A Decisive Victory
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Read Revelation 20:7-10 (ESV)
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; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
If all of the unsaved people died before the millennial period began and only the redeemed in the Lord are allowed to enter the Kingdom of God, who are the people that Satan gathers for his army after his release from prison?
A thousand years is a long time. Just think about how far mankind has come and how much society has changed in the last 1,000 years. Think about how many generations have come and gone in the last millennium. Revelation teaches that after Satan is thrown into the pit and bound, Jesus will reign on earth for a thousand years and the redeemed will reign with Him. During this time, Satan will not be able to interfere with the world or deceive anyone. This millennial kingdom period will be peaceful and perfect. Like Eden before the fall of mankind.
But even in these perfect conditions, mankind will still have a sin nature and a free will. That means the children of the redeemed born during this time will still be born into Adam’s sin and they will pass that sin nature on and on throughout all of the generations born during this millennial period. Some will decide to follow Jesus but many will choose to reject Him. Even when God gives us everything we need, even when we live in the most peaceful, moral, and blessed conditions possible, humans have the potential and the proclivity to reject God.
In today’s verses, we see that a massive number of these descendants will choose to reject their King. John said their “number is like the sand of the sea.” When Satan is released from prison after the thousand-year reign, he will gather his army of these deserters and prepare for yet another epic battle against the Lord. But they don’t stand a chance.
The battle will once again be won before it has even begun. Fire will fall from heaven to consume them, and they will be thrown into the lake of fire where they will be tormented forever. What looked like an epic battle in the making will not even be a contest. The Lord wins!
We often blame our sin on our environment or we blame Satan, just like Eve did in the Garden: “the serpent deceived me…” (Genesis 3:13). But today we see just how sinful the human heart is. Even when Jesus will physically reign on earth and we are living in His physical midst, the human heart still leads us astray. Even when the deceiver, Satan, is bound and out of commission, mankind will still have the tendency to sin. Humans will still think our way is better than His way. Even living amongst God, many will still think they can be their own god. But in the end, God’s win is decisive and final.
Friends, if those of us who have accepted His free gift of grace and have committed to following Him, we are on the winning team! If you have not made the choice to follow Jesus yet, what are you waiting for? It is only by the gift of His grace that we could ever be on His side. But in Him, we share in His victory.
Lord, I confess that I am a sinner. My heart is depraved and leads me astray. Thank You for the gift of Your grace and for Your sacrifice on my behalf so that, despite my sinful nature, I can live and reign with You forever. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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