Revelation – Five Realities

In Revelation 20 John gains further insight into God’s rule over history. He shares the insight in this letter to bring warning, reassurance, encouragement and hope to those reading Revelation.


David began by setting out the 5 realities we should realise as we leave church today:

  1. One day all God’s enemies will be decisively, definitely and deliberately dealt with, dismissed and defeated;
  2. One day the earth and the heavens – as we know them – are going to be no more;
  3. One day there is going to be a day of reckoning when everyone will be judged;
  4. One day a particular book is going to be opened and either your name is in it, or it’s not;
  5. One day the eternal fate and destiny of all (mankind) humanity will be confirmed.

 

In the first 10 verses of this chapter, there are 4 things to consider:

  • the binding of the dragon (Satan)
  • the thousand years
  • the release of Satan
  • the defeat of Satan

 

These lead us to question whether this is present or future tense. David told us that he believes that Satan is currently bound, due to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. However, he emphasised that ‘bound’ means limited but not eliminated, which will happen when Jesus returns. Satan is bound for ‘1000 years’ – a number symbolising completion and wholeness, representing the time from Christ’s ascension until his return.

The release of Satan will happen to deceive the nations for a temporary period. For many, this is what Jesus was referring to when he talked about things getting worse just before his return:

“FOR IN THOSE DAYS THERE WILL BE SUCH TRIBULATION AS HAS NOT BEEN FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE CREATION THAT GOD CREATED UNTIL NOW, AND NEVER WILL BE.”

David then dealt with the question: why would God release Satan from his prison at any time? David didn’t have a definitive answer but suggested it may be to gather the enemies of God to wage war on the people of God:

"AND WHEN THE THOUSAND YEARS ARE ENDED, SATAN WILL BE RELEASED FROM HIS PRISON AND WILL COME OUT TO DECEIVE THE NATIONS THAT ARE AT THE FOUR CORNERS OF THE EARTH, GOG AND MAGOG, TO GATHER THEM FOR BATTLE."

One day Satan and all God’s enemies will be dealt with, dismissed and defeated; the fate of the diabolical trinity has been determined.

In verse 11, we arrive at the great day of reckoning and the second reality hits, that one day the earth and the heavens are going to be no more. A brand-new world is coming, where God will dwell with His people and all things will be made new.

The third reality is this day of reckoning when everyone – without exception – is going to be given up to be judged according to what they have done.

The fourth reality is the opening of the book of life. This contains the names of those purchased for God with the blood of the Lamb, those who have accepted God’s gift of eternal life.

The fifth reality is that one day the eternal fate and destiny of all humanity will be confirmed. If anyone’s name is not written in the book of life then, as John sees it, “he is thrown into the lake of fire” (v.15), which is the second death.

Challenge:

David reminded the church that as Christians we need not be worried about the final reality, but urged those who haven’t yet accepted Jesus to consider the reality placed before them, no matter how frightening it is.

Katherine Sharpe

Katherine Sharpe

Katherine Sharpe