Problem: John writes, “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying” (Rev. 22:14-15). Lordship theologians use this verse to claim that sinful, rebellious people will not enter into heaven. Is this the case?
Solution: This list doesn’t match the one in Revelation 21:8.
If John believed that these certain sins were punishable by hell, then why would he give different lists in chapters 21 and 22? For this reason, we hold that John must be describing sinners in general, rather than sinners in particular. Revelation is a highly symbolic, symbol-laden book. For this reason, we feel uncomfortable taking our soteriology from this book, rather than the plain didactic teachings of the epistles.