The Three – Tormented 3

The Bible letter, The Revelation of Jesus Christ, is God’s last message to a dying planet. In Revelation 14:6-12, three angels shout a warning to “those who dwell on the earth;” people who hate God and hate those who love God. It’s a message given in great love because God is willing to go to the uttermost to reach even his most aggressive enemies.

In Revelation 14:10 we read that those who have aligned mind and body with the Beast will be tormented in the presence of the Lamb. Why would they experience torment in the presence of the One who is love, compassion, forgiveness, acceptance?

Here’s a quick overview starting in Genesis 2:25. The Bible says, “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” Unfortunately, this didn’t last and because of their choices they became separated from God. They began to blame each other and God for what happened and they were ashamed.

Shame is toxic. If you dig into our stories you will find that shame is behind much of the pain the in the world. Thankfully, Jesus is the shame remover. At least three times, the writers of the new testament tell us that the one who believes on Jesus will by no means be put to shame (for example 1 Peter 2:5-7).

Even the author of Revelation, the apostle John, wrote in 1 John 2:28, “And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.” Deliverance from shame is an important part of our relationship with God and in meeting him face to face at the great reunion.

Sadly, even though Jesus is the shame remover, there are those who hang on or remain in their shame. Paul writes in Philippians 3:18-19, “For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.”

When we are close to God our glory is his righteousness – his character in us. Not so for those who worship the beast. What is their glory? Shame.

Shameful experiences are very traumatic. When it happens it really is a full on physical torment: our stomach churns, we get tunnel vision, our heart pounds and our face burns.

Those who will not release their shame to Jesus get to keep it all. And in the presence of the Lamb; the slain Lamb; the Lamb of glory, and grace and love; those who worship the beast are in shame to an infinite level. It will be a horrific torment.

My favourite author puts it this way:
”Like Israel of old the wicked destroy themselves; they fall by their iniquity. By a life of sin, they have placed themselves so out of harmony with God, their natures have become so debased with evil, that the manifestation of His glory is to them a consuming fire.” White, Great Controversy

This is key: Nobody is “put” in this position. God destroys no one. Those who are destroyed have done it to themselves by a life of consistent choices – choices that lead the to deliverance from shame or immersed in it.

What choice are you making today?

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