David Pawson - Revelation Part 6
Thoughtful Thoughts 19th October 2018. Revelation 20 - 22; Part 6:
“The Return Of The King.”
Introduction to Chapters 20-22
Well, we have come a long way since we started our journey, not only through Revelation but also through the New Testament. Although this is the last in this series, I’m not going to summarise Revelation, as we only have enough space to look at the last few chapters, where John shares his visions of the judgement, of hell, of the ‘Book of Life’, of heaven, and of the new heaven and new earth. These last few chapters tell us that it will end in tears for those who are not in the Book of Life, but for God’s “Overcomers” who had remained faithful to Jesus, in spite of persecution, will find joy, and be rewarded. That will be decided by whether or not someone’s name is in the Lambs Book of Life. Jesus said He will be the One who will wind things up. (Not mankind).
1). The order of events…
A). Jesus taught in Rev. 20:1-3 that Satan will be bound for 1,000 years. Result? ‘World Peace’!
B). Then, in Rev. 20:4-10 we see that there is a 1st resurrection where the ‘righteous’ are resurrected and reign for 1,000 years, under the Messiah, King Jesus. We see the kind of 1,000 year rule Jesus is talking about is one where there will be peace and justice. Where the lion will lie down with the lamb!
C). Then in Rev. 20:11-15, we see there will be a 2nd resurrection where the wicked are resurrected and judged. (It’s easy to understand when it’s left unaltered.)
2). The Lamb’s Book of Life...
The most important thing for you to know, is that “The Book of Life” needs to have your name in it, for you to be included in God’s family. So, how does that happen?
a). Peter answered that question in Acts 2:38. He says we must: “Repent and be immersed, (or in Greek, ‘baptizo’), every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins may be forgiven. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Jesus told this parable to help us understand forgiveness… A King forgave an official who owed him a huge amount of money. Later on, the King re-imposed the debt, after the official refused to forgive a fellow servant a tiny sum of money. We must change after we are forgiven, to include forgiving others.
b). Jesus also told the parable of a religious person who had even cast out demons in His name, but who was still thrown out of the marriage feast into outer darkness, because he had not changed his dirty clothes, (meaning, ‘behaviour’). An angel said in Rev. 22:9, the ones considered to be servants of God, are “Those who keep the words of this book”. It is not enough to be religious and call Jesus ‘Lord’, and say all the right religious words, if we do not stop sinning, (called, “changing your clothes”). For them, the King will say, “Depart from me, I never knew you”. So there is even a warning to those who join empty words together, even professionally for their religious job. (ie like “Mr Talkative” in “Pilgrim’s Progress” who might be called a “wordsmith” today). And it’s not enough to have once been converted, IF we permanently go back to our old ways. Paul said that if we return to our former life of sin, it is like a dog going back to its vomit. We must practice what we preach. (Also see Rev. 22:19).
3). Reward for the names in the ‘Book of Life’...Finally in Rev. 21:1-2 there is to be a re-creation whereby we get a new heaven and new earth, with a huge new city of God, (about the size of the moon, but cube shaped), named ‘Jerusalem’, (or ‘city of peace’), (Rev. 20). This is when we are told that the angels will be lost in wonder, that God moves to earth to live with the redeemed. (God wants to reign amongst His creation. After all, God once walked in the garden of Eden.) At that time, there will be no more tears.
In Revelation, Jesus is called the Alpha and the Omega; The beginning and the end, just as God the Father had been. Jesus is the King who is returning to fix the mess made by His enemy. God’s re-creation came at a terrible personal cost, and it’s all leading up to Jesus coming back.
4). Proof of the divinely inspired nature of Revelation…There is hidden proof in Revelation that it is inspired. John mentions in Rev. 4:3 that he saw a rainbow in heaven. In chapter 21 he mentions the stones chosen for the building of the new Jerusalem. Those stones turn all the colours of the rainbow in pure light. As man only discovered pure light in the last century, John could only have known about that 2,000 years ago by divine revelation. Our picture shows those stones displaying all the colours of the rainbow.
Epilogue...The main thing you need to be sure of, is that your name is written in the “Lamb’s Book of Life”. Don’t rely on second hand information. Read the Gospels to see what Jesus said, as it’s Jesus Christ who gets to decide whose names go into His “Book of Life”, to be in His family, not religious leaders.
In these blogs we keep showing what Jesus taught, on how to join God’s family, as it’s so important.
A summary is provided by Peter in Acts 2:38 as well. Read what was spoken by the One the disciples called “Rabbi”, and “Lord”... the Messiah, Jesus Christ. He is the One who died to save us. Build your life on the Rock, who is our Messiah, not on the shifting sand of man-made religious ideas. Be ready to say as John did, “Even so, come Lord Jesus”.
I’m John Dunning and that’s “Thoughtful Thoughts” for another week.
Next week we start a series on Genesis. Why not start a home Bible study with your mates using our videos, (and our Bible study notes as way to start a discussion?) Do read the Bible book of the week we are studying to maximise the benefit of our journey through the Bible.
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