Fire will burn you, but it also provides so much to improve our daily lives. It gives us light. It gives us heat. We cook with it. We use it to purify metals and to shape them into tools and so much more. As we discussed in the previous post, God often reveals Himself through fire. Here we will discuss how fire is used for judgement, but it is also used to purify us, to help us to grow. It is also used to represent the evil schemes of the devil, but we know that fire will await him in the end.
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints
We have to watch out for the tactics that the devil and his demons use. He will try to manipulate you through your family and friends as well as your own weaknesses and temptations. But we can be strong in the Lord and resit him. God has given us the weapons to overcome. He will also use others to persecute you for your faith.
1 Peter 4:12-13
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
But the trials that we face often help us to increase our faith. We are made stronger through our trials.
James 1:2-4, 12
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
1 Corinthians 3:11-15
For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
We are not saved by our works or our deeds. Our salvation is through Jesus Christ. But we are created to do good works (See Ephesians 2:10) and we do them because of our salvation. We are a new creation and the Holy Spirit is working in us and through us. But often times we try to do things on our own (wood, hay, straw) and often fail. That is what is thrown into the fire. We do not lose our salvation; we are purified.
But, those who choose to reject God and not accept His gift of redemption through Jesus Christ, that do not believe and trust in Him, will go into the eternal fire that is reserved for the devil and his followers. But God does not want any to perish. He wants everyone to accept His grace and His love.
2 Peter 3:9-13
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
One day there will be a new heaven and a new earth. One day Christ will return. It will be a great day. But, there will also be judgement. Those who are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will be sent to hell, the lake of fire, eternal damnation. Those who believe will spend eternity in heaven with God, where there will be no more suffering or sadness. It will be glorious.
“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’
And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
God is a loving God, but also a just God. He will judge the world. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ (Romans 6:23). Sin brought death, Jesus brings life.
For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned. But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.