Bible Reading for DEC31: Revelation 20-22

BIBLE STUDY: READ REVELATION 20–22 Chapter 20 deals
with the millennium. The word “millennium” means
“thousand years” in Latin. There are some sincere Bible
students who deny that there will be a literal 1,000-
year reign of Christ on earth. They prefer to
“spiritualize” the Old Testament prophecies and apply
them to the church today. But we believe there will be a
literal 1,000 year Kingdom on earth.

Verses 1-5 give us a brief view of what is
happening just before the Kingdom Age. We must remember
that the Battle of Armageddon is now over, and the Beast
and False Prophet have been cast into hell. Christ now
lays hold of that old serpent, Satan, and casts him into
the bottomless pit. Some of Satan’s followers are
already chained (II Peter 2:4 and Jude 6), but now the
old serpent himself is going to be taken.

The Beast came out of the bottomless pit
(chapter 17:8) and was cast into hell, but Satan’s final
judgment is not yet come. At this point, there are no
saved people left in the realm of the dead; all have
been raised to reign with Christ. This is known as the
first resurrection. It extends from the Rapture of the
church (I Thessalonians 4:13) to the resurrection of the
saints given in Revelation 20:4. All who are raised in
the first resurrection are saved people. They will not
experience the second death, which is hell.

The millennial Kingdom will be a divine rule of
heaven upon earth. Christ will rule with a rod of iron,
permitting no injustice or sin. Jerusalem will be the
center of the Kingdom (Isaiah 2:1-4), and the disciples
will reign with Christ (Matthew 19:28). Israel will be
back in her land, sharing the glory of Christ, her
rightful King. There will be peace on earth among men
and animal creation (Isaiah 11:7-9; 54:13,14). Each man
will be suited to the best job, and there will be
perfect efficiency and joy. Of course, since there will
be human beings on earth (apart from the church and
resurrected saints with glorified bodies), children will
be born with sinful natures. There will be, at the close
of the millennium, many people who will give outward
obedience to Christ but who have never submitted to Him
from their hearts. This is one of the main purposes of
the millennium–to prove conclusively that mankind
cannot be changed, even under a perfect rule in a
perfect environment. For, at the end of the 1,000 years,
Satan will be able to gather together a huge army to
rebel against Christ! If men are not changed by the
grace of God, nothing else can change them! After the
millennium, we have the final battle. Satan will be
captured and eternally consigned to the lake of fire.
Note that the Beast and the False Prophet are still
suffering in hell a thousand years after being taken.
There is no way to get out of hell; it is a place of
eternal torment!

In chapter 20:11-15, we see the final judgment.
John sees a throne of judgment. It is great. All the
sinners of history stand before it. It is white. It
speaks of the unchanging holiness of God. He will not be
a respecter of persons, and there will be no place for
the lost to hide! The Judge on the throne is Jesus
Christ (John 5:22). Today He is the Saviour of the
world. In that day, He will be the righteous Judge.

My friend, there will be no opportunity for the
sinner to argue his case at the Great White Throne
Judgment when the books are opened and the facts are
revealed. Sinners will stand speechless before Christ
(Romans 3:19). God will not weigh the good and the bad–
He will pronounce every lost sinner condemned. All those
who share in the second resurrection must face the
second death–eternal hell. Satan and sin have been
judged. Human rebellion has been put down. Now God can
usher in the new heaven and earth–eternal bliss for the
people of God.

The theme of the final two chapters is stated in
chapter 21:5, “Behold, I make all things new.” While it
would be interesting to go into the many details of
these chapters, it is, of course, impossible. The new
heaven and the new earth are prepared for the redeemed
of God. The present creation is not what God intends it
to be. It is groaning and travailing under the bondage
of sin. But one day God will usher in His new creation,
and we who are born-again will enjoy perfect liberty and
fulness of life for all eternity!

The final message of the Book of Revelation is,
“I come quickly.” The word “quickly” does not mean “in
John’s day.” The word suggests “swiftly” and means that,
when the things we have been studying in this great book
begin to occur, there will be no delay. We do not know
when Christ will appear, and it behooves us all to be
ready.

Thus ends the last book of the Bible, the book
of last things. We can end these comments in no better
way than to echo the prayer of our hearts today–“Even
so, come, Lord Jesus.”

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