Lake of Fire

Today’s reading is Revelation 20.

Babylon has fallen. The beasts have gone to destruction. The armies of the enemy have become a feast for the birds. God’s saints reign victorious. But then Satan gets to raise another army. What’s up with that? I could be completely wrong, however, I think the Holy Spirit’s point is Revelation recounts a particular war with the enemy. Satan had used a particular beast and false prophet to attack Christ’s kingdom–some suggest Rome and Emperor worship, others say Jerusalem and Temple worship. Whichever the specific enemy John had in mind, that enemy would be defeated. However, that doesn’t mean Satan was completely defeated. He would attack again. As with the temptation of Jesus, he departs and awaits another opportune time. John isn’t trying to give a prophecy of a particular moment in history; he is simply saying Satan will lose that war, but he’ll be back. However, no matter when he rises again, no matter what kind of army he gathers, no matter which earthly city and kingdom he works through to attack Christ’s kingdom, he is going to lose. Ultimately, like the cat’s paws he uses to attack, he will be thrown with all his minions, armies, messengers, beasts, into the lake of fire. He won’t be reigning there as the “King of Hell.” No, he will be tormented there just like everyone else who ends up there. Yes, siding with Satan provides pleasure and power for a moment, but its end is in fire. Hang on to Jesus. He always wins.

Tomorrow’s reading is Revelation 21.

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A Thousand Years

Today’s reading is Revelation 20.

Honestly, it blows my mind how an entire complex doctrine can be built around a single verse likeĀ Revelation 20:4. In fact, not only one, but several. Of course, they can’t all be right. The passage only means what it means and can’t mean competing and mutually exclusive ideas. But what does it mean in context? It means the exact same thing the rest of the book means: Jesus Always Wins!!!! The purpose of this verse is not to say that some time in real-time history the disciple martyrs of Jesus will reign on earth for a thousand years. It’s a contrast with the reign of the kings of this earth who oppressed them. I asked you to rememberĀ Revelation 17:12 and the one-hour reign of the enemy kings and the authority they received from the beast. Here is where it becomes important as a contrast. Our Hero’s servants receive authority and reign, not for an hour, but for a thousand years. Neither of these refer to literal periods of time in earth history. They merely point out what the entire book points out. The enemy looks like he is going to win, but hang on, his time is short. The Hero will win and His victory will be complete. You want to be on the Hero’s side. No matter what, hang on! Jesus always wins! You can give up on Him, side with the enemy and get your heyday for an hour. Or you can hang on and have real victory. The choice is yours.

Tomorrow’s reading is Revelation 21.

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Today’s reading is Matthew 24.

I admit that the devotional for Matthew 24 is always the hardest for me to write. I know I’m in the minority regarding what I believe this chapter is about. I’m an amillennialist, so I don’t believe it is about a coming rapture. But though I am not what is called a hyper preterist or a realized eschatologist (if you don’t know what those terms mean, don’t worry too much about it), I do believe the whole chapter is about the destruction of Jerusalem and not at all about the end of the world or our future. However, there are parallels for us. Namely, false christs and false prophets will arise. In fact, no matter what view you take on this chapter as a whole, surely you can see the danger. Our enemy will use false gods, false teachers, false doctrines, false gospels, false anything to turn us away from the truth. Here is where the danger deepens: he doesn’t always use obvious falsehoods. He will even use very compelling falsehoods that seem to be accompanied by great signs and come so close as to take great discernment to distinguish from the truth. But God has revealed His truth. Do not be deceived by the devil’s deceptions masquerading as truth. Get in the Word. Stay in the Word. Don’t be swayed from the Word. Only truth will set you free.

Tomorrow’s reading is Matthew 25.

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