By: Dr. Hank Lindstrom
“He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” Revelation 22:11.
This verse appears to be difficult and is confusing to most people who read it. Many times even the commentaries will skip this verse or say very little about it in their explanations.
First, we need to realize that this verse is dealing with the time after the great white throne judgement. At the great white throne judgement in Revelation 20:11-15 all of the unsaved dead are cast into hell, the eternal lake of fire. Satan, the antichrist, the false prophet, Satan’s angels, and all of the unsaved of human kind are cast into the lake of fire. Also, it is at this time when the earth is destroyed and there is a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21). Revelation 22:11 is a clear affirmation as to the condition of men in the future state. Therefore at the end of the book of Revelation, God makes a statement concerning the finality of the future state of the saved and the lost.
Let’s define some terms. The unjust are the unsaved. Dr. C.I. Scofield says, “Justification originates in grace; is through the redemptive and propitiatory work of Christ, who has vindicated the law; is by faith, not of works and may be defined as the judicial act of God whereby he justly declares righteous one who believes on Jesus Christ. It is the Judge Himself who thus declares. The justified believer has been in court, only to learn that nothing is laid to his charge.” Every unbeliever therefore is declared by God to be unjust.
Who are the filthy? Again the unsaved are described as the filthy. Psalms 14:3 says, “They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” The best works or deed that man can offer God are filthy. Notice Isaiah 64:6 says, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags: and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
Not just our sins, but our most righteous deeds are filthy in the sight of God. In the book of Zechariah we have an interesting illustration of salvation. “Now Joshua was clothed in filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And unto him he said, Behold I have caused their iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment (Zechariah 3:3,4).” Joshua the high priest in this passage represents all of the lost as they are seen in their own righteousness, which is represented by the filthy garments. But then He says, “I have caused their iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.” This is what happens when one is saved. Isaiah speaks of a garment of salvation. Isaiah 61:10 says, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the robe of righteousness.”
The filthy person is the one who stands before God in his own righteousness. That is why God says in Titus 3:5, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”
Usually we think of the wicked as being terrible criminals who are locked up in some penitentiary. But the Bible uses the term wicked to describe the moral churchgoer who stands before God in his own righteousness. The Bible says, “God is angry with the wicked everyday (Psalms 7:11).”
To get right with God a person must become as righteous as God. Romans 3:10 says, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” Dr. C.I. Scofield says, “The righteousness of God is neither an attribute of God, nor the changed character of the believer, but Christ Himself, who fully met in our stead and behalf every demand of the Law, and who is, by the art of God called imputation, “made unto us…righteousness” (I Corinthians 1:30). The believer in Christ is now, by grace, shrouded under so complete and blessed a righteousness that the law from Mt. Sinai can find neither fault nor discrimination therein. That is that which is called the righteousness of God by faith.”
We have a clear warning to the believer in Revelation 22:11 that there is no changing of their status for all eternity. There is no change beyond the grave. The lost should solemnly consider the warning now to flee from the wrath to come by putting their trust in Jesus Christ to save them.
God pronounces, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he that which is filthy, let him be filthy still (Revelation 22:11).” What a solemn warning to the lost this is. But to the saved, God pronounces, “…and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” What a blessing! Nothing will be able to change or effect the salvation of the saved for all eternity. We can rest upon God’s promise!
A person must be perfect to enter heaven. Just one lie (Revelation 21:27) would be enough to keep someone out of heaven. The Lord Jesus Christ, in order to pay our sin debt, had to be completely sinless. I Peter 1:19 declared, “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” We are redeemed by a sinless Saviour who took our place on the cross of Calvary.
After the 1,000-year rule of Jesus Christ on earth, the earth will be destroyed and a new earth will be created. Satan, his angels, and all the lost will be cast into hell forever. The saved will be forever with the Lord. The lost will remain lost for eternity and the saved will remain saved for all eternity. The only period of time when a person has the choice to accept or reject Christ is while they are living. Once a person dies, it is forever too late!
If you have never trusted Jesus Christ as Saviour, please don’t wait until it is too late for you! Trust Christ today.