Revelation 21:8, "But the COWARDLY, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral,, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
Cowardice is quite an inditement here. The word "cowardly" here means to be fearful or timid, but let's put this into context to see the depth of what this means. The verse before, Revelation 21:7 says, "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be His God and he will be My son." There is obviously a direct contrast between overcoming and being cowardly, but there is also a beautiful clue here as to what it means to overcome cowardice, "...and he will be My son." So, to overcome is connected with being His son. We are only made sons through Jesus Christ (Romans 8:28).and it is only through Christ we overcome. Looking at Revalations 21:8 again, the unbelieving are those who chose to never believe in Christ at all. The COWARDLY are those who once believed in Christ but turned away because of fear, becoming timid, heartless, and silent in there genuine confession of Christ. 1 John 5:5 says, "Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes Jesus is the Son of God?"
we only find ourselves in a position of fear when we lose sight of who God is, His love, and His Word and commandments. 1 John says a lot about this, but lets take a few segments to look at
- God is love (1 John 4:8)
- Love has been perfected in us that we may have boldness (1 John 4:17)
- Perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18)
- For this is the love of God that we keep His commandments (1 John 5:3)
- For whoever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that overcomes the world - our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:4-5)
This can be summed up in the words of Paul in Romans 8:37, "we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us!" God has given us His Spirit so that we may overcome.
2 Timothy 1:7-8 says, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Therefore, do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord..."
So, How do we remain unashamed and unmoved by fear? God gave Joshua clear advice on this as he was replacing Moses and getting ready to lead the people of Israel into the promied land. God spoke in Joshua 1:5-9 saying, "No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as i was with Moses, so will I be with you. I will not leave you, nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you to do; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have i not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage, do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." God gave him this encouragement because He knew there would be opportunities to get dismayed and turn away just like the generation before Joshua did when they found out there where giants in the promised land, but Joshua was steadfast. There are three things that the LORD told Joshua here that are vital to overcoming and never becoming cowardly. One, remember who your God is and that He never leaves you. Two, meditate continually on His Word, three, keep His commandments.
If we are faithful in these three things we are bound to prosper and overcome.