December 18, 2011

Monday after the Fourth Sunday in Advent

Lectionary

Morning - Ps.116, Is. 33:13, Lk.1:5-25
Evening - Ps. 104, Is. 35, Rev. 20:7

Commentary
Revelation 20:7-15

Still looking into the distant future, the book of Revelation shows the defeat and punishment of the Church's most dangerous and powerful enemy, Satan. He has engineered the persecutions, murders, false doctrines, and all other attempts to destroy the Church and humanity. Even the beast and the false prophet were mere servants of Satan, the great serpent. But, powerful as he is, even the devil is no match for the power of God. There will come a time when Satan will be bound for a thousand years during which he will be unable to torment or persecute God's people. The first 6 verses of chapter 20 show this. And though verses 7-15 show him released at the end of the thousand years, this is only to allow him to gather his forces for his final defeat at the hand of Christ. The enemies of God may seem "as the sand of the sea" to the Church, but to Christ they are a speck of dust He blows away with ease. In verse 10 we see Satan defeated and cast into the lake of fire, where he joins the beast and the false prophet in suffering forever.

This passage is showing us the end of the world as we know it. We are seeing planet earth when time has ended, and Christ has returned to raise the bodies of those who have died in Him, while those alive at His Coming have met Him in the air. The unGodly have been raised to stand trial before the great white throne of God, and to be cast into the lake of fire with the beast and the false prophet. This is the end of the reign and terror of sin on earth. Evil is defeated. Satan is cast into hell. Those who followed him in life have also followed him in death, and no one is left to persecute, kill, or even tempt God's people. The battle is over. Christ has won. Now the only part of the story left to tell is that of the eternal joy of those who have remained true to Christ.

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