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YOU ARE BORN TO SHINE

2 Corithians Chapter 4 verse 6

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Thursday, November 22 2012

Introduction:

After the fall of Babylon, we looked at how John heard what was like a roar of many peole praising God in an apparent response to the judgement of Babylon. Then, there was the praise anticipating the second coming of Christ (Rev. 19:6-8). We learnt that our worship is only meant to be directed to God and not to angels. It is also instructive to pay attention to the way Christ was decribed: Faithful and True - As believers, we must not live below such standard. Finally, we saw the destruction of the wicked, where the armies of the earth are no match with the armies from heaven. The judgement of God on the wicked is as certain as His grace which is available to save all who believe. Today, we will look at the Millennial reign of Christ and the judgement of the great white throne.

 

Satan Bound (vs 1-3)

 1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

First it is very interesting to see that Satan is not God's peer or equivalent as he would always have people to believe. As we have consistently seen in this book of revelation that it is an angel of God who handles the devil (Satan) all the times. Satan is not God's rival!

The Millennial Reign of Christ (vs 4-6)

4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Vs 4 talks about a particular set of martyred dead and John's description shows that they are given resurrected bodies since he could see them. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. Lesson for us: Whatever a man does for the Lord, there is always a ?payday' (reward). I Cor 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Vs 5 informs us that the rest of the dead did not come to life until after a thousand years, implying the resurrection of the wicked dead as we will see in vs 11-15.

First resurrection: I will align with the description of the Bible Knowledge commentary with describes it as follows: It should be obvious, however, that in no sense could this be the number- one resurrection chronologically because historically Christ was the first to rise from the dead with a transformed, resurrected body. There was also the resurrection "of many" (Matt. 27: 52- 53) which took place when Christ resurrected. In what sense then can this resurrection in Revelation 20: 5 be "first"? As the context which follows indicates, "the first resurrection" (vv. 5- 6) contrasts with the last resurrection (vv. 12- 13), which is followed by "the second death" (vv. 6, 14). It is first in the sense of before. All the righteous, regardless of when they are raised, take part in the resurrection which is first or before the final resurrection (of the wicked dead) at the end of the Millennium. This supports the conclusion that the resurrection of the righteous is by stages. Christ was "the Firstfruits" (1 Cor. 15: 23), which was preceded by the token resurrection of a number of saints (Matt. 27: 52- 53). Then will occur the Rapture of the church, which will include the resurrection of dead church saints and the translation of living church saints (1 Thes. 4: 13- 18). The resurrection of the two witnesses will occur in the Great Tribulation (Rev. 11: 3, 11). Then the resurrection of the martyred dead of the Great Tribulation will occur soon after Christ returns to earth (20: 4- 5). To these may be added the resurrection of Old Testament saints which apparently will also occur at this time, though it is not mentioned in this text (cf. Isa. 26: 19- 21; Ezek. 37: 12- 14; Dan. 12: 2- 3).

Vs 6: There is not much detail of what will happen during this millennial reign of Christ but indeed it will be a time of great blessing

Satan's final ruin (Vs 7-10)

7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Satan was released from the prison but being Satan he unrepentantly went and deceived nations to gather them for battle again. Isn't that funny given all the battle he had lost since the beginning of the book of revelation? Why is the term Gog and Magog used? It is not explained by John but in Ezekiel 38 Gog was described as the ruler and Magog was the people, and both were in rebellion against God and were enemies of Israel. The result of such battle can be predicted apriori as we have seen in many preceding incidences: Fire came down from heaven and devoured Satan's followers while he was thrown into the lake of burning sulphur.

The Great White throne Judgment

11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

The One who sat on the great white throne caused the earth and heaven to flee from His presence but they found no place to hide. He'd come to judge the dead (both the small and the great). Many bible scholars believe that this judgment will be for the wicked dead since all the righteous dead have been raised including Old Testament saints, the dead of the Great Tribulation, and the church saints, the body of Christ. Indeed since these dead have not been raised is an indication that they do not have eternal life so their judgment is the judgment of works.

Whether Christians or non-Christians, our works will be tested: 1 Cor. 3:13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. So we must pay attention to what we do!!!

Conclusion

I will conclude with these words from BK Commentary: Though many have attempted to find some scriptural way to avoid the doctrine of eternal punishment, as far as biblical revelation is concerned there are only two destinies for human souls; one is to be with the Lord and the other is to be forever separated from God in the lake of fire. This solemn fact is motivation for carrying the gospel to the ends of the earth whatever the cost, and doing everything possible to inform and challenge people to receive Christ before it is too late.

 

Contributor: Akin Akande

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 03:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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