Sermon Series: The Divine Perspective
Sermon Title: The Millennium
God shows us how it all ends so that we can live each day in light of that day.
In Revelation 20, John describes how this present age comes to an end. God uses John’s vision to convey to the Church the urgency to share the gospel midst this Satan-tainted world, Christ’s care for both living and deceased saints, and God’s ultimate judgment of mankind as we all stand before His throne. We are to live today with the end in mind.
Point 1: 3 Basic Views of the End Times
According to Dennis Johnson, “We have reached what are probably the most controversial six verses in Revelation.” The following are three basic views of the end times. The word millenniumrefers to the 1,000-year period of Christ’s reign; the prefix refers to the return of Christ:
- Post-Millennialism: The return of Christ occurs after the millennium. Cross/Resurrection – Church Age – Millennium – Return of Christ – Judgment – Eternal State.
- Pre-Millennialism: The return of Christ occurs before the millennium. Cross/Resurrection – Church Age – Return of Christ – Millennium – Judgment – Eternal State.
- A-Millennialism: The church age is the millennium. The reign of Christ is from heaven and is concurrent with the church age. Cross/Resurrection – Church Age/Millennium – Return of Christ/Judgment – Eternal State.
Today’s study of Revelation 20 is through the lens of a-millennialism. Revelation 20 is a retelling of the story of the end when the seven seals are opened.
Point 2: The Binding of Satan (v. 1-3)
John sees a vision of an angel with a key and a chain, putting Satan in prison (Rev. 20:1-2). God limits (rather than completely incapacitates) him. Jesus came to bind the “strong man” (Mark 3:27), and He saw him “fall like lightning” (Luke 10:17). God limits Satan’s influence, preventing him from deceiving the nations (Rev. 20:3). Thus the Gospel is free to go forward (Acts 11:17-18). Our response: Now is the time to make disciples!
Point 3: Saints Ruling with Christ (v. 4-6)
All Christ followers who die during the church age/millennium go to be with the Lord. They are seated, resting, and reigning with Himbefore the final judgment and before the formation of the new
heaven and new earth. Our response: Live life with unusual purpose and without any fear of death. “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21).
Point 4: Satan Released for a Time (v. 7-10)
At the end of the church age/millennium, God releases Satan from prison to deceive the nations. Satan gathers a massive army to attack the church with the intent to annihilate Christianity. However, God’s purpose is to bring all nations together for the final judgment. The devil, the beast, and the false prophet are thrown down into the lake of fire. Our response: Christians must hold to our confession of Christ, standing strong no matter the opposition. We are to wear the righteousness of Christ and not be “found naked” (2 Cor. 5:4).
Point 5: The Great White Throne of Judgment (v. 11-15)
God, victor and judge, gathers all mankind to face judgment at His righteous throne as the old created order fall away (v. 11). Like the two trees in the garden of Eden, two books are opened. The first contains all the evidence needed for God to judge every person justly. Each work will be tested by fire (1 Cor. 3:12-15). The second book, the book of life, contains the names of those who are in Christ. For them, this moment is the new beginning of an eternity in the new heaven and the new earth. For those not included, the vision shows that their eternal place is the lake of fire (v. 15).
Is your name in the book of life?