Revelation chapter 14:11, “And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.” Revelation 14:11 is a picture of hell. When it describes these worshipers of the beast and its image, it’s basically a picture of those who have not trusted in the salvation that’s available in Christ. Those who have not repented on their sins and turned to God, that when they die they go to an eternal hell. The language here is deafening. “The smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever.”
God’s eternal judgment should lead us to live soberly, compassionately, and with the gospel on our lips.
Forever would’ve been sufficient there, right? It doesn’t add any meaning to say, “And ever, forever,” means forever, but then the Spirit of God in this verse just adds those two words after forever, “And ever,” to make sure we get the point. That those who don’t repent of sin and trust in the salvation God and His grace makes possible, that they go to an eternal everlasting hell forever and ever with no end, with no end. I think about Jonathon Edwards. It was said that when he preached, he would urge people to consider the torment of burning like a livid coal, not for an instant, or for a day, but for millions and millions of ages, at the end of which, people will realize that they’re no closer to the end than when they first begun, and they will never ever be delivered from that place.
After millions of ages, it’s only the beginning of forever. It will never, ever, ever end. God, we pray, we pray that you’d help us to live today in light of the urgency of eternity. God, we pray that you’d help us to live with love and compassion for people around us right now who’ve not trusted in your salvation. God, help us to share the gospel with them. God, use our lives to make the gospel known that we don’t want them. We know you don’t. We know in 2 Peter 39 you desire their repentance. We know you don’t, we don’t want them to experience this forever and ever, so God please save them. God, please help us to share the gospel. Then help us not to care more about our comforts, or having an awkward conversation, or any reputation it might have. God, help us to risk it all so they might hear the gospel, so they might believe it.
God, we pray that you would open their eyes to believe it. Open our mouths to speak it and open their eyes to believe. God, we pray for this. Please use our lives to cause your salvation to keep people from this eternal destiny. God, help us to live today in light of eternity. Eternal happiness available in Christ and eternal hell for all who don’t trust in Christ. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.