Angels from the realms of glory, wing your flight o’er all the earth…

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Indeed, that’s the preterist view, and I have some sympathy for it. But it still seems to me that in Revelation 20:11-21:8 John means to describe an absolute end to an old creation ruled by death.

  • The forces that motivated Roman hostility to the church (the beast and the false prophet) were destroyed in the lake of fire a thousand years earlier. We have moved far beyond the new covenant scenario.
  • All the dead are raised for judgment, including those lost at sea, not only the martyrs as in the “first resurrection”.
  • A first death is enough to put an end to contingent historical realities. The addition of a “second death” signals something more decisive than the deaths of unrighteous Jews or of blasphemous pagans.
  • The destruction of death and Hades in the lake of fire can only mean that in this new heaven and new earth there is no more death.