One Thousand Years
Lord Jesus Christ, You reign supreme over life and death, frustration and pain, loss and loneliness. I praise You.
Read REVELATION 20:1-15
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“From age to age the same, and he must win the battle” (Martin Luther, A Mighty Fortress is our God). The “game” isn’t over but the “winner” is sure.
This chapter has given rise to intense debate over the years. In all of Scripture, the millennium is only mentioned here in vs. 2-7, so we should not inflate its importance. Yet it is mentioned six times in six verses, so we cannot ignore it, either. Most readers will be familiar with the dilemma: are we living from the first to the second coming of Jesus in a period symbolically referred to as 1,000 years, or is a literal 1,000 year period still to come?
I offer two guidelines. First, which understanding is most consistent with other scriptural material about the future: the second halves of Isaiah, Daniel and Ezekiel, Jesus’ predictions about the future, and various Pauline passages? Second, we should probably learn to be less certain in this area. Almost all pre-Christmas “experts” were wrong about the first coming, and we may well be wrong about many things concerning the second (Jesus says we can’t know when it will be. See Matt. 24: 36,42). But whatever God does, I’m for it!
The chapter itself is an interesting sandwich: the “slices of bread” at the start and finish (1-3 and 11-15) are all about the binding and the judging of Satan and his allies, while the “meat” in the middle (4-10) describes the reign of the saints. Just as Satan’s influence started with four words in Genesis 3:1, “Did God really say…?” it now ends with five words in Revelation 20:10: “…the lake of burning sulfur.” Yes, his reign is serious, but it is limited, and it will soon come to an end forever. The account of it is followed by two chapters about God’s work of re-creation, making beautiful again what was spoiled by Satan and sin.
How do you feel about your witness to the world of the difference Christ has made in your life? What impact has, or could, your witness have?
Heavenly Father, may the many blessings You’ve given me become blessings to others as they see You through my life.
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