“The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.”
Perdition. We’ve all heard of it and most of us have a basic idea of what perdition is talking about. Most of us know it is another descriptive title for the state of lost mankind following death and the final judgment. Most of us also equate perdition with the Lake of Fire, the place reserved for the judgment of lost mankind throughout eternity. Basically, it speaks of what those in darkness are facing for eternity. This includes Satan, other fallen angels and lost mankind.
But what does “perdition” actually mean? The word translated perdition in our text means “to ruin”, “to mar”, to damage permanently”, “to destroy”. Here is what we can learn from this description… Lost mankind will face perdition throughout eternity, in other words, they will be brought to absolute ruin, they will be continuously marred and damaged, which results in permanent destruction.
Think of it as a body that has died and is experiencing the process of decay. It gradually enters into a worse and worse state, but never totally goes out of existence… or, likewise a fire that is constantly destroying its fuel but never fully consuming it.
This is the exact picture Christ Himself describes when He says the Lake of Fire is “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” (Mar 9:46)
Perdition is a continuous, never ending decay that consumes, but never causes a ceasing of existence or awareness. What a horrible thought for each one of us to consider. Consignment to eternal perdition is what is awaiting all of lost mankind. It will take place at the second coming of Christ when this sinful world is remade and lost mankind permanently taken from it…
2Pe 3:6-7 – “Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”
As those who are saved by God’s grace, may we all see lost mankind’s desperate need of Christ for the salvation from the horrible wrath that is to come and then see our great need to take the gospel to them in compassion and love.
Rom 5:8-9 – “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”
For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation: