To get the proper sense of that verse, let’s read Revelation 21:1-8, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 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.” This scene occurs just after the Great White Throne judgment of the Lord that we read about in Revelation 20:11-15. It is there that the Lord passes judgment upon all those who have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ as their savior. Verse 15 tells us, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

In Revelation 21, we see the eternal state, after all judgment has been accomplished. The Apostle Peter spoke of this when he wrote in 2 Peter 3:13, “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” It is in this eternal day that we shall dwell in the presence of God, and as we read in verse 4, “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” No tears, no death, no sorrow, no crying, no pain…all these things disappear in the presence of the Lord.

In verses 7 and 8, it is reiterated about those who will be there and those who will not. Who are the overcomers? Romans 8:37 tells us that it is those who are in Christ Jesus. That says, “…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” It is through faith in the Lord Jesus that we overcome the wicked one and are more than mere conquerors…we are overwhelmingly victorious. How great is the victory that Christ won for us when He gave Himself a sacrifice for our sins!

Verse 8 describes the characteristics of those who ‘shall have their part in the lake of fire.” These are not believers. Through faith in Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us that believers have been, “…made the righteousness of God in him.” These are people who are still in their sins and are recognized by their sins. Revelation 20:12 tells us these were judged, “according to their works”, or their deeds. These are unbelievers and Mark 16:16 tells us that, “he that believeth not shall be damned.”

I want to make one more important point. What verse 8 calls the ‘second death’ does not mean that those who reject Christ will just cease to exist. 2 Thessalonians 1:9 says the Christ rejecters, “…shall be punished with EVERLASTING DESTRUCTION from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” There is no need for anyone to have to endure EVERLASTING DESTRUCTION when the Lord continues to offer EVERLASTING LIFE to those who trust in the Lord Jesus as their savior. John 3:36 says, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” The choice is yours to make, and your choice will determine your eternal destiny. (174.8)