This title may attract or turn people away from this blog on a Saturday morning!
The debate of how God will treat those with the mark of the beast will continue until annihilation or eternal torment happens.
“A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, 10 they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulphur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.” 12 This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.” (Revelation 14 v 9-12)
These images certainly pull towards that of eternal torment for the worshippers of the beast.
Jesus took the cup of God’s wrath so that the cup of judgment did not need to fall on us.
The wine was not diluted as the custom of John’s day but John saw full strength wine, no holds barred, poured out.
Just like there is no rest of worship around the throne of God, it is happening day and night similarly there is no rest for the judgment, it is for ever and ever.
It is frightening stuff. But John doesn’t seem concerned to hold back the scary parts of his vision.
If it causes the redeemed to continue with patient endurance, so be it.
If it causes the world to say I don’t want to go to that place, so be it.
Those who say there isn’t a physical rapture and those who say there isn’t a physical eternal torment will forever be with us, well, maybe not all of them forever.
But an 8 year old boy didn’t want to be left behind and didn’t want to face God’s anger in a fiery hell and 48 years later he is writing this blog today.
So even if that boy didn’t have all the details correct the gospel and the gravity of rejecting it has kept him walking with the Lord for nearly 50 years!
To be honest, I think annihilation and eternal torment are worth choosing not to have the mark of the beast don’t you? But for me the eternal outweighs the finality every time. It becomes more powerful in keeping us within patient endurance of the life of the gospel. And perhaps that is good enough.