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.
A Word for Our Kids
Hey kids, lots of people get stuck on this issue of a thousand years. There are numerous debates, arguments, and even false teachings surrounding this. However, the point is really quite simple. Back in Revelation 17:12, the kings who consorted with Babylon were given authority and allowed to reign. But only for one hour. No one believes we should be looking for a literal hour in history in which some particular group of kings had a worldwide empire. Neither should we be looking for a literal thousand years in history in which Christians have a worldwide empire. The point is there is a time when it looks like God’s enemies are winning. However, their time of victory is short lived. When God wins, His side reigns completely. Choose your side wisely. They both will reign, but one only for an hour and the other for a thousand years. Seems like a no-brainer to me.