Today is the last day of the month, the last day of the year, the last day of the decade. They say, “all good things must come to an end,” but our reading today says that’s not quite true. Today we see that things don’t really come to an end at all; they simply transition to a new beginning.
Revelation 19-22 begins with a great celebration: the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. The anti-Christ and false prophet are sent to their eternal destiny (more about that later) and Satan is bound for a thousand years. The believers, the saved who survived the Tribulation (which I believe will consist largely of the Jews which God has protected in the wilderness) enter the Millennium as humans, able to marry and bear children. All those who have died previously will reign with Christ until Satan is released for just a short time to deceive many. A final “battle” ensues, which really isn’t a battle; fire falls from heaven to destroy the rebellious and Satan is finally cast into the lake of fire where the anti-Christ and false prophet are waiting to meet him.
At this point in time all the spirits of the unbelieving, from the moment of creation until the present time, are brought to the Great White Throne Judgment. They have been waiting in Hades. The Bible says, “the books are opened” and they are judged “according to what they had done as recorded in the books.” This is important to think about. All those who have rejected Jesus, who have turned their backs on His offer of salvation, will stand before God and give account for their lives. No one, no matter how “good” they have been in comparison to others, will pass the test. Scripture says “the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters, and the liars will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur,” where they will be “tormented day and night forever and ever.” Are you a “good” person? That’s not enough if you do not believe. “Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.” (20:15)
Chapters 21-22 are the rest of the story. For those who have placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ, a new heaven and earth await. The new city of God is 1400 miles CUBED! It is made of pure gold, with gates made of pearl, and foundations of precious stones. There is no need for the sun, for the glory of God is its light. It never gets dark. The gates are never shut, and God Himself dwells with His people, who will reign with Him forever and ever.
You see, the end of the story is the same for all of us in one respect. We are made for eternity, and we have an eternal destiny. Right now, we have the opportunity to respond and believe. By His death and resurrection, Jesus has opened the door for salvation for all who will believe.
I urge you to consider the truths of scripture as you turn the page to 2020. A life fully surrendered to Christ is the only one worth living, both in this life, and the one to come. Are you a believer? You have the hope of heaven. Don’t let the distractions of this world hinder you. Make 2020 the year you truly live what you believe.
Are you still trusting in your own goodness to get you to heaven? Give it up. Jesus already did the work for you.
“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who is thirsty come, and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. … Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! (22:17,20)