Friday, December 27, 2013

December 27 - Revelation 20

Today's reading in our daily plan is Revelation 20. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • This chapter hits on three themes: the thousand years (also called the millennium); Satan’s final defeat; and the white throne judgment.
  • The millennium, as described in this chapter, is a period where Jesus and his followers -- from the period described previously in Revelation -- govern the earth while the devil is imprisoned. There are differing viewpoints about whether or not this millennium is literal, as well as when it may or may not take place.
  • After the thousand years, Satan is allowed out of his prison and proceeds to deceive many nations into fighting against God. They are destroyed by God, who throws Satan into the lake of fire where he’ll be tormented forever with the Beast and False Prophet. Again, how literal or symbolic these various aspects are meant to be is up for debate.
  • After all these events, everyone who has ever lived goes before the "great white throne." God then judges each individual “according to what he had done.” The book of life is also opened and those whose names are not in it are sent into the lake of fire, which is called the second death.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • The judgment shown to us in this chapter is for everyone. We're told that we will all be judged for what we have done. No one will escape this judgement.
  • But what happens next is not the same for everyone. Many will be separated from God for all eternity because of their sin. People with sin cannot be in relationship with God and cannot enter heaven. But there are others who have their names in the "book of life." These people will enter into heaven to be with God for all eternity.
  • Why the difference? Those whose names are in the book of life are the people who chose Jesus in their lives on earth. They accepted what he did on the cross, and gave their lives to him. When that happens, all of a person's sins are put on Jesus on the cross. Therefore that person has no sin and can be in a relationship with God and enter heaven.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Will your name be found in the book of life? When you stand before God on judgement day you'll realize that that's the only truly important thing from your life. And your name can be in it! You need to make Jesus the Savior and Leader of your life. If you want that, tell him now. And then let us know at Verve so we can talk about next steps with you!
  • Even if we are in the book of life, still our actions will be judged. This should make us think critically about how we live. Are we obeying God? Are we living a pure life? What are we doing to love God, love others and make a difference in the world? What needs to change about your life?