Reflections on Revelation #324

‘Day 324

“When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out to deceive the nations which are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. 9 And they came up on the [b]broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” Rev 20:7-10. (NASB)

The 1000yrs are finally finished. It is time for the second resurrection of the unsaved. Why has God summoned these lost souls from sleep? (notice they haven’t been conscious in a burning hell). Why not just let them remain in oblivion since they are not going to change? God does this to bring closure to the great controversy between good and evil. He does it for the sake of the universe. The wicked from the nations are raised just the way they died, with the same kind of thoughts, feelings, and passions. One last time they face the deceptive temptations of Satan. Once again, they fall for his deceptions. Once again, they do what comes naturally, they attack the saints, who have returned to earth in the beloved city, the New Jerusalem (21:2).

Faced with a clear and public choice between repentance and destructive action, this unsaved cohort once more chooses the latter. God’s judgment is verified. The lines have been rightly drawn. There are no doubts left. History can now come to its sudden and final end. Sin, suffering, and death will be no more! V10 contains strong and disturbing language. The idea of eternal tormenting that some believe, is a misunderstanding of the Hebraic concept of “forever.”

The language of fire and sulfur recalls the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, which thoroughly destroyed the cities and their inhabitants, but did not leave them twisting in the fire forever (Gen 19:24). Jude 7 tells us that Sodom was destroyed by “forever” fire (same Greek word as Rev 20:10). The language also recalls the destruction of Edom, which was to be burned “forever” (Isa 34:8-10), yet one finds no fire there today. “Forever” in Hebrew is not so much an indication of time as it is an indication of thoroughness. When God confronts evil the last time, He will make a full end, it will never return.

Many people today would prefer that language like this didn’t appear in the Bible. But evil will not go away quietly, it must be confronted. The universe will be a better place for its destruction. NB V15 

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