November 20, 2020

A Christian's Mission, Should We Choose to Accept It

Revelation 20:1–10

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The Thousand Years

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit1 and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.

Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.

The Defeat of Satan

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven2 and consumed them, 10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Footnotes

[1] 20:1 Greek the abyss; also verse 3
[2] 20:9 Some manuscripts from God, out of heaven, or out of heaven from God

A Christian's Mission, Should We Choose to Accept It



Key Verse | Revelation 20:4

Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Bio | Ruthie Grant

Howdy, friends! I'm Ruthie Grant, and it is such a blessing to be a part of your time with Jesus today! I have the amazing privilege to serve with Watermark's worship team for middle and high school students, as well as LEAD team! About 10 years ago, I recognized and acted on the Lord's unfailing love, and now I continue to grow in Him every day. I pray God speaks through the words below because without Him it'd be a page full of shapes and symbols. John 6:63a (NKJV) says it best, "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing."

Central Truth

The walk of a Christian is not always easy; it hardly ever is. But with God leading your every step, you will be able to stand against any temptation, trial, or persecution this world will throw your way.

Devotional | Revelation 20:1–10

"Beheaded for the testimony of Jesus." That's pretty heavy. As Christians, we should be certain that we would give up anything (including our heads) for our faith in Christ. Looking...

"Beheaded for the testimony of Jesus." That's pretty heavy. As Christians, we should be certain that we would give up anything (including our heads) for our faith in Christ. Looking back through history, we can see the mockery, rejection, public humiliation, and other horrible punishments and even deaths that people have faced as a result of their faith in Christ.

Hebrews 11 is sometimes described as the "Hall of Faith." It starts with Cain and Abel and the faith that Abel had. What happened to him because of his unwavering devotion to God? Spoiler alert! Cain kills him—his own brother (Genesis 4:1-15). Next in our "Hall" is Noah, the old guy with the boat. Noah was the only one of his time who found favor in the eyes of the Lord (Genesis 6:8). In the midst of sinful people around him, he still chose to follow God. Would you?

With a horrible death staring you in the face, would you still choose God? Even if it meant leaving all that you had known? It's nice to think of dying quietly in your sleep, right? In Philippians 1:21, though, Paul says, "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." It is gain to die for Christ.

Let's talk about the second part of our key verse, "those who had not worshiped the beast." The Enemy has many different forms and distractions. But once you bow down to one of them (like work, school, sports, family, relationships), it's hard to find your way back to God. Stay in His will—He knows what's best for you. If it's hard for you to wrap your mind around everything in this book, I'm right there with you. Take a step back and remember that, if you have trusted Christ, the God of Revelation is the same God who is alive inside of you. You have the One living in your heart who has the power to defeat the dragon and the beast and to help you withstand any trial or persecution. Take His hand and allow Him to lead you today.

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Discussion Questions

1. What's your biggest fear? Cliché, I know. But I am asking about a fear so big that you would decide not to follow God if this thing happened. Think hard. Pray about it. We can't just give part of our trust to God; we have to trust Him with every relationship, every situation, every persecution we could go through and hand it over to Him.

2. Do you have any fear that's holding you back from going ALL IN with Jesus? Don't be afraid to voice that fear in a safe place. Deep down, we all have a fear whether we realize it or not, whether it's holding us back from even acknowledging God or fully committing to Him. Whatever it is, fear of the unknown holds us back from what we could be with God.

3. Is there any aspect of your life where a form of the Defeated One (the Devil) is leading you, without your consent? This may come as a shocker, but you can pray about it! If there is a part of your life in which you are questioning God's leadership, pray through it. Make sure that He is the One you look to before you do anything.

4. How can YOU focus on this truth today? That God is bigger than your fears, that He is bigger than your disguised devil. What can you do to remind yourself of this truth throughout the day?

5. Who can you share this truth with? Who close to you needs to hear the truth that God is the secret to getting you through hard trials? Someone at school, work, or in your family? This truth needs to be screamed from the top of the mountains, but start with your community, the people you see every day.

7 Comments available

Linda Green 10 days ago

Great devo, Ruthie! This line jumped out: “ The Enemy has many different forms and distractions. But once you bow down to one of them (like work, school, sports, family, relationships), it’s hard to find your way back to God.” So true!

And about fear of loss and fear of death- making the decision (daily) that everything I have belongs to God and He can take it whenever He wants has given me such peace and freedom. He is not harsh or capricious, and I can trust Him. Love this verse: Hebrews 2:15. Fear of death is slavery, and He wants to set us free!

Janet Pope 12 days ago
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Being martyred for the cause of Christ is becoming more real every day. We read about Christian martyrs around the world. God will be glorified in his people.

Carol Bate 12 days ago

Ruthie, Great job with this and especially the questions. It is so easy to fall into fear. Our God is bigger than our fear. It isn’t about self talk it is about yielding to the Holy Spirit and His working in and through us. May we each cast our cares on Him who loves us.

Sue Bohlin 15 days ago

Super devo, Ruthie, with outstanding questions!

When I started reading the book of Revelation 40 years ago, the part about beheading believers was unthinkable since it is such a primitive and archaic form of punishment. And pure evil.

Then it became a front-page news story, and the whole world saw the image of a group of orange-clad Coptic Christ-followers kneeling down moments before being beheaded. And not even with the swiftness of a guillotine. Unimaginably horrific.

We live in such a scary day, when so much of Revelation may be fulfilled in our lifetime.

Years ago I had a still-vivid dream where my husband, his best friend, and I were about to be martyred for our faith. Just before the barrel of a gun was put in my mouth, I said to them, “See you on the other side.” I am still just as committed. Jesus is Lord!

Greg Jones 16 days ago

Great questions this morning.

Fears? Revelation 14:9-12 It’s given to an angel but what if it was my job to torment people with burning sulfur in the presence of the Lamb? How long would I last at that job? Does it say something about me if I enjoy doing that?

I think I would rather die after awhile and rest from living to be the tormenter. But if that ended someone else’s torment would God’s justice be fulfilled?

Is the God of Revelation restraining me if I can’t imagine obeying a command like that? Or is the God of Revelation convicting me?

Hugh Stephenson 16 days ago

Q1 and Q2 - Is there a fear that would lead me not to follow God but also the same fear that would keep me from being “all in” for Jesus? I have thought about the type of question in Q1 and I believe the answer to be “no”. The answer to question 2 would also be “no” but if you followed me around, I’m pretty sure you’d point out an inconsistency.

Q3, Q4 and Q5 - In Prodigal we quickly name the elephant in the room; our unsaved prodigal family member dies. This fear nearly disables all of us. In many cases our prodigal has actually voiced suicidal thoughts.

They key for me is that Satan is way smarter than I am, never tires and never sleeps. If he sees an opening, he will blow right through it, (1 Peter 5:8).

I lean on Isaiah 41:10.

Michael Scaman 16 days ago

I lean Pre-millennial. It doesn’t feel like Satan is bound and sealed in a pit now today in the way described, although Satan was always restrained under God’s sovereign rule even in the book of Job. Restrained is not bound and imprisoned.

I respect people’s conscience as far as A-millennial (we are in the millennium now) or Pre-millennial (the millennium is to come), but just based on the words it looks like the plainest interpretation is the beast and prophet are in the lake of fire and Satan bound for 1000 years

“… And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years…”

“…the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever…”

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