Archive for March 9th, 2018

Revelation 20

Revelation 20 has John describing the removal of Satan, sin and death – at least for a while.  “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended”.  Satan tried to imprison Jesus in a tomb, but couldn’t. Here, God has no problem restraining Satan, and this incarceration is not for punishment, but restraint.  He will be allowed out after 1000 years.

So what happens during this 1000 year reign of Christ – the Millennium as it is often referred?  There are lots of different ideas and interpretations around what happens.  One thing we know is that Jesus Christ will reign, and some of the saints will be there with Him.  “They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years”.  The saints will administrate the kingdom of Jesus Christ over the earth, reigning over those who pass from the earth of the Great Tribulation to the earth of the Millennium.  Not all believers will be raised during this first resurrection.

Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years”.  Guzik writes ‘This first resurrection is the granting of resurrection life in resurrection bodies to all those who are dead in Jesus.

  • This is a resurrection of blessing (blessed and holy is the one)
  • This is a resurrection of power (over the second death has no power)
  • This is a resurrection of privilege (they will be priests of God … will reign with Him a thousand years)’

These verses create much discussion around the rapture and the exact order of events that will happen during the end times.  I don’t claim to know any more than who wins – God and Jesus Christ will end victorious!

John does give us some details on what that final victory will look like:

  • when the thousand years are ended,  Satan will be released
  • will come out to deceive the nations
  • gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea
  • fire came down from heaven and consumed them
  • the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire
  • they will be tormented day and night forever and ever

We win.  Satan and his evil forces take one last run at taking on God and Christ – but they are soundly defeated and sent away forever!

But that’s not the end of the story.  Then comes judgment from Him who is seated on “a great white throne”.  We’ll all stand before God someday and account for what we have done.  “I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened”.  Some believe that God doesn’t pay attention and keep score.  That is not true.  How we live matters.  What we do with Jesus matters even more.  We’re going to be compared against what is writing in “the book of life”.   It will determine our eternity.  “And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done”.  Everyone will give account.  The outcome is black and white and final.  We won’t be bargaining with God.  “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire”.  That’s not the outcome we want.  We need to address our sin and get right with God.  Jesus is the only way for that to happen.  Don’t wait.  There will be no second chance when standing before Him!

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