Saturday, December 10, 2016

Revelation 20:7-15

Revelation 20:7-15
And whenever the thousand years should be concluded, Satan will be loosed out of his prison.  And he will go out to lead the nations astray – the nations in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog – to gather them together into the war.  Their number is as the sand of the sea.  And they went upon the breadth of the earth.  They encircled the encampment of the holy ones and the city that has been loved.  And fire came down out of heaven and devoured them.  And the devil – the one who leads them astray – was being thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur – where the beast and the false prophet were also thrown.  And they will be tormented day and night into the eras of the eras.  And I saw a great, brilliant throne and the one who sits upon it.  The earth and heaven fled from his face and a place was not being found for them.  And I saw the dead, the great and the small, having set in the presence of the throne.  And books were being opened.  And another book that is of the life was being opened.  And the dead were being judged according to their works out of the ones having been written in the books.  And the sea gave the dead in it.  And death and Hades gave the dead in them.  And they were being judged each according to their works.  And death and Hades were being thrown into the lake of fire.  This is the second death – the lake of fire.  And if someone was not being found having been written in the book of life, he was being thrown into the lake of fire.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

Today we get to deal with the third prong of God’s judgment: Satan, the dragon, and his followers.  After Christ’s kingdom has been established, Satan is released.  Satan does what Satan has always done.  Satan goes throughout the world, pulling people away from God.  Satan goes throughout the world sowing seeds of deception.  Satan tries to break the relationship between God and His creation.  But once more we see God take things into his own hands.  It is fire that comes out of heaven that provides victory after God’s city is encircled.  God will get the final victory over Satan.  He will bring Satan under judgment.

Are you surprised to see Satan lead rebellion after being restrained for so long?  Are you surprised by the fact that even with Christ reigning directly that there will still be people who join Satan’s rebellion?  What does it say about the consistent nature of God that He continues to be the source of power that defeats His opponents?

Second Thought:

Once Satan has been dealt with, true judgment begins.  Books, plural, are opened.  Many of the books contain the deeds of mankind.  The dead were being weighed by what they did.  Of course, we should recognize that there will be good things that we did.  However, the books will also likely contain the evil done and selfishness lived.  For this reason, pay attention that John is clear to mention another book that is opened.  The book of life is opened.  This is the book that symbolically represents the census records that all rulers kept.  This s the book that all rulers would have that would not record deeds, but rather it would record citizenship.  This is the book that shows who belongs to God.  This is the truly important book.  This is the book that determines where a person belongs.  The other books show the deeds we’ve done; this book shows with whom it is that our heart resides.

What do you think about the books that record your deeds?  What will be said about you in those books?  What do you think about the book of life?  What will it show about the focus of your heart?

Third Thought:

Finally, we hear about the lake of fire.  This is best associated with Hell.  Death and Hades are tossed in with the dragon, the beast, and those who supported him.  It is at this point that we see the final victory by God.  Once the three-pronged victory is accomplished, there will be no sign of the rebellion against God.  Death will be tossed away, along with the place that the dead went while waiting for judgment.  Human rebellion will also be tossed away.  Satan himself will be tossed away.  At the end of this chapter we see the completed story of this world.  At the end of this chapter we see the end of the story of creation.  Then it will have come full circle.  We will have gone from creation to judgment.  The only thing that will remain is God and those with Him.

What do you think life will be like with God once death, rebellion, and Satan are cast away?  Why do you have these beliefs?

Passage for Tomorrow: Revelation 21:1-4
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