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Archive for June, 2009

“Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison.” Revelation 20:7

Why is Satan bound for a thousand years and then released? Why is he allowed to once again wreak havoc and inspire rebellion against the Lord? These are questions that have hounded people who study the book of Revelation. Why, after defeating Satan and his minions at the final battle of Armageddon, would God not toss him into the lake of fire once and for all and be done with it? Ultimately, we don’t need to know the answer. This is the way God has decided to do things, and His reasons must be sufficient. Nevertheless, there is one possible answer that shines some light not only on who God is, but who man is.

Mankind, since Adam pointed his finger at Eve, has always had an excuse as to why he doesn’t obey God. During the millennium, all of those excuses will be gone. Mankind will live in a perfect environment. Every need will be amply provided for. Peace will reign throughout the earth. Mankind will live in harmony with each other and with nature. And as for the excuse that we have no evidence that God even exists, let alone that Jesus is Him, He’ll be personally reigning from Jerusalem. Every excuse gone. And what happens? At the end of the thousand years a vast multitude of the people living on earth will once again decide to believe Satan rather than God. They will gather together to make war against the very God who has graciously, perfectly, personally given them ample proof that He is worthy to be worshipped and obeyed.

Someday, we all will have to give an account for our lives. On that day, those who have rejected God and the salvation He offers will have no excuse.

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“And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, ‘Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen…” Revelation 18:2a

The discussion flies fast and furious over who exactly Babylon the great is here. Three views I’ve heard most often are the literal city of Babylon in Iraq, America, or the whole worldly system that opposes God. Regardless of who it is, one thing is certain. Babylon the great is going down. There is no question about it, this entity, renowned for her rebellion against God and her corrupting influence, will face total and complete destruction. The world views Babylon as a great and mighty city, her downfall mourned the world over. God views Babylon as the vilest of poison, and her destruction causes rejoicing in the heavens. Whoever Babylon is, the point is clear; Babylon, with all her evil, will not last.

The same is true of anything and everything that opposes God. It may not be in the dramatic, startlingly sudden manner that describes the fall of Babylon, but everything that opposes God will one day be gone. Frank Sinatra may sing with pride about doing it “my way” but the only way that will stand is God’s way. We as believers would do well to keep that in mind. What are we spending our time and energy on? Is it on things that will one day be destroyed? While we are not saved by the works we do, scripture is cleared that our work as believers will be tried. Will our works survive the testing and emerge refined like gold and silver, or will it be shown to be nothing more than worthless rubble that burns away like straw?

As the days grow more evil around us, let us invest ourselves not in the things of Babylon slated for destruction, but in the things of God which last forever.

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“These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen and faithful.” Revelation 17:14

Satan has been at war with God since his fall, a war that will reach its climax at the end of the tribulation. It amazes me that Satan even attempts his final, all-out assault on God. The outcome has already been determined. The Lamb wins, because the Lamb is God. It must take incredible arrogance, not to mention incredible blindness, to believe that somehow, even though it is impossible to win when you war against God, that you will win anyway. But the sentence of doom against Satan and those who choose to side with him is a promise of hope to those of us who are with the Lamb.

Jesus will overcome. There is never a question, never a doubt. He will overcome, and those who belong to Him will overcome in Him. There is no struggle, no trial, no hardship that will be able to destroy those whose hope and trust is in the Lamb who overcomes. Keep your eyes on the struggle, you’ll go down until you learn better. Keep your eyes on the Lamb, He will keep you up, no matter how hard things get. I’m not saying you won’t hurt, you won’t cry, you won’t be tempted to despair. I’m saying that if you keep your eyes on God in faith, nothing will overcome your faith. You may lose your money, your well-being, your loved ones, your health, even your life, but your faith is secure in the hands of God, and He always overcomes.

When the worst happens, stand up, lift your head and your heart to Heaven, and remember, the Lamb will overcome.

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