21:8 THE END OF EVIL
“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8). The Book of Revelation goes to great length to show that evil will come to a permanent end, and in fact the beginning, history and end of sin is the great theme of the whole Bible. Chapter 21 is where God guarantees that the eternal life He offers will not be marred by people who refuse to let go of sin.
Included are those who break the first half of the Ten Commandment law which has to do with love and loyalty for God only (“idolaters”), as well as those who break the second half which has to do with relating in destructive ways to others (“murderers, sexually immoral,… all liars”). Those who refuse to believe despite the evidence that God has given (“the…unbelieving”) will not be present, no matter how admirable or apparently moral their lives have been; they have the “seed” of sin, which would eventually bear all the other wicked fruits. The “cowardly” are also left out; this group is especially relevant to the time of trouble, which is such a major focus of Revelation. Many will receive the “mark or the name of the beast or the number of his name” because they will be afraid of the economic sanctions or the death threat. But this fear itself shows a basic lack of trust, which would eventually lead back to sin.
Although many particular types of sin that seem heinous to us are not mentioned, the angel specifically mentions “sorcerers”—those who have had a personal relationship with Satan and his bewitching magic. Sadly, this will include many who believe that their supernatural spiritual abilities came from God. “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matthew 7:22,23).
The redeemed, in contrast, are those who have repented of sin; in other words, they have wanted to obey God’s law and are sorry they have violated His will. Jesus paid the penalty for their sin and guarantees that through His grace, in the new earth free from temptation, they will not spoil the perfection of God’s kingdom.Those who are satisfied to continue breaking God’s law cannot have a part because they would eventually bring back the whole reign of sin. It is for this reason only that God declares, “There shall not enter it anything that defiles, or causes abomination or a lie, but only they which are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life” (Revelation 21:27). Despite His deep love for them, their exclusion is the only way to guarantee that “there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).