Rev. 22:15 does not include “unbeleivers”, and Rev:21:8 does not state “outside” but rather “the lake of fire”.

    Thank you, and I eagerly anticipate your thinking on this.

    In Christ

  • Stephen, the terms “second death” of 21:8 and “outside” of 22:15 indicate unbelievers.

  • what is at issue here is, is the lake of fire outside or inside the Kingdom of God?

  • Edward, it appears to me that the term "outside" refers to those outside the Kingdom and to those who will land in the Lake of Fire.We may be thinking in a too spacial way when we read this passage. I think the simple idea is that those in the Kingdom are Christians and those outside are not. 

  • I have read one story of a believer who was taken on a tour of Heaven (In the book Heaven is So Real) who actually saw people dressed in rags wandering outside the gates of heaven, and when she asked Jesus who these people were, He said they were the disobedient Christians, that only the pure in heart would see God.

  • Sherry, reports of people going to heaven while still on earth, except those revealed in Scripture, are phony. There is no authority for these reports except what people imagine or falsely report for their own profit.

  • Those outside the city cannot be believers. The list includes murderers. I John chapter 3 tells us that no murderer has life abiding in him.

  • Cliff, read my commentary on that passage.

  • (

    … Since Revelation 22:15 talks about sinners who will be "outside" the heavenly Jerusalem, is it teaching that the souls of the lost ones are still roaming outside the city? No, because we read in an earlier passage, in Revelation 21:8, that those who have committed the unpardonable sin will have been thrown into the lake of fire, to be burned up and destroyed. [Revelation 21:8 reads: "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, 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."] 

    The Broadman Bible Commentary explains Revelation 22:15, as follows:

    The Greek word for "outside," "exo," which is used in those passages and in Revelation 22:15, can also mean "without." In Matthew 13:47-48, it is translated as, "away": "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to the shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad AWAY."

    The meaning is clear: Those who are "bad"; that is those who commit the sins, as described in Revelation 22:15, as a way of life, without a willingness to repent, will be "outside" or "without" or "away from" the holy city and the Kingdom of God…

  • Grant your explanation about the dogs on the outside the murderers, sexually immoral and the others is one of the better explanation I've been able to accept. The possibility that John is speaking hypothetically is an acceptable answer for this verse. The ungodly are thrown into the lake of fire and so the reading compels one to think that there are others still remaining on the earth and I wonder who are these people aren't they gone?. This can give rise to the concept of purgatory a habitation for not so good saints who are not allowed into the Holy City. I personally don't believe in piurgatory because the Bible is very clear that we either choose eternity with God or eternal damnation.

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