|"Tender Shepherd" by Theresa Gomes|
There are some sobering realities associated with final punishment. The wrath of God is a frightening future outpouring that is described throughout Scripture (Ps. 59:13, Rom. 1:18). There is punishment - including torment, retribution (God repaying for what we have done, Heb. 10:30) and death. Some will suffer greater condemnation (Matt. 11:24, Luke 20:47) and therefore have more severe consequences (more lashes, Luke 12:47-48). Some will not be released from their punishment and suffering until they have 'paid the last cent' (Matt. 5:26, Luke 12:59).
"Then another angel,… saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name." (Rev. 14:9-11)
"These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power."
"According to their deeds, so He will repay, Wrath to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies… He will make recompense." - Isaiah 59:18
"For the LORD is a God of recompense, He will fully repay." - Jer. 51:56
“For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS." - Matt. 16:27
"Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord." - Rom. 12:19, Heb. 10:30
"For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you." 2 Thess. 1:6 (see also Rev. 6:9-11)
Smoke rising forever
“...the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe... just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, ... are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire." (See Jude)
"… in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed.” (Luke 17:26-30)
“He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter.” 2 Peter 2:6
"Upon the wicked He will rain coals of fire; Fire and brimstone and burning wind will be the portion of their cup." (Psalm 11:6)
"Edom's streams will be turned into pitch, And its loose earth into brimstone, And its land will become burning pitch.It will not be quenched night or day; Its smoke will go up forever. From generation to generation it will be desolate; None will pass through it forever and ever." - Isaiah 34:10
“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; BECAUSE HIS JUDGMENTS ARE TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and HE HAS AVENGED THE BLOOD OF HIS BOND-SERVANTS ON HER.” And a second time they said, “Hallelujah! HER SMOKE RISES UP FOREVER AND EVER.” Rev. 19:1-3
Also, why does it say immediately, in the same paragraph: "This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints…" (14:12)? Why would the saints need to endure and have patience during this event, if the final judgment had taken place and they were experiencing eternal life? We haven't even gotten to the Bowl Judgments yet (chapter 16). We appear to be in the middle of the tribulation with these tragic events taking place on earth. Jesus' second coming to earth happens in chapter 19 where "He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty." (19:15) This demonstrates why context is so important - the context of the chapter, the book and the entire Bible.