Spent a great deal of time pondering on Revelation 21:8 this week, especially the word Cowardly. This morning while reading a commentary on this verse, and the specific term cowardly, I believe I came upon a fitting definition.
“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” – Revelation 21:8
The fearful (cowardly) … “Who are the fearful, if not all men? But it is not of natural fear and timidity that is spoken of; it is that cowardice which in the last resort chooses self and safety before Christ. It is not fear which is condemned. The highest courage is to be desperately afraid and in spite of that to do the right thing, even if it means having one’s reputation before men called into question”
I like that definition for it helps explain why it is listed: So in this sense, cowardly means unGodly.
Jesus said to his disciples, recorded in Matthew 16,
“If anyone wishes to come after me he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?…”
The same could be said concerning one’s reputation, or how we wish to be perceived before men: If we are not willing to chance losing either reputation or “good name” before man, for the sake of Christ or (for) doing what we know is right and good, we have already lost both before God.
And frankly, I think we end up losing both before men anyway, for our very silence “screams” our cowardice.
Sorry for the second post on this topic, but it has been on my heart this week…