Peeling the Onion: Revelation 20:11-15

Today’s vision may seem simpler –

Judgment from a throne, with a book –

Among other books

But distinguish this vision –

Earth and heavens fled,

Death and Hades into the lake of fire,

But what humans are judged,

And who is not found in the book of life?

How about the ‘undead’,

Ghouls and zombies –

Everybody else is in the book of life

Despite what we’ve made of it

Once Death and Hades disgorge their dead –

Then they are thrown into the lake of fire –

No more Death or Hell to threaten us

And each of us justly judged

For what we did with what we got

Who fears this ‘second death’?

Who would be unrepentant,

Facing this accounting for their living?

Only the unrepentant,

Threatening to re-offend,

Would make heaven unsafe for others

The repentant?

Surely that’s all humans!

I do not find the binary

‘heaven or hell’

One occupied by saints,

The other inhabited by sinners

In this or any scripture –

We are all both sinners and saints!

I do find the sequestering and containment of evil,

and protection from the unrepentant or incorrigible,

through ultimate justice

NJB Judgment

11 Then I saw a great white throne and the One who was sitting on it. In his presence, earth and sky vanished, leaving no trace.

12 I saw the dead, great and small alike, standing in front of his throne while the books lay open. And another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged from what was written in the books, as their deeds deserved.

13 The sea gave up all the dead who were in it;

14 Death and Hades were emptied of the dead that were in them; and every one was judged as his deeds deserved. Then Death and Hades were hurled into the burning lake. This burning lake is the second death;

15 and anybody whose name could not be found written in the book of life was hurled into the burning lake.

NSRV Judgment

11 Then I saw a great white throne and the one who sat on it; the earth and the heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them.

12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their works, as recorded in the books.

13And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and all were judged according to what they had done.

14Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire;

15and anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.