Satan is the Loser - Not the Church
Hello Church! Once again, Revelation is an encouragement! The visions that John received to give to the Church is for our victory and encouragement. The millennial picture of Christ’s reign, Satan’s binding and then future release to wage war on the Church is for our encouragement. Yes! It really is. This is another picture of the same story that we have seen over and over throughout Revelation. Jesus wins against Satan. Jesus wins against the world system and He wins against sin! Which means we also win against Satan, the world system and sin. It is a done deal! It is a wrap! Game over! Jesus wins and His Church wins!
In Revelation 20:7-10, the same picture of Satan’s defeat that we have seen several times before is summarized from a different perspective, a different camera angle. We know that the millennial reign of Christ began at Jesus’ first advent, His first coming. Satan was bound from deceiving the nations any longer. God bound Satan at Jesus’ death and resurrection so that the gospel will get to the nations and declare to them that all of the same promises of Israel are available to them. Through the gospel, the nations are to become fellow heirs, members of the same body, partakers of the Messiah, sons of Abraham, kinsmen according to the flesh, children of the promise, grafted in to the same olive tree (Ephesians 3:6, Galatians 3, Romans 9, 11). Satan is bound so that the nations will hear that they are the recipients of the same promises that Israel had enjoyed for a really long time… a millennia.
This week we are reminded again of the future reality that there will be a time when Satan will be fully unbound as he was before Christ’s first coming (20:7). The restraint that God has placed on Satan during this present church age will be removed. And yes, Satan will immediately proceed to gather the unbelieving nations of the earth to make war on the people of God, “the camp of the Saints, the beloved city” (20:9). This war is identical to the war of Armageddon that we read about earlier in Revelation 16 and again in Revelation 19. These are simply different pictures of the same final battle between the kingdom of Satan and the kingdom of Christ.
Fear not! Do not be anxious! Satan’s defeat and the destruction of the unbelieving nations is quick and decisive (20:9-10). This battle is no problem for the risen Lord Jesus Christ. Even though the enemies of Christ’s kingdom surround “the camp of the saints and the beloved city,” they have no hope of defeating the King of kings and Lord of lords! Just like ancient Israel, the Church is depicted as a wilderness community, camping in tents without a home on this earth. Church, we are sojourners, and exiles. Do you experience that feeling of not belonging in this world? We are people passing through life on this earth toward the promised new heavens and new earth that is yet to come. But do not forget! Our identity is declared by God to be “the beloved city” (Rev. 3:12; 11:2) that is victorious in Christ. Make yourself ready for the rising of the nations against the Church while remembering that we are more than conquerors! We are victorious!
I can’t wait to worship together with you this Sunday – Steve
Revelation 20:10 …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.