Putting God's Word into Practice…

Revelation 20 ~ Hard Truth

This chapter feels like a mystery/action movie with one too many twists or battle sequences.  Or like a “good” horror movie: when it feels like the movie is over and evil is defeated, the villain reaches out and grabs the leg of its victim one last time.  The comeback is short-lived as “good” delivers a final blow!

Satan is referred to as the dragon, the ancient serpent, and the devil, but his goal is always the same: to deceive!  At the beginning of this chapter, Satan is bound and sealed in a bottomless pit.  Jesus sets up His kingdom on earth and reigns for 1,000 years.  Can you imagine life on earth without the devil prowling around deceiving all of mankind and with Jesus tangibly at the center of all things?!  The problem is that humans have free will!  Our hearts are desperately wicked!  Even in a perfect environment, being ruled by a perfect King–people will choose to rebel against Jesus and try to make their own way.  At the end of the thousand years, Satan will be released from captivity and start deceiving again.  Revealing the rebelliousness of hearts, he will raise up an army of unbelievers who would rather follow Him than side with a Savior.  But just like the villain making one last run at his victim in a movie, Satan will be crushed.  He will be thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur and “be tormented day and night forever and ever.” (vs. 10)

I wish that was the end of the story, but there is one more event–one that gives a lot of company to Satan in the lake of fire–one that sentences many to eternal torment and total separation from God–the great white throne judgment.  This is where all the dead from all time will stand before God’s throne and be judged “according to what they HAD done.”  No more chances–the past will finally catch up with them.  Those who spent their whole lives refusing God’s grace and salvation will have to give an account before the Lord, and it will be too late to change their minds. “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (vs. 15)  

So what does any of this mean for me:

  1. Satan was defeated at the cross, but not bound!  Therefore, he is roaming, prowling, deceiving, destroying, devouring, killing, stealing all day long (1 Peter 5:8, John 10:10).  I need to be alert, on guard, sober and watchful!
  2. I know my name is written in the Lord’s Book of Life.  I have received Christ as my Savior and surrendered my life to Him.  My sins are forgiven because of His sacrifice, grace, mercy and forgiveness.  I need to walk out my life in accordance with this miracle!  I must be diligent to love God and others, to disciple and teach people to obey God, to aim for holiness in my thoughts and actions, to “do” God’s Word.  I only have so much time and I need to be faithful!  “Only one life, will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”
  3. Many, many people will choose to reject the good news of salvation through Jesus–thinking they don’t need saving and that there is nothing to be saved from.  But in order to reject something, it must be heard. And how will they hear if no one proclaims (Romans 10:14-15). I have a responsibility to “each day proclaim the good news that He saves,” (Psalm 96:2b) to “rescue those who are being taken away to death,” (Proverbs 24:11a), and to “save others by snatching them out of the fire.” (Jude 1:23a)
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1 John 1:5-10 ~ A Universal Solution for a Universal Problem

This is the message we have HEARD from him and PROCLAIM to you…

In verses 1-5 the words heard and proclaim are listed together three times.  As followers of Christ we have a two-part mission.  What would happen if the disciples of Jesus only heard him and didn’t proclaim him?  What would happen if we stopped proclaiming the truth we hear from God’s Word? To whom can I proclaim the truth today?

  • Psalm 96:2b says, “Each day proclaim the good news that He saves!”
  • Romans 10:13-14 says, “For EVERYONE who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?”

…that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. BUT if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from ALL sin.  If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. IF we confess our sins, HE IS FAITHFUL AND JUST to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

God is light!  He is radiant and pure; He exposes and extinguishes darkness; He illuminates our life’s path.  When we choose to live and move and act in the dark (in sinfulness), we break fellowship with him.  We may ask ourselves questions like: Why can’t I feel God?  Why isn’t He helping me?  Why doesn’t my life have any direction?  Why don’t I have any joy?  It may be because we are out of fellowship with God.  Choosing to walk in darkness has consequences.  Come back into the light!!

When we walk in the darkness, we deceive ourselves into thinking that our sins are hidden from God, or we rationalize that they are not really sins at all.  But sin is a universal problem–we all do it!  Sin is never hidden!  There is only one way to restore fellowship with God, our unity with others, and our complete joy–we must admit to our sins.  EVERY CONFESSED SIN RECEIVES FORGIVENESS AND REMOVAL!  God has provided a sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins through the blood of His own Son!  He would never leave His created ones with a universal problem–that would be unloving.  He has provided the only universal solution to our sin–believing on Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior!

God is faithful and just to take away EVERY sin and unrighteous action we confess–EVERY SINGLE ONE!  My husband gave an illustration at church once that has always stuck with me regarding this complete forgiveness that I would like to share:

Every once in a while we miss trash day or have an exorbitant amount of garbage.  We haul it all out to the curb and almost wince as we hear the garbage truck approaching.  (My husband was a garbage man for a short while, so he is extra sensitive!) Will they take it all?  Will they be angry with us?  But every single time, the garbage is all gone.  They don’t come to the door and question us as to how we accumulated so much trash.  They don’t see us peeking out the window and flip us the bird.  They don’t leave any behind just to spite us.  No questions–complete removal!  They are garbage men–it’s what they do!  God is faithful and just to forgive all sins–it’s what He does!

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