August 07 2022
Today, Sunday August 07
“But After This the Judgment”
“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”
Today we will finish our study in Revelation 20. In this chapter we first learned about Satan being bound by a great chain in the bottomless pit for one-thousand years (vv. 1-3). Then, even though there are hundreds of verses and passages that prophecy and tell us about promises of the coming kingdom and rule of Jesus Christ on planet earth in both the Old and New Testament, John only takes three verses to write about its fulfilment and how long it will last (vv. 4-6).
Next, John describes how this one-thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ with His saints will end in four more verses (vv. 7-10). Satan will be released and will deceive all the unsaved people and nations from the four corners of the earth, to gather together around Jerusalem and attempt to destroy Jesus Christ. John only gives half of a verse to tell how God destroys this vast army with fire out of heaven (v. 9b). Then Satan is thrown into the lake of fire where the beast and the false prophet are (v. 10).
I believe that when we read Revelation 20:11-15, we read some of the most solemn and sobering verses in the Bible. This passage makes it very clear that there will be a final judgment for sinners. We often get upset because it seems that corrupt and evil people are getting by with their sins. The Psalmist wrote about this in Psalm 73:2-19 “But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For they have no pangs until death; their bodies are fat and sleek. They are not in trouble as others are; they are not stricken like the rest of mankind. Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment. Their eyes swell out through fatness; their hearts overflow with follies. They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression. They set their mouths against the heavens, and their tongue struts through the earth. Therefore his people turn back to them, and find no fault in them. And they say, “How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?” Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches. All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence. For all the day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning. If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed the generation of your children. But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end. Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin. How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors!”
The Psalmist didn’t have the book of Revelation to read like we do, yet he prophesied of their end! In these verses in Revelation 20:11-15, we are assured that the sinners of all the ages will give an account of every sinful act and evil deed that they ever committed. And they will be punished accordingly.
In Hebrews 9:27 we are told, “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment”. And after this, the judgment! Because God is a just and holy God, He must punish sin and always has. All sin has its root in pride! In other words, behind every sin is the root of pride. Satan was cast out of heaven because of his sin of pride (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28). Adam and Eve were cast out of paradise because of pride. Satan deceived Eve into thinking if she ate of the forbidden fruit, that she could be her own god deciding what is right and what is wrong (Genesis 3:4-7).
The punishment for sin is death! “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23a). The Good News is that Jesus Christ, God’s perfect sacrifice, took our punishment for us when He died on the cross of Calvary (Romans 5:8). Jesus Himself promised us in John 11:25-26, “Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” And in John 5:24 Jesus said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”
If you trust Christ today, you will never have to face the “second death”!