Battle of Armageddon
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Read Revelation 19:19-21 (ESV)
And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who had worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.
The identity of the antichrist and false prophet remain a mystery, but based on these verses, what can we be sure of?
The entertainment industry tends to use the concept of “armageddon” to refer to the end of the world. Anything from catastrophic asteroid strikes, zombie attacks, alien invasions, artificial intelligence uprisings, nuclear weapons, and biologically engineered viruses have all threatened to destroy the world as we know it on the big screen. Epic battles ensue in which good valiantly fights evil. There are many tense moments that lead us to doubt that good will ultimately prevail and leave us wondering how the world will be spared from total disaster.
But when we go back to the Bible, we can read about the real Battle of Armageddon and what we find out might surprise us. In today’s verses, we see that the good forces don’t even have to fight evil because the battle will be over before it even begins!
If you flip back and read Revelation 16:14,16, you read about demonic spirits assembling an army to fight against the Lord’s army. They gather the “kings of the whole world” which are demonic political and religious leaders to the final battlefield called “Har-Megeddon” which is “Mount Megiddo” in Hebrew. This is where we get the word “Armageddon.”
The description of the final battle continues in Revelation 19:11-21. Earlier this week we read of Jesus coming as a warrior on a white horse and His army of saints gathered behind Him. He had a sword coming from His mouth which was identified as the Word of God.
Now, picture the scene from today’s verses. There is a stand-off at Armageddon—Jesus the Mighty Warrior with His sharp sword and white army vs. the beast (the antichrist), the false prophets, the kings of the earth, and their armies. The air is tense in anticipation. But then, Jesus speaks from His white horse and all of the enemy forces are defeated. The antichrist and the false prophet are thrown into the lake of fire and the rest of their army is slain by the sword with the bloody carnage left as carrion for birds of prey.
We don’t know all of the details about what the mark of the beast is but we know it is an outward sign that someone worships the beast. It shows they are on the side of evil. And for those who are on his side, it is not a pretty picture.
But for those who are on the Lord’s side, victory has already been secured and we can look forward to the day when the fight is officially over by the power of His Word. Friends, no matter what we face in this life, we can be encouraged to keep going. The war isn’t over yet. But it will be soon. The victory will be decisive. The final battle, Armageddon, will be over before it even begins. And we are on the winning side! Praise God!
Lord, I pray for those who have not committed their lives to You yet. I pray that You would make Yourself known to them, that they would repent, and trust You for salvation because the final battle is near. I know that I am not worthy to be on Your side but I praise You for making a way for me to be among the army of Your saints through Jesus Christ. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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