11 Comments

Revelation 21:8


Was reading this tonight and wondered if someone may have an opinion about it:

6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (link)

Obviously we know the meaning of the terms, “unbelieving, vile, murderers”, and what it means to practice sexually immorality, and the magic arts; also the definition of idolaters and liars….but this list includes the cowardly as well. In fact the cowardly leads the list.

What do you think that means…”the cowardly?”

I have an idea but am not sure….any thoughts?

11 comments on “Revelation 21:8

  1. to fear. Timid, fearful (Matt. 8:26; Mark 4:40; Rev. 21:8; Sept.: Deut. 20:8; Judg. 7:3). Those who fear are not trusting God. Just as worry is a Sin so is fear. God is given us a spirit of boldness. You’ll notice everyone who is filled with the spirit has great boldness in the Lord. Our trust, our confidence, our hope, our expectation is in Him. To fear is to deny Him and His promises. Jesus promised to be with us until the very end, so we need not worry or fear. We can always do what he tells us to do because his presence is with us. Despite any persecution or hardship.

    Darryl Reinsel

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  2. Only OVERCOMERS in Heaven.

    Darryl Reinsel

    >

  3. to fear. Timid, fearful (Matt. 8:26; Mark 4:40; Rev. 21:8; Sept.: Deut. 20:8; Judg. 7:3).
    Those who fear are not trusting God. Just as worry is a Sin so is fear. God is given us a spirit of boldness. You’ll notice everyone who is filled with the spirit has great boldness in the Lord. Our trust, our confidence, our hope, our expectation is in Him.
    To fear is to deny Him and His promises. Jesus promised to be with us until the very end, so we need not worry or fear. We can always do what he tells us to do because his presence is with us. Despite any persecution or hardship.

    Only OVERCOMERS in Heaven.

    Jeremiah 39:18 (NKJV) 18 “For I will surely deliver you, and you shall not fall by the sword; but your life shall be as a prize to you, because you have put your trust in Me,” says the LORD.’ “

  4. That’s a good question. I took a look at the Revelation 21 post (Part 2) on my blog to see if I had addressed the meaning of “cowardly.” This is all I have:

    “Steve Gregg notes that many scholars have equated ‘the cowardly’ with apostates ‘who defect from the gospel rather than enduring hardship as good soldiers of Jesus Christ,’ in contrast to those “who overcome” (v. 7).”

    At the time, the major cause for defecting was the pressure and influence from Judaizers who were fighting to bring followers of Christ back under the law (that same fight seems to have resurrected in our day).

    The Steve Gregg quote is from page 492 of his book, “Revelation: Four Views (A Parallel Commentary).”

    I’m not 100% sure that this is the meaning of “cowardly” in Revelation 21:8, but it’s an interesting thought.

    • Steve Gregg makes a good point. Im learning there are many ways to fall into apostasy Adam. Ignoring the truth, for fear of offending or being shunned, is one. Its the same as falling away from the truth.

  5. That list has troubled me in recent weeks, particularly that word. Perhaps it means those ashamed of the gospel. In those days, hiding your faith saved your life. But in so doing, they denied Him. Kind of cowardly. Here in the West, we’ve no idea, but we certainly look in awe at Syrians not turning away and wonder if we’d have that strength.

  6. The King James uses the word ‘fearful’ which the Greek word is ‘deilos’ meaning; timid, fearful. The Thayer’s Greek lexicon uses the word ‘Cowardice’. I can see where being fearful and timid can also refer to being a coward. I like the New King James Version a lot, but I do wish they had kept many of the original words like in this case with ‘fearful’ and ‘cowardly’. I have a parallel King James and New King James Bible, I love it! I feel the New King James is definitely the best version to King James of all others.

  7. Most of you mentioned fear. That was my take on the word also. Perhaps “fear of man?”
    It was odd to come across this last evening for only recently i had been pondering on the cowardly nature of the Church in the west.

    That may seem to be a contradiction for we know many within the church loudly speak out on certain issues–like homosexuality, who they believe to be false teachers, other people’s sins, etc etc… but deep down i believe the Spirit has been trying to show me there is in fact a fear (cowardice) in speaking out boldly on other issues which may be even more important.

    Fear of man or man’s opinion of us, can be a powerful deterrent, causing us to remain silent.

    It was odd to “happen upon” this scripture last evening, knowing this had been on my mind. If we’re right, about it being fear, it appears it will cost us a great deal in the end, dont you agree? God ‘lumps’ it together (it’s actually first in the list!) with such sins as murder, witchcraft, idolatry, and sexual immorality.

    Could be i am seeing this through the eyes of one who blogs.

  8. Read this at Bible Hub concerning the word:

    Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

    8. the fearful—Greek, “the cowardly,” who do not quit themselves like men so as to “overcome” in the good fight; who have the spirit of slavish “fear,” not love, towards God; and who through fear of man are not bold for God, or “draw back.” Compare Re 21:27; 22:15

    That’s a fairly good definition. Men who “draw back” even in the face of truth.

    The Expositor’s Greek Testament equates the Greek word for fear (Greek: Cowardly) with apostate. – δειλοῖς = “cowards” or apostates

    The danger must be if we stay silent on what we see and/or know is wrong (according to God’s word) now, we will more easily deny Him later if persecuted.

  9. Very scary to think that ‘cowardly’ is something so awful that it could prevent us from getting into heaven. I wonder if it means being afraid to stand up to things that should be stood up for, like, defending the defenseless, not running away from persecution if it is for the Lord’s work.

    Some people think it means being aggressive, fearless and physically courageous, but it might mean being emotionally unattached, unhelpful to others because it will cost something, or a person who runs away from accountability, or someone who refuses to face punishment for doing wrong and blames others; maybe someone who should be in jail and another innocent person is serving their life sentence because they lied. Cowardly in the way a person is all about themselves, and closes their eyes to others’ trials. Maybe it really meant selfishness.

    • Marie, thank you. I sincerely mean that. You have given a perfect definition of what i believe cowardly means, in this case.

      Seeing injustice and not speaking up–not defending the weak and defenseless–remaining silent for fear of persecution, etc etc etc….

      An Amen sister. I believe you have given the best possible definition for what this means in Revelation 21:8.

      All the things you mentioned are sin…you could say it’s the sin of omission.

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