I was just watching a documentary about Henry Hill. He is the main character in the movie “Goodfellas.” He ended up in the witness protection program for testifying against the mob. Years later, Henry never felt any sense of true relief until a “cappo” (slang for a high ranking member of the mafia, who was one of the many that Hill had witnessed against) finally died in prison. Until that leader’s death, he was still a threat in Henry’s mind, even though he was locked away somewhere.
The End Of All That Is Evil
While watching the documentary, it suddenly dawned on me how important it is to realize that all that is evil will actually be destroyed in the end, in God’s presence, and not merely locked away from His proximity surviving somewhere else…
Revelation 14:9-13 (ESV)
And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur 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, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.” Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”
Now, some might read this and think that it does not describe the complete annihilation of all that is evil, but that instead what is talked about here is evil’s ongoing torcher… forever. However, when we recall which age that this torment happens in (according to Jesus anyway)…
Matthew 13:40 (ESV)
“Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age.”
…we then realize that the “rest” to be had by the believer (encouraged by the Spirit) is not made weak by the threat of interruption due to the potential escape of some band of imprisoned agents of darkness in the next age. Again, Jesus does not just compartmentalize evil in this age or any age thereafter, but He will take care of it for good at the end of this age, personally…
2 Thessalonians 2:7-8 (ESV)
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but the one now restraining will do so until he is out of the way, and then the lawless one will be revealed. The Lord Jesus will destroy him with the breath of His mouth and will bring him to nothing with the brightness of His coming.
However, you might be thinking…
What about that “no rest, day or night” cycle experienced by all that is accursed in Revelation 14?
In the next age, two things will no longer be…
Revelation 22:3-5 (ESV)
No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
This age’s night/day cycle is “no more” in the age to come, and the same goes for all that is evil. Here is what the angel then said to John about these things in the very next verse…
Revelation 22:6a (ESV)
And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true.”
The only way to truly have the “rest” (as referenced earlier), with zero chance of evil ever actually resurfacing from some prison in the age to come, is if the former things have actually instead passed away…
Revelation 21:4 (ESV)
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.
Godspeed, to the brethren!