Episode #258. Today we’ll read Revelation chapter 20 together. Satan is bound for one thousand years, the Saints reign with Christ, and judgement occurs at the foot of the Great White Throne.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #258. Today we’ll read Revelation chapter 20 together: Satan is bound for one thousand years; the Saints reign with Christ and judgement occurs at the foot of the Great White Throne.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
Our little church does not have a lot of traditions, but it does have a few. And one of my very favorites is the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. We enjoy it so much that we make it a point to attend every year.
It’s a simple service, held at night…and as the name implies, the only lighting is an array of candles spread throughout the sanctuary. Talking in the building is not allowed during this service. It begins promptly at 6:00 and ends at 7:00.
Handel’s Messiah is played, and between the various sections, our pastor reads scripture pertaining to the birth of Christ. Near the end we take communion together. The service culminates in the Halleluiah Chorus, and then we are asked to quietly leave.
Christmas is a busy time of year, with lots of shopping and cooking and wrapping presents and family visits and so much more. The Candlelight Service is an oasis of calm during this most festive time of year. It allows us to center ourselves and focus on Christ. Our pastor quiets us to remember what…and who…we are celebrating.
Revelation Chapter 20
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven holding the key to the abyss and a great chain in his hand. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the abyss, closed it, and put a seal on it so that he would no longer deceive the nations until the thousand years were completed. After that, he must be released for a short time.
The Saints Reign with Christ
Then I saw thrones, and people seated on them who were given authority to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and who had not accepted the mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed.
This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.
Satanic Rebellion Crushed
When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle. Their number is like the sand of the sea. They came up across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the encampment of the saints, the beloved city. Then fire came down from heaven and consumed them. The devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
The Great White Throne Judgment
Then I saw a great white throne and one seated on it. Earth and heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them. I also saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged according to their works by what was written in the books. Then the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them; each one was judged according to their works. Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
This chapter opens with Satan being bound and cast into the abyss, where he is held captive for 1,000 years. These 1,000 years are much debated by scholars who study the end times. There are several, if not many, interpretations of whether or not this is a literal 1,000-year time period and when it will take place…if it has not happened already!
It’s not within the scope of this podcast to parse the various opinions on this matter. Instead, if you are interested in Eschatology, which is the study of end times, I recommend you get a good book on the matter and study it for yourself. It is fascinating and frustrating at the same time, and sometimes you will have more questions than answers, but at least you will become familiar with the most common theories.
In the meantime, we will do as my pastor always recommends and start with what we know. And what we know is this: Satan will be defeated. He is no match for Christ…never has been, and never will be. We also know that during the 1,000-year reign of Christ on earth, when His presence will be known to everyone, there will still be those who reject Him and His free gift of salvation.
Satan is released after 1,000 years and musters up a final army of unbelievers from the 4 corners of the earth. He is quickly defeated and thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where he will spend an eternity.
The Lamb’s Book of Life
After this is the Great White Throne judgement. Scholars are divided on whether the saved will be judged along with the damned. One thing is certain: the dead whose names are not in the Lamb’s book of life will be thrown into the lake of fire. And there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, forever and ever. It is my sincere hope and prayer that anyone listening to this podcast will settle that matter here and now. Let’s pray.
Oh Lord, when I read these passages, I am reminded of how hopeless I am without You and Your gift of salvation. My heart weeps for those who do not know you. I pray that You will open their hearts to the leadings of the Holy Spirit, that someday they will accept You as their Lord and Savior and their names too will be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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