Title: GOD WILL TRIUMPH OVER EVIL
Text: Revelation 20:1-15
Since the beginning of time in the Garden, man has been waiting for the final doom of the serpent of old to be destroyed. Many millenniums have gone by since we lost our innocence. It’s only right that Jesus would give us a millennium of paradise restored before He ushers in the new heaven and the new earth. Our text reveals God’s glorious plan for just that. Read Text. (Please do not read the insight until we have answered the questions.)
1. Following the destruction of the massive rebellion against the Lord and His beloved in chapter 19, John sees an angel descend from Heaven with a key to the bottomless pit. Can you trace the travel path of this key?
Insight: It originally was Satan’s; Jesus took it away from him when He descended into it to after the crucifixion and took it away from Satan. 1:18 Partway through the tribulation the key is given to the fallen star (Satan) to set loose his host to torment the earth. 9:1-2
Insight: Satan does not possess the key in chapter 20. Where before he used the key to lock his prisoners in…he has now become the prisoner. Where before he used the key to keep the Lord’s host locked out…he now is locked in.
2. Why do you think Satan is confined there instead of being destroyed like the Antichrist and the False Prophet? (No deception during the millennium and he is loosed at the end to fulfill a short purpose.) What is the difference between the bottomless pit and that lake of fire? (Pit – the abyss where Satan is imprisoned. 11:7; 17:8 Lake of fire – hell.)
Insight: One might wonder how you use a chain and a key to confine someone as Satan, who is a spiritual being. This chain has a divine source…it’s from Him who has a sword that proceeds from His mouth…and both are effective in the spiritual realm for their intended purposes!
3. Now that Jesus’ enemies are taken care of, He is now free to set up His righteous kingdom on earth. What do you think life will be like during this thousand years without Satan’s interference? Isa. 11:1-12; 35:1-10; 65:17-23
Insight: Life will be prolonged. Where the population was greatly reduced by the judgments, abundant increase to families will populate the earth. This is not yet Heaven…but it’s one step toward it, for at least our Lord reigns there!
4. In John’s vision he saw thrones and people sitting on them. Who are they? Lk. 22:29-30 John also saw souls that had been beheaded. Who are they? (Tribulation martyrs.) Rev. 6:9
Insight: Notice John says “souls,” not headless bodies. Praise the Lord that in the resurrection our earthly deformities are gone! Once we are with the Lord, we are given an immortal, imperishable body! 1 Cor. 15:53-54 These precious souls, with strong faith, took their stand for the Lord…even though it cost their life! There are no lukewarm Christians in this crowd…no fence-riders…these stood up and said, “I want to be counted with the Lord!”
5. How did these martyred saints end up on earth reigning with Christ? How did they get there? Rev. 19:14
6. Verse 5 says the rest of the dead did not come to live until after the thousand years. Who is he referring to? (Those who are not a part of the first resurrection – they are those who do not accept Christ.)
Insight: Notice from Scripture that the first resurrection is preceded with a trumpet call…but the second resurrection has no summons of a trumpet. 1 Thess. 4:14-17; Rev. 20:13; Dan 12:1-4; Jn. 5:28-29
Insight: With all the confusing terms of first death, second death – first resurrection, second resurrection…I have a riddle to help unlock the mystery. See if it makes sense to you: Born once, die twice; born twice, die once.
7. During the thousand-year reign of Christ, families have multiplied and the earth is once again greatly populated. Is there any indication in our text that not all of these inhabitants are totally devoted to the millennial King?
Insight: Indeed some will bow the knee of submission to our Lord, but there are others He has to rule with a rod of iron (19:15). After Satan is loosed from his prison, somehow, by a means I don’t understand, he deceives millions (like the sand on the seashore) to attempt one final rebellion against the Lord. Think of it…after a thousand years with the only perfect King and the only perfect government, so many choose Satan’s cruel deception rather than to stand with the Lord! Utterly amazing!
Moral to the story: A perfect environment cannot produce a perfect heart…only a regenerated heart by the Blood of the Lamb can produce steadfast obedience!
8. Now do you have any idea what was the purpose of Satan’s imprisonment instead of destruction in verse 2?
Insight: By God’s righteousness, He needed a way to reveal whose heart was truly His and those that were not. The loosing of Satan for a short season was to draw a line in the sand and reveal where each man chooses to stand. This is a public display of His righteous judgment against such a tragic revolt.
Insight: As to the identity of Gog and Magog, we have no idea. During the thousand years movement of people and nations will be far different than they are now, but one thing is for sure – the deception of Satan stretches to the four corners of the earth in a very brief time.
9. What is the target of Satan’s rebellion? Rev. 20:9 How does God deal with this revolt?
Insight: The use of fire has always been God’s use of purification. Deut. 9:3 The Lord has purged His restored earth with fire and He has sentenced Satan to eternal damnation with fire. But notice…this punishment by fire is eternal…for the Antichrist and the False Prophet are still there after a thousand years. Having been there that long ahead of Satan, don’t you think they will have a hot word or two with him when he arrives? Matt. 25:41
10. What do you think it means in verse 11, “no place was found for them”?
Insight: When The Judge summons…all appear…no one will be able to find a corner in which to hide!
11. Who is the Judge? Jn. 5:22-30 Who appears before the Judge? Where do they come from? What are the books? Dan. 7:10; Matt. 16:27; Jn. 12:48; Rev. 3:5; 13:8
Insight: The Lord is the keeper of these books. There are no mistakes in His ledger – they are purely accurate. His books will reveal the truth so that they will not be able to argue with the Lord or question his final decision.
12. Does the book of the record of our deeds suggest that we can do enough good works to enter Heaven? Titus 3:5; Eph. 2:8-9 What happens if your name is not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life? How do you get your name written in that all-important Book? John 1:12
Hell is real – not figurative (Matt. 25:30, 41, 46). Hell is a witness to the righteous character of God – He must judge sin. Judgment Day only reveals the outcome of the choices we make while we are alive. On that day Jesus only pronounces the sentence…man makes their own choice that sends them to Heaven or Hell. Jn. 3:16-21; 2 Thess. 1:6-9
If we would see sin as God sees it, we would understand why a place like hell has to exist. The all-important question is how do we avoid it?
The Great White Throne of Judgment will be nothing like our modern courtrooms. There will be a Judge, but no jury…there will be a sentence, but no appeal. The way to escape the sentence of eternal punishment is to be personal friends with the Judge! John 5:24