Jump Start # 2950
Revelation 20:10 “And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
The other morning I was getting ready to head out for the day. There in my driveway was a snake. Readers of these Jump Starts know how I feel about snakes. It was dead. It looked like bird had dropped it. I grabbed a shovel and tossed the dreaded beast into the woods behind my house. As cooler weather comes to Indiana, the snakes are soon to go underground for the winter. There will be one less now. And, maybe because this one died, there will be fewer snakes next year.
And, all of this takes us to our passage today. The word ‘snake’ isn’t found in this verse, but my feelings towards Satan are about the same as I feel towards snakes. It would be a grand day to look in my driveway and see a dead Satan laying there. That won’t happen. Our verse tells us the future of Satan. Interestingly, the Bible begins with two chapters in Genesis before we read about Satan. And, the Bible ends, in Revelation, with two chapters without Satan. The clock is ticking. The time is coming when Satan won’t bother us anymore.
Some thoughts from this passage:
First, Satan is headed to Hell. That’s where he belongs. God made Hell just for Satan. People are not supposed to be in Hell. The devil is. His future is certain. It’s absolute. There is no changing his destiny. He has no Savior and he has no hope. Forever and ever, night and day, he will be tormented. He has polluted the minds of man, deceived our hearts and led multitudes away from the life that God intended for us to live. The devil doesn’t make anyone do things against their will. But he can sure deceive, blind our eyes and get our attention away from the Lord.
Second, Hell belongs to God. The old cartoons often showed the devil with his pitchfork irritating a line of people in Hell isn’t Biblical. That image leaves the impression that God has Heaven and the devil has Hell. But that’s not the case. God has both. In Hell, Satan is not in charge. In Hell, Satan doesn’t get his way. Satan is being tormented. Who is tormenting him? God is. God is in charge. God has all authority, everywhere. Satan is going to get it and there won’t be any grace, comfort or second chances for him.
Third, Hell is not pictured in the Bible as a rowdy, drunken party where people are having a blast. Author Mark Twain said that he liked the idea of Heaven for the climate and Hell for the company. He had it all wrong. No one will like Hell. The devil won’t like Hell. It’s not a wild party. It’s punishment unlike anyone has ever witnessed. When people are stressed and their lives seem upside down and they declare, “My life is Hell,” it’s not. It’s not close. No matter how bad things are here, you have life, you have options, you have choices. There is more hope for a live dog than for a dead lion. Hell is not a party boat. It’s not laughter, giggles, and good times. It’s tears. It’s terror. It’s torment. And, modern churches and modern theology has given up on the topic of Hell. No one preaches it anymore. No one talks about it anymore. Out of sight and out of mind, most do not believe it’s even real. There’s nothing to fear. Weak and timid preachers would rather tickle the ears of their congregation than speak the truth of God’s word. Jesus believed in Hell. Jesus talked about Hell. He talked about it a lot. And, in Matthew, Jesus put Heaven and Hell in the same sentence. If there is one, there is the other. If one is missing, so is the other. Moderns want Heaven, but they don’t want Hell. It doesn’t work that way. Annihilation may be comforting to many. Live like an animal and die like an animal. You might miss Heaven, but that’s ok. What a blast you had here. You can go to church and not even change. You can even get drunk the night before, laugh your way through life and when it’s over, it’s just over. Not so bad. That’s why many sign up for that journey. However, they ignore the teachings of the Bible. There is a Hell. It’s real. It’s bad. It’s forever. And, we best preach it, teach it, and fear it. The wrath of God exists.
Fourth, the message of the Bible is not about getting your “Get out of Hell free” card. It’s about living the way God wanted you and intended for you to live. It’s not just about eternity, it’s about a life of holiness and godliness here. It’s about serving others. It’s about being a disciple of Jesus.
A dead snake in my driveway. Someday Satan will bother us no more. He won’t tempt us. He won’t deceive us. Error won’t exist. Lies will never be told. Sin will be done away with. Until that time, onward we go. Onward we fight. Onward we resist. Onward we walk with the Lord.