LINK: Revelation 20
This is my last post for Bible Book Club and what a journey it has been! Thanks Carol, for having the vision for this and then implementing it. It's been a joy, both the reading and the writing. I am going to miss doing this with you and Katrina!
I have learned SO much. I am more in awe of our God and His Word than ever before. How miraculous that this Book of many books, written over centuries, is so unified. From beginning to end it tells the same story and echoes the same theme. God is in charge! Jesus is our Redeemer. There is conflict and climax, and best of all a happy ending and it's all true!
Satan, that ancient serpent, is bound and cast into a bottomless pit for 1000 years. Remember that this is symbolic! The point is that God places restrictions on Satan's ability to do harm for a long, but limited, period of time. Then believers are seen on thrones, judging and reigning. Thoughts on just when all this happens depends on the millennial view a person holds. (In fact, interpretation of this whole chapter depends on which view of the 1,000 years we hold.) Some believe it will happen in the future in a physical sense, or in the future in a kind of "golden" age, while others believe that Satan, though still active, is limited and bound by God now. Jesus' death on the cross has limited Satan's ability to deceive. We as believers are reigning now as a spiritual kingdom of priests because Jesus reigns in our hearts.
Satan is released to deceive the nations. He gathers a huge force and attacks God's people and God's city. Fire come from heaven and consumes the attacking armies. Then Satan, the great betrayer, is thrown into a lake of fire, with the beast and the false prophet, where they are tormented forever and ever.
Next comes a judgment before a great white throne. All the dead, no matter their status in life, are judged there, judged by what is written in all the books. Those whose names are not found in the Book of Life are thrown into the lake of fire, along with death and the grave.
I don't begin to pretend that I understand all of this chapter! There are many mysteries, which God will make clear in His time. One thing I do know is that God is in charge! We shouldn't let different interpretations of this chapter and views of the millennium, divide us. Christ will unite those of us who are believers, no matter when the millennium is! We can all agree on that.
Satan IS defeated. It's just a matter of time.
Judgment will come. Those whose names are not written in the Book of Life are found "guilty." Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the LIFE. No one comes to the Father except through Him. (John 14:6)
Is your name in the Book of Life? Have you trusted in Jesus' death and resurrection for your eternal life? The deeds we do don't save us. They are only the evidence that we have life through the Lord Jesus.
This chapter gives me hope and strength. I think that may be a strange thing to say, but it's reassuring to me that God is directing history toward a sure and certain conclusion. We don't go through endless cycle after cycle. The great conflict will reach a climax and be resolved. Satan is defeated! All those who rally behind him are defeated. Death is defeated. There is no more need for the grave.
Read on. It gets better!
Help us to live victoriously today, Father, since we know how history ends. We know the whole story, maybe only snatches and hints of it, but you make very clear that you are in charge and you have a plan. We want to serve you now. We want to trust you and obey you. Thank you that Jesus came and died so that we can have life, so that our names are written in that Book of Life. We love you.