Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Revelation 20

Revelation 20:1-6 – The Thousand Year Millennium         

John saw an angel coming down from heaven.  He had the key to the Abyss and a great chain in his hand.  He seized the dragon, Satan and bound him for 1,000 years.  The angel threw him into the Abyss and locked and sealed it to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the 1,000 years ended.  There he will have no power.  Then Satan will be released for only a short time. (Rev. 20:1-3)  The Abyss is the place where demons live and the place where they wait for God to punish them. 

Why would God release Satan?  First of all it’s God’s plan.  Perhaps it is to show the depravity of the human heart and how easily we can be deceived.  It proves beyond any doubt the sinfulness of man and that we all need a Savior. 

Can you imagine a life where there is no Satan?  He can’t temp anyone.  Remember there are 3 types of people who will populate the Millennium – Christians who have been raptured, Old Testament and New Testament saints, and believers who naturally survived the Battle of Armageddon.  These natural believers will live and have children and life will go on as it does today.  Those children will have to be taught about Jesus and many will not accept Him even though He will constantly be with them.  Because the nature of man is wicked, many of these children will rebel.  The earth will be filled with many people just like it is today.  There will be believers and unbelievers.

Then John saw those who had been given authority to judge sitting on thrones.  He saw souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and the Word of God.  They had not worshiped the beast or his image or received his mark.  They came to life and reigned with Christ for 1,000 years.  This is the 1st resurrection.  The 2nd death has no power over them.  The rest of the dead will not come to life until the 1,000 years has ended.  That will be the 2nd resurrection, the 2nd death.  (Rev. 20:4-6)

Believers will not suffer the 2nd death, which is the Lake of Fire.  They are safe and will live with Jesus always.  God will judge the rest of the people after the 1,000 years.  During the 1,000 years many people will have not believed and trusted God and they, too will die the 2nd death going into the Lake of Fire.

What is the 1st resurrection?  This is the resurrection to life.  This is when all believers - the church, Old Testament and Tribulation saints will be raised to life.  They will reign with Christ during the 1,000 year millennium and for eternity in heaven with Jesus.  Unbelievers will have no part in this resurrection.
What is the 2nd resurrection or 2nd Death?  This is the resurrection to death.  This happens when the millennium is over.  These are unbelievers who will be raised for eternal punishment in the lake of fire.
What is the Millennium?  Some believe this is not a literal 1,000 years, but I believe it is.  It is 1,000 years when Christ will reign as God’s promise is fulfilled.  He will rule the world with the saints of all ages – Old and New Testament saints, Tribulation saints, and the church.  All evil is gone.  Satan is locked away and cannot influence anyone.  It will be a time of peace and tranquility. 

Have you trusted in Jesus?
Do you know where you will spend eternity?
What does reigning with Jesus mean to you?

Revelation 20:7-10 – Satan’s Doom

Satan has been actively deceiving people since the Garden of Eden.  He deceived Adam and Eve and all humanity fell into a sinful nature.  He even tried to tempt Jesus.  He prowls around looking for people to devour.  He tries anything he can to defeat God and His purposes.  He is a master deceiver, a liar, and a murderer.  But God restrained Satan showing his power is limited by the mighty hand of God.

Satan’s character will have not changed in the 1,000 years.  When the 1,000 years are over, Satan will be released from his prison only for a short time and will again try to deceive people of all the nations.  He will cause nations from the four corners of the earth (Gog and Magog) to come together for war.  They will surround the city God loves.  That city is Jerusalem.  When Satan thinks he has won, fire will come down from heaven and devour them.  The Satan will be thrown into the lake of burning sulfur (Lake of Fire) joining the beast and the false prophet.  They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Rev. 20:7-10) 

Why would Satan and his rebels continue to fight the Kingdom of God?  Doesn’t Satan know God will win?  Pride is the worst and most evil of all sins and this pride has blinded Satan.  Sin is deceptive and deception is Satan’s very nature. 

Revelation 20:11-15 – Great White Throne Judgment

At the end of the Millennial the Great White Throne Judgment will take place.  It will be the time of judgment for all humans throughout history who have died in their sins.  This will be the final judgment of the human race, but Christians need not fear because, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Rom. 10:9

John saw God sitting on a great white throne.  The earth and heaven had disappeared.  The earth and sky as we know it did not exist.  He saw every person who had died standing before the throne.  The books were opened.  These books contained a record of each person’s life – their every thought, word and deed.  God judged each person according to His records in the books.  Everyone who didn’t accept Jesus will have to account for their deeds.  All the dead people and those who had gone to Hades were judged and thrown into the Lake of Fire.  The Lake of Fire is the 2nd death.  This is a place of eternal punishment.  Those whose names are written in the book of life will not go into the lake of fire, because these are God’s people.  They believe in Jesus and would not suffer for their sins.  Jesus had already taken away their sins when He died on the cross.  God has raised them to eternal life to be with Him forever. (Rev. 20:11-15)

Will you experienced the 2nd death or is your name in the book of life?

Do not make that terrible mistake by not accepting Jesus as your Savior.  Place your faith in Him and ask Him to forgive your sins.  Be ready when He returns with your name in the book of life.  Believe, repent and be baptized.  Do not put it off!  Tomorrow may be too late.

What can you do to be saved and be sure your name is in the Book of Life?

1.       Admit you are a sinner – Rom.3:23, 6:23
2.      Confess Jesus is Lord – Rom. 10:9-10
3.      Repent of your sins – Luke 13:5
4.      Believe in Jesus – John 3:16; 14:6
5.      Then be baptized in obedience as a public testimony.
6.      Then to promote spiritual growth – join with other Christians in a church, pray, read the Bible, and witness.

Here is an example of a prayer you might pray:

Heavenly Father,
I come to you in prayer asking for forgiveness of my sins.  I confess with my mouth and believe with my heart that Jesus is your Son, and that He died on the cross that I might be forgiven and have eternal life in heaven.  Father, I believe that Jesus rose from the dead and I ask you right now to come into my life and be my personal Lord and Savior.  I repent of my sins and will worship you all the days of my life!  Because your Word is truth, I believe that I am now born again and cleansed by the blood of Jesus! 
In Jesus Name, Amen!

Congratulation!  If you prayed this and believed this with all you heart, you are now a member of God’s family and will spend eternity with Him.  The Christian life is not easy.  There will be hard times, but God will be with you.  There will be times you will sin and not live up to how God’s wants, but remember no one but Jesus is perfect.  Christianity is a process and you won’t get there overnight.  Just stay in His Word and keep praying and trusting in God.

Next week we will study Revelation 21 where we will learn about the New Jerusalem.  Hope to see you here.

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