We are in the last chapters of the entire Book of Revelation. We’ve spent months going through every detail of the Last Days on earth as we know it today—starting at the Rapture of the Church through the seven horrid years of the Tribulation, to the Second Coming of Christ to establish His throne with us, to the thousand years of perfect government on a perfect earth, but still with a mix of glorified saints and imperfect inhabitants where we will be judges, rulers and priests of God. Today we come to the end of the thousand years of peace and fellowship on this earth with our Lord as King where one more short period of chaos must occur in this world, and then the single-most terrifying event in all of human history. Just before we are ushered into a completely new beginning as we finally step into Eternity with a new Heaven and Earth.
Have you ever heard a eulogy read? Do you realize with 100% certainty one day someone will be reading yours? And the day we are studying now will come—are you ready? We will pick up exactly where we left off in our last study together—at the end of the Millennial Reign on earth: Revelation 20:7-8. Revelation 20:3 tells us that Satan will be released for a "little while" or a "short season". This will not be just a few years at the end of the thousand-year reign, but a season of time after the entire thousand years has expired. The Greek language does not give suggestion as to the length of this time, but reality would demand that it is not just a few years because Satan must deceive the entire world with his evil and selfish lie once again until the earth is moved from a state of peace and unity to complete rebellion against God a second time. This rebellion will not be too different than in our era. The one indisputable fact at this time will be the certainty of Jesus’ existence because He will be ruling. So as it was in the Garden of Eden; as it was when Satan enticed 1/3 of the angels to join him in Heaven. Satan will not try to convince them God doesn’t exist, but will deceive the nations into thinking that God is holding them back, as he did with Eve. He will make them doubt the goodness and fairness of their King; He will make them want to be in control of creation once again. [Any if this sound familiar today as well?] Revelation 20:9-10. This will be Satan's last action against God and mankind for all of eternity because this is the moment he is cast into Gehenna forever. This "Lake of Fire" which was originally made only for Satan and his fallen angelic followers until we chose to reject Christ and join them there. The last army which Satan rallies after the Millennial Period will mount up against the City of Jerusalem, attacking the capital city of the entire world in the era where Our King Jesus will then personally reside. But with one swift act, God devours them, ending the battle and ending this age upon earth. The event to follow this final victory over Satan will be the period at the end of the sentence, at the end of the chapter, at the end of the Book of all of history as we know it. Don't miss the unimaginable magnitude of the following verses just because you have heard them so often: Revelation 20:11. Just after the gathering of those who are to stand at this Final Judgment (which we will read about shortly), our Lord Jesus will take His place on a magnificent, and terrifying throne, and in His raw, unleashed power as not seen since the moment of Creation itself—all of creation—the entire existing universe down to the very elements in which it is made—will melt away in one act of “un-creation”. Why? Because this entire Creation which was established for God's people and for a Holy and Perfect God to dwell in it with them was tainted with the horrors and pains from the sins of His people. Scriptures tell us that creation itself longs to be remade in glory for Christ: Romans 8:19-21. The Greek word for "futility" here is mataiotés. All connections to this time of evil and pain must be done away with. Every last symbol of this fallen creation representing any and all evil—which was ever paid for and erased by the Blood of Jesus Christ has to be completely done away with; just like the sin which tainted it. Not one star in the heavens can ever remain which was part of this era of fallen hate and rebellion, therefore, Christ will make a new and perfect Universe in which His new and perfect beloved might dwell with Him forever: Revelation 21:5. Now listen intently to the Last Act God will take on this broken world before it melts away: Revelation 20:12-15: This is the Second Resurrection which involves only those who have rejected Christ and are damned. All who have accepted Christ as King were raised and made new before the Millennium began: Revelation 20:5-6. All of those who rejected Christ from the time of Cain to this Last Day on earth will be resurrected on this one day to face Judgment. Why all at once? Why at the very end? Because the effects of our sins ripple through time and generations, hurting and influencing others for years to come, and we will not give an account of all of our sins until these sins have ran their course to the end. How many people are still living with the thoughts and motivations of hatred and prejudice originated by Hitler? How many families have been broken, destroyed or completely wiped from existence even today because of his sins? How many broken marriages; how much infidelity; how much abuse, rape, theft, hatred; how many mental health cases; how much depression, suicide and substance abuse—stem from the evil and selfishness of a mother or father? Or a heartless person who brought grief or even bad influences into another's life? How many pastors who wrongly represent God's Word and redefined sin for their own success and lusts have destroyed lives—entire generations—rather than help them? Many in their self-focused world have no idea—and frankly, do not even care—about the countless others their sin will effect in time. All of these sins will be in that Book as well, which is read on that day. This is why the Second Resurrection is not until the end. How many people are your selfish sins going to hurt or destroy before they burn out? This Second Resurrection will be a "bodily" resurrection—just as with the believers—because all who pass away remain present and conscious somewhere. Those who know Christ are consciously, spiritually in His Presence. Those who are damned are consciously, spiritually in Hades awaiting this Day of Judgment. But this verse tells of rising from the sea, death and Hades; only a "physical" resurrection would require rising from the sea and “death”, meaning the grave. Pay attention to these verses which spell it out clearly: John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15: The Greek word for "Resurrection" in both of these verses is "anastasis". Meaning of every race, social class, position on earth, and success, nothing achieved in this world will matter one iota at this moment. No amount of fame in the public's eye; no amount of money made, or lush lifestyles lived; no size of an empire built, seized or ruled; no position held in office. There will be poor and lowly people, druggies, drunkards, partiers, murderers, homosexuals, adulterers; there will be politicians, movie stars, musicians, church goers, pastors, factory workers, respectable mothers and fathers, missionaries, philanthropists—all will be equally Judged by the only thing that truly made them who they were in God's Eyes—the position of their hearts and souls towards the very One who created them and died to save them in complete and abandoned love. This is why many who knew Jesus existed, and even did things in His name, still will be here at this Judgment; because though they knew about Him—even did good in His name—they never truly loved Him or surrendered their lives to Him: Matthew 7:22-23. There may very well be some in this very congregation who believe Jesus exists; who do good in His name; and yet have never truly surrendered to Him as Lord of their Lives. All of this multitude of people gathered together will bow in utter subjection and reverence to the power and sight of an overwhelming, holy, just, unstoppable, vengeance-filled God who just melted all of Creation with His Presence, and stands before them now ready to Judge their lives, which they know have been lived with dark, selfish hearts. There will be no dismissing Him as a silly, ignorant or irrelevant idea; there will be no taking of His name in vain and disrespect when angry or disgusted; there will be no accusations or blame thrown at Him; there will be no putting Him off because you are too busy; there will be no hidden sin kept from His sight. If you are there, His fury-filled eyes will look at you alone and the evidence will be presented: Revelation 20:12. The books" opened will be the complete record of your life—everything said, everything done—in public or private—every secret thought which was hidden from all but Him (and many who feel they are "good people" on this side of His Judgment), will see clearly in that day and understand the Truth: Psalm 14:2-3. Because we may seem to be "good" in comparison to the world around us, but God will not Judge by "comparisons". He will Judge according to His laws of righteousness and selfless love. Listen closely to what Jesus said to a one who asked Him what they must do to inherit eternal life: Mark 10:17-19. Jesus reminded the man that no one truly had a good and pure heart. No one was really "good", and it was reflected in their inability to keep the Laws of love He had given them. When you add to this the fact that Jesus said these Laws go much deeper than even the surface as well [meaning "adultery" was even looking at someone who doesn't belong to you and lusting in your heart, and "murder" was hatred for another in your heart], who is guiltless before God? Let's play the game, "Have you ever?" Have you ever: lied to anyone; stolen anything; lusted for someone that wasn't your own; hated someone in your heart; disrespected your parents; taken the Lord's Name in vain; in anger or frustration coveted after what another had—you have to answer, "Yes, but so has everyone else.” Bingo! This is why, "There is none good, no not one." Yes, these things are natural to us because we have a fallen and selfish nature, but you, nor anyone else on this planet will ever be sent to Hell just because of these sins. Yes, any one of these sins alone will send you to Hell, but because of Jesus Christ's Sacrifice, there is only one sin which will send you to Hell in the end; only one sin is Now unforgivable; one sin which brings all of these other sins into bearing—and that is rejecting the one who died horrifically to take the blame for these sins away from you in overwhelming love for you. The one sin of rejecting that priceless gift leaves all of these other sins on your record. And since you and I cannot keep these perfect Laws with our selfish souls if we do not accept the Gift of Forgiveness from Christ, and allow Him to make us new again, we cannot be allowed into Heaven because the evil seed which causes us to commit even the simplest sin would completely taint and eventually destroy His Kingdom all over again. The reason that no believers will be at this Judgment is not because they haven't sinned, but because their sins have already been judged and punished. The Law which requires penalty has been fulfilled—burned out—on the one who endured it all for our sake. Do you see how much you are loved? Right where you are now? When Jesus cried out, "Tetelestai—it is finished—“, He meant it literally. All shame, humiliation, guilt, and Judgment for mankind had now been placed onto Him. But you and I must accept that gift, love Him back and want to turn from the selfish ways we now see. The saddest part of this entire horrible scene at this Judgment is that it does not even have to happen. Not one soul needs to be judged; Hell was not even created for mankind, but for Satan and his hoard alone: Matthew 25:41. So do not ever say, "How could a Loving God send people to Hell?” when it wasn't even prepared for them in the first place, and He did all He could do—gave all He could give, sacrificed Himself tortuously in our place—so we wouldn't have to go if we would simply love him back. But that is just too much for some. If we could really fathom what His sacrifice cost Him—really fathom what a terrible, heart-wrenching experience this was for Him—we would never stop worshiping and thanking Him.
Revelation 20:14-15: Death and Hades were thrown into the Lake because the need for death and judgment is now forever gone from this moment on in eternity as is the "Holding cell" of Hades. And the Last Act of Christ before our New Heaves and New Earth are recreated, is the Casting of those who have denied Him into the Lake of Fire as refuse. Can you imagine standing before this Throne and hearing the Words from the King of the Universe, "I never knew you, depart from Me, bind him and cast him into outer darkness," and having angels seize you, knowing the time has come to carry you to this pit of no return—ever? And know from this moment on, you will be alone, forgotten, unloved; thrown away in torment for eternity; knowing the whole time it didn't have to happen because this Man, Jesus—who had loved you more than His own life, had paid for all you were about to suffer—but you refused to accept Him and love someone that deserving more than yourself—so you traded a miserable 70 years of selfish living on earth, for an eternity of Love, Acceptance, Adventure and Joy for eternity. Can you imagine how desperately you would long to go back and have a second chance again? To get to know Him and start over? Well—BOOM—you are back. You have that chance now. Which will never come again after the trump is heard, or your heart stops beating. What will you do with your second chance?
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