“It would seem that they are permanently excluded from God and the holy city. But we are surprised to read later on that the nations do in fact enter the city through the gates from the outside. Revelation 21:24-27.
What has happened? The nations were in the lake of fire. What did they do to leave it?
To enter the city through the gates from the outside, they had to meet the condition of entry which is washing their robes in the blood. In other words they had to wash their robes BEFORE they could enter the city gates. Washing their robes also qualified them to eat from the tree of life. Revelation 22:14
Given the nations enter the city from outside the gates, this means that they must have first washed their robes WHILST IN THE LAKE OF FIRE BEFORE they could enter! Revelation 21:21-27
Having washed their robes in the lake of fire, the nations can now enter into the city through the ever-open gates (which they do) and approach the throne to receive their final healing as they eat from the leaves of the tree of life. Revelation 22:1-3.
And it’s only now, after receiving their healing, that the story ends.
4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads
5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
And they all lived happily ever after.”
Sounds good? This is a typical prejudiced reading into something the passage does not say. It is also a major flaw in futuristic universalism teaching.
Now I am not against universalism but against the way this author injects his idea of the cleansing nature of the Lake of Fire.
Look at the verses.
Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
So when John was referring to the “nations” here:
The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it.
He is not speaking about the nations which were thrown into the Lake of Fire.
The Lake of Fire here has to do with the opening of the book of life. It says very clearly that if anyone’s name is not written in the book of life, he is thrown into the Lake of Fire for a second death.
The book of life is mentioned once in Philippians in the New Testament. It is also predominantly mentioned in the book of Daniël.
“At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.
There are a few things we must note here. Firstly Michael is speaking to Daniël. The context of the word “people” here is the people of Daniël which are the Jews.
Hence the names referred to in the book are Jewish and not Gentile.
Secondly it mirrors that of Revelation 21. The second death there speaks about shame and everlasting contempt. It does not speak about being washed or cleansed.
In fact this is what the book f Daniel says.
Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.
The wicked are not cleansed.
Now the book of Revelation in chapter 7 actually gives you a clue as to who are the names which are in that book. It is the 144,000 Jews from the 12 tribes.
Also Daniel speaks about the abomination that causes the desolation as the time this would happen.
“From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days.”
Jesus spoke about this is Luke.
“When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city.”
You may say he did not use the words abomination. Well Luke is one of the 3 synoptic gospels.
Here is how it appears in Matthew.
“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
You will see that it concludes with a warning to leave Jerusalem and a plea to flee to the mountains.
More importantly Jesus’s words here mirror here of Daniël 12:1.
For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.
Now what did we learn?
1. It’s about the Jews. Not the nations. Rather it is about the Jews which are in every nation.
2. Matthew 24, Daniel 12 and Revelation 21 are linked and are speaking about the same event.
3. Jesus spoke about it happening within his generation.
Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.
Daniël spoke about a 3 1/2 year siege of Jerusalem.
Revelation written in AD65 said it would happened “soon”.
4. All 3 passages does not speak about the Lake of Fire as cleansing. In fact Daniël clearly says:
but the wicked will continue to be wicked.
What is the Lake of Fire about?
It’s simple. The prevailing passage which Jesus used to warn the Jews of this event is Matthew 24.
A reading of Matthew 23 the passage leading into Matthew 23 will clearly show you.
And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation.
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate.
1. It’s about Jerusalem.
2. It’s about their generation.
3. The wicked here are those who remained in “your house” which was the temple.
4. The wicked were also those who refused to receive Jesus’ warning and mercy to leave Jerusalem. Hence it wasn’t God would judged them but their own hardened hearts.
5. The Lake of Fire was the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem in AD70.
Do not be lured into people painting fairy tales about how the Lake of Fire would cleanse the “nations”. What people do not understand is that the new Jerusalem is for the new man who is neither Jew or Gentile. That’s what the word “nations” mean.
by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two…
The new humanity was created through Jesus Christ. It is neither Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free, male nor female.
It is not from Israel but many nations.
I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.
These other sheep are the Gentiles. Since AD70, the old creation which was purely Jew is gone. The new creation which is from “all nations” has since taken place.