Last time we were together we studied the battle that took place in heaven surrounding the birth of Jesus and His death and resurrection. That was an amazing battle because God basically kicked Satan out of heaven and limited his evil works to earth. We were told in Revelation 12 that Satan is battling with anyone who follows Jesus Christ because he is angry at Jesus for being kicked out of heaven. As if that wasn’t exciting enough today I want to discuss the battle that is yet to come and to do so we need to read chapter 20 of Revelation. This battle has not taken place yet, but at the end of Satan’s reign on earth it will come and so let’s see what it’s all about.
And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time. I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. Revelation 20:1-6, (New International Version or NIV).
The anticipation and expectation are building as the end of Satan’s reign nears. An angel will come to earth holding the keys to a darkened prison cell. Satan will be captured, bound, and thrown into that prison cell for a thousand years. There is a lot of speculation about what a thousand years really means. There is also a lot of curiosity and speculation about the mark of the beast. I personally feel that every person on earth holds an invisible mark on their forehead and that mark will either show that we belong to Jesus (Ephesians 1:3, 4:30) or that we belong to Satan (Revelation 13:16-17). This passage seems to indicate that we Christians will be reigning with Christ on earth during this time of a thousand years. My father while living was fascinated by this passage and felt that the thousand years had already come and that we were approaching the final battle soon. I don’t really know. We can look at times in history when there was less fighting among the people of the earth but in my lifetime there seems to be an almost frenzied attempt to keep battles raging among the people of the earth. There are better sources than me to read on this subject and I recommend that you do some research if you are interested in this passage. But for now I want to look at the battle that is coming.
When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:7-15, (NIV).
We are not given a time limit on how long Satan will take to gather the world’s armies for the final battle. We only know that he will do so after he is released and that his mission is the same as it has always been, to destroy the people of God. I don’t know about you but I feel that the nations on earth are certainly being deceived today. Christians are being killed in almost every corner of the world because they refuse to deny the faith. To me it appears that Christians are the target now more than ever which certainly makes me wonder if Satan has been released and is coming with such hatred and destruction for Christians. Some of the political agendas today certainly appear to be wanting to get rid of anything that resembles the truth about God and Jesus. And this hatred of God seems to be world-wide and not just localized any more. I can only assume that Satan will continue to create such hatred for Christians as well as the Jewish people and we should not be shocked by this. We can, however, fast forward in our thinking and realize that our death means our victory over Satan if we are followers of Christ. Satan can’t hurt us if we are physically dead because we belong to Christ (Matthew 10:28, Luke 12:5). Hallelujah! So the battle is raging and Satan is out for the blood of God’s people and is bringing the entire world against us. That is pretty frightening to think about, right? No one wants to suffer and yet many of our brothers and sisters around the world are greatly suffering because Satan has deceived the governments and people’s of the world to be against God. Remember, though, that the end of Satan and his demons and all those who he has influenced will come to an end and they will be no more. Judgment is coming. We know that it is coming and we can rejoice because it is coming and we can draw strength from God to endure and persevere until judgement day arrives.
Do you fear death? Perhaps you should fear life even more especially since every deed you do, every thought you think, is being recorded into a book. God even gathers every tear a person cries (Psalm 56:8) that is how detailed of a record He is keeping about your life. God knows every hair on your head (Luke 12:7, Matthew 10:3), that is how detailed His record of your life is. God sees everything that goes on (Proverbs 5:21-23, Proverbs 15:3, Hebrews 4:13). That is how detailed you are in the books that God keeps. The question I want to ask you is in which book will your life on earth be recorded, the book of life or the other book? You see there are eternal consequences for the life we are living here on earth. For some of us the consequences will be that we will live in God’s house forever and ever. For others, though, the consequences will be the same as for Satan and his demons; you will go into the lake of fire to be tormented for ever and ever. So many in our world suffer from lies they tell themselves that God doesn’t exist, that the earth and all the galaxies exist but have nothing to do with God, and they live as they please. But think about the life you have now and then compare it to the life you will have for eternity and decide which arena of consequence you wish to live. I choose to be with God because I know that He will take care of me throughout eternity just as He takes care of me on this earth and I want to live both on earth and into eternity surrounded and immersed in His love. I hope you choose God and not Satan to live for.