TEXT: Revelation 21:7-8
7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
In her song, “Walk Over God’s Heaven,” gospel artist Mahalia Jackson sang, “Everybody talking about heaven ain’t going there.” Not many people want to believe that these days, but she was right. As we see here in God’s word, that is indeed the case. Everybody does not go to Heaven. No matter which way the world and liberal theologians try to twist it, the Bible does not teach universalism. The first seven verses of Revelation 21 talk about Heaven — the kind of place that it is and the kind of people who will be there. But, in verse 8, we read that there are some who will not go to Heaven. Instead, they “shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.”
In their commentary on this verse, Dr. John Walvoord and Dr. Roy Zuck write: “Those who practice the sins of the unbelieving world will be excluded from the New Jerusalem and will be destined for the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This judgment is a righteous punishment for their sins, eight of which are itemized here.” As we look at the sins described in this verse, please understand that God is not teaching salvation or damnation by works. Rather, as Walvoord goes on to state, this verse “is referring to works as indicative of whether one is saved or not. Obviously, many will be in heaven who before their conversions were indeed guilty of these sins but who turned from them in the day of grace in trusting Christ as their Savior. Though works are the evidence of salvation or lack of it, they are never the basis or ground of it.”
Let’s examine some of the works of those who do not end up in Heaven.
First, there are the “fearful.” This word means timid or cowardly. It is sometimes juxtaposed with “faithless” or “little faith.” For example, when Jesus asks the disciples, “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?”, this is the word he used. Dr. Warren Wiersbe states, “the fearful are the cowardly, those who did not have the courage to stand up for Christ.” There are many people who will miss out on Heaven because they were afraid of what other people would think of them or afraid of having to give up their lifestyle if they accepted Jesus Christ as Savior. When they lift their eyes in Hell, they will realize that the fear they felt in this life was not worth risking their eternal future.
Then, the Bible speaks of the “unbelieving.” This word refers to those who believe not or those who have no faith. An interesting definition is the word “incredulous.” These are people who look at God’s Word and hear the preaching of the Gospel and shake their heads in disbelief. They say it is too good to be true. They say it sounds too simple. They say that Heaven is just “pie in the sky.” They trust their own mind or the teachings of some scientist, philosopher, or intellectual over God himself. And because they do not believe God, they, too, will miss out on Heaven.
Next, the Bible speaks of the “abominable.” This word means that which is abhorrent or rendered foul or detestable. Dr. Wiersbe states that the word means “polluted, and refers to those who indulged in sin and were thus polluted in mind, spirit, and body.” This word describes those whose lifestyle is marked by sin — mental sin such as looking at pornography or entertaining thoughts of hatred; spiritual sin such as refusing to believe God’s word or worshipping false gods; and bodily sin such as murder or adultery. Only Jesus can save a person from such a lifestyle, but if such a person does not turn to Jesus seeking salvation, they, too, will miss out on Heaven.
Contrary to what some say, God is not trying to keep people out of Heaven. But people are, unfortunately, keeping themselves out because they do not want to give up their sinful lifestyles. They succumb to fear; they persist in unbelief; they refuse to abandon that which is abominable.
Here is a famous poem that describes this awful place called Hell, the Lake of Fire:
Hell, the prison house of despair:
Here are some things that won’t be there:
No flowers will bloom on the banks of hell
No beauties of nature we love so well.
No comforts of home, music or song;
No friendship or joy will be in that throng.
No children to brighten the long weary night;
No love, nor peace, nor one ray of light.
No mercy nor pity, pardon nor grace;
No water, O God, what a terrible place!
The pangs of the lost no human can tell;
No moment of ease — there’s no rest in Hell.
Hell, the prison house of despair;
Here are some things that will be there:
Fire and brimstone are there we know;
For God in His word has told us so.
Memory, remorse, suffering and pain;
Weeping and wailing, but all in vain.
Blasphemers, swearers, haters of God,
Sinners who refused to be washed in the blood.
Christ-rejectors while on earth they trod;
Murderers, gamblers, drunkards and liars,
Will have their part in the lake of fire.
The filthy, the vile, the cruel and mean;
What a terrible mob in hell will be seen.
Yes, more than humans on earth can tell
Are the torments and woes of Eternal Hell
Here is a poem by Deborah Ann Belka that describes the joys of Heaven:
Further than the stars,
that my eyes can see
is the promise of rest
God has awaiting me.
Higher than the moon,
hanging in the sky
is the promise of peace
coming from up high.
Beyond the sun’s ray,
beaming from above
is the promise of bliss
bathed in eternal love.
Wider than the ocean,
deeper than the blue sea
is the promise of calm
waiting just for me.
Beyond what I envision,
further than all I can see
I know heaven is waiting
one day to welcome me!
God wants you to not only be able to sing about Heaven but to go there and be with Him forever. Because of Jesus Christ, your sins are no longer a barrier. You can have a home in the New Heaven and the New Earth if you trust in Him today.
Allow me to share with you how you can do that right now.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.