How much do we value freedom? Some people demonstrate in public for it. Others move to a different country in order to enjoy it. But how many would give up their present freedom to have it forever?
Jude reminds us that hell will be a place where freedom, among so many other good gifts from God, will be lost.
You also know that the angels who did not keep within their proper domain but abandoned their own place of residence, he has kept in eternal chains in utter darkness, locked up for the judgment of the great Day. Jude 6 NET.
Peter says that God “threw them into hell and locked them up in chains in utter darkness” 2 Peter 2.4. In Revelation, John said that Satan was tied up and thrown into the abyss which was locked and sealed, Revelation 20.4. Hell, then, is where one loses one’s liberty.
Hell was created for Satan and his angels, Matthew 25.41. Humans who do not obey the gospel will also be sent there, 2 Thessalonians 1.5-12. Just as spiritual beings in hell lose all their liberties, so humans in hell will cease to have choice and freedom.
Today, many seem to accept losing liberties if the government will take care of them. They seem to think that losing one is acceptable if its loss entails a greater gain. (Whether it is actually greater or not is a highly disputed issue.)
In hell, however, there will be no gain, no positive result from the eternal loss of freedom. The only advantage is present liberty, consisting of licentiousness. But this advantage turns out to be none at all, both from the present perspective as well as the future.
Freedom now to do what one wants does not bring real joy or happiness. As well, it brings eternal suffering and affliction.
The solution is surrendering apparent freedom to become a servant of God. “[P]resent yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead and your members to God as instruments to be used for righteousness” Romans 6.13.
Here is true liberty, in Christ. “For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery [to sin and the law of meritorious works]” Galatians 5.1.
It seems such a strange message: “Become a slave to Christ!” But in his loving service, we discover true liberty.
For we do not proclaim ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. 2 Corinthians 4.5.
Come let us be slaves together! And live for true freedom now and eternally.
This truth about eternal chains serves as an urgent reminder to God’s people and as a powerful motivation to those who have yet to enter into Christ.