God wins in the end! – Revelation 20

God wins in the end!

There is a final battle if that is what you want to call it. Satan will try and muster a force to fight God, but they are not even a match for his power.

“He [Satan] will go out to deceive the nations—called Gog and Magog—in every corner of the earth. He will gather them together for battle—a mighty army, as numberless as sand along the seashore. And I saw them as they went up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded God’s people and the beloved city. But fire from heaven came down on the attacking armies and consumed them.”  Rev 20:8-9

No matter how big the army against God, He will always win.

It is comforting to know that the final battle will be very lopsided. Satan’s army was consumed with fire and then sent to the lake of fire.

“Then the devil, who had deceived them, was thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” Rev 20:10

In the end God will judge every person on earth.

“And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.” Rev 20:15

People will be judged by God at the end. If your name is in the Book of Life you will go to Heaven. If you have not received Jesus and your name is not in the Book of Life you will go to Hell.

Are you sure that your name is in the Book of Life?

Share on Facebook or Twitter or post a comment. Get daily updates by subscribing by email. From my reading in Revelation 20 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

Lesson from “The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies.” Watch out for greed!

The third installment of “The Hobbit” was a fun movie.

It was the best of the three “Hobbit” films. How can you not enjoy Legolas riding a bat, a troll, and magically “Mario-ing” falling stones (if you saw the movie you would understand).

The primary plot was centered around Thorin the king of the dwarves and his battle against greed.

Once Thorin got the treasure, it changed him.  He stopped caring about anyone but himself. He became mad with power, broke his promises and was even willing to start an unnecessary war to save his “precious” treasure.

Greed is a very real problem in all facets of our world.

  • Because of greed, corporations are willing to treat employees unfairly.
  • Because of greed, drug trade and sex trafficking exists.
  • Because of greed, counties go to war over natural resources.
  • Because of greed, families are torn apart fighting over money issues.

Jesus wisely warned us to guard against greed of all types.

“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” Luke 12:15

The best things in life really are free!

Money can’t buy you love, friendship, family, or faith. You can’t measure the quality of your life by the quantity of your money. Many rich people are depressed and many people with modest means are happy. One of the quickest ways to shipwreck your faith is when “the desire to acquire goes haywire.”(Ed Young Jr).

Bilbo Baggins was the one to remind Thorin what really matters in life.

Bilbo Baggins chose peace over profit and honor over hoarding. We should do the same. Contentment is a key attitude in the Bible as well. Paul instructs us.

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” 1 Tim 6:6-8

Contentment is the key to true riches.

If we have food, clothing and a warm bed we should be content. We should focus on loving others and using things and not loving things and using people.

Thorin on the other hand was caught in the treasure trap Paul warns us about.

“Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of moneyis a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faithand pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Tim 6:9-10

Greed leads only to grief.

Loving money more than you love God and others will end up ruining your life. It will ruin your relationships and cause you to do many evil things.

Fortunately Thorin realizes the folly of his ways and ends his life honorably. Instead of trusting his treasure he fought for what is right. Paul tells us,

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds,and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” 1 Tim 6:17-19

True life comes when you give it away.

It is easy for the rich to become arrogant but we must not hope in our money. God is the one we must trust with our lives, not our money. The best way to break the back of greed in our lives is to give generously.  Thorin found true life only when he was wiling to give it away.

As he was dying, Thorin told Biblo, “the world would be a better place if  there were more people you, who long for home more than they long for treasure.”

Are you content with what you have? Or are you driven by greed?

11 Ways Jesus is Described When He Returns In Revelation 19

At Christmas, Jesus came as a meek and mild baby. At the second coming, Jesus will come as a victorious warrior.

Here is how he is described in Revelation 19.

  1. Jesus will ride a white horse (11).
  2. Jesus will be called Faithful and True (11).
  3. Jesus’ eyes will be like flames of fire (12).
  4. Jesus will where many crowns (12).
  5. Jesus will have a name written on him only he can understand (12).
  6. Jesus will have a robe dripped in blood (13).
  7. Jesus will be called the Word of God (13).
  8. Jesus will lead heaven’s armies (14).
  9. Jesus will have a sharp sword in his mouth (15).
  10. Jesus will release God’s wrath (15).
  11. Jesus’ robe will say King of all kings and Lord of all lords (16).

At Christmas God sent Jesus as His agent of mercy. At judgment day Jesus will be His agent of wrath.

God is both merciful and full of justice. At the second coming we see the mighty justice of Jesus more fully.

How does this description of Jesus change your perception of Him?

Share on Facebook or Twitter or post a comment. Get daily updates by subscribing by email. From my reading in Revelation 19 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

8 Things God Will Judge “Babylon” For and What the Christian Response Should Be – Revelation 18

Babylon is a symbol of the “world power” in Revelation.

It could be a “one world government” or it could be the corrupt world system in general. Here are some of the things it will be judged for in Revelation 18.

  1. Babylon will be a home of demons. (Vs 2)
  2. Babylon will participate in passionate immorality. (Vs 3a)
  3. Babylon will exhibit greed. (Vs 3b, 7, 9-17)
  4. Babylon will cause terror for others. (Vs 6)
  5. Babylon will glorify itself. (Vs 7)
  6. Babylon will persecute the apostles, prophets, and God’s people. (Vs 20, 24)
  7. Babylon will deceive the nations. (Vs 23)
  8. Babylon will slaughter people from all over the world. (Vs 24)

God’s people are instructed to do two things…

Come away from her.

“Come away from her, my people. Do not take part in her sins, or you will be punished with her.” Revelation 18:4

We are not to take part in her sins. It is easy to get swept up in cultural currents. Followers of Jesus should not let the ways of the world to influence them to sin.

Rejoice over her final judgment.

“Rejoice over her fate, O heaven and people of God and apostles and prophets! For at last God has judged her for your sakes.” Revelation 18:20

A righteous desire for judgment is good. It is comforting to know that those who have oppressed others will be properly dealt with.

Share on Facebook or Twitter or post a comment. Get daily updates by subscribing by email. From my reading in Revelation 18 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

Study Revelation With Humility – Revelation 17

Revelation is hard to understand.

You may have seen pastors or self proclaimed “Revelation experts.” They tend to have fancy charts and very sophisticated ways of explaining every detail of Revelation.  But even John, the writer of revelation said that it takes wisdom to understand parts of the prophesy.

“This calls for a mind with understanding.” Revelation 17:9

Part of the wisdom needed for understanding Revelation is “a hermeneutic of humility.”

When we interpret passages that are hard to understand  it is important not to be dogmatic about things that are unclear.

It is good to do our best to understand the passage, but we must not force the text to say something more clearly than it actually does.

Why do you think it is so tempting to be dogmatic about our own personal interpretations?

Share on Facebook or Twitter or post a comment. Get daily updates by subscribing by email. From my reading in Revelation 17 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

What do the 7 “bowls” in Revelation 16 represent?

The seven bowls of Revelation are seven judgments. The picture of a bowl being poured out is a picture of God pouring out his wrath.

1. Those who worship the beast will get painful sores.

“So the first angel left the Temple and poured out his bowl on the earth, and horrible, malignant sores broke out on everyone who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his statue.” Revelation 16:2

2. The sea will be covered with blood and will kill all it’s inhabitants.

“Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became like the blood of a corpse. And everything in the sea died.” Revelation 16:3

3. Fresh water sources will turn to blood.

“Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs, and they became blood.” Revelation 16:4

4. The sun’s heat will blast everyone.

“Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, causing it to scorch everyone with its fire. Everyone was burned by this blast of heat, and they cursed the name of God, who had control over all these plagues. They did not repent of their sins and turn to God and give him glory.” Revelation 16:8–9

5. The kingdom of the beast will be plunged into darkness.

“Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. His subjects ground their teeth in anguish, and they cursed the God of heaven for their pains and sores. But they did not repent of their evil deeds and turn to God.” Revelation 16:10–11

6. The Euphrates River will dry up and an army of the east will head for battle.

“Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great Euphrates River, and it dried up so that the kings from the east could march their armies toward the west without hindrance.” Revelation 16:12

7. Thunder, lightning, an extremely severe earthquake, destruction of Babylon, destruction of many other cities, and a terrible hailstorm.

“Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air. And a mighty shout came from the throne in the Temple, saying, “It is finished!” Then the thunder crashed and rolled, and lightning flashed. And a great earthquake struck—the worst since people were placed on the earth. The great city of Babylon split into three sections, and the cities of many nations fell into heaps of rubble. So God remembered all of Babylon’s sins, and he made her drink the cup that was filled with the wine of his fierce wrath. And every island disappeared, and all the mountains were leveled. There was a terrible hailstorm, and hailstones weighing as much as seventy-five pounds fell from the sky onto the people below. They cursed God because of the terrible plague of the hailstorm.” Revelation 16:17–21

Share on Facebook or Twitter or post a comment. Get daily updates by subscribing by email. From my reading in Revelation 16 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

4 Ways to Praise God Like They Do in Heaven – Revelation 15

Have you ever got stuck saying the same thing over and over when you were trying to praise God? I have.

Here are things to praise God for when you don’t know what to say. These are no commands, but lessons we can learn from this example.

1. Praise God for His great and marvelous works.

“Great and marvelous are your works, O Lord God, the Almighty.” Rev 15:3a

Remembering the great things God has done is wonderful fodder for worship. From creation, to the cross, to current events, God has done many great works.

2. Praise God for the justice and truth of His ways.

“Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations.” Rev 15:3b

The fact that all God’s ways are just and true is reassuring. We can be confident we serve a God who we can trust. We should praise him for this!

3. Praise God for His unmatched holiness.

“Who will not fear you, Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy.” Rev 15:4a

God is the only one who is completely holy. He alone is perfect. This sets him apart from everyone else. He deserves our worship and reverent fear.

4. Praise God for His righteous deeds.

“All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous deeds have been revealed.” Rev 15:4b

God only does righteous deeds. His ways are always right and good. All nations will come and worship him and we should too!

Which of these 4 things do you want to praise God for today?

Share on Facebook or Twitter or post a comment. Get daily updates by subscribing by email. From my reading in Revelation 15 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

4 Ways Hell is Described in Revelation 14

Clear teaching on the reality of Hell is not a popular topic in the church today.

Even though it is unpopular, we should be clear where the Bible is clear. Here is an eye raising description of the reality of Hell.

“Anyone who worships the beast and his statue or who accepts his mark on the forehead or on the hand must drink the wine of God’s anger. It has been poured full strength into God’s cup of wrath. And they will be tormented with fire and burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb. The smoke of their torment will rise forever and ever, and they will have no relief day or night, for they have worshiped the beast and his statue and have accepted the mark of his name.” Rev 13:9-11

1. Hell is for those who don’t worship the true God.

“Anyone who worships the beast and his statue or who accepts his mark on the forehead or on the hand must drink the wine of God’s anger.”

In this case, those who worship the beast experienced the anger of God. But anyone worships anything but God will also be subject to God’s wrath.

The only way to escape Hell is through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. He died so that we don’t have to go to Hell. All we have to do is accept his grace and make a choice to turn from our sins and follow him and we will receive eternal life.

2.  Hell is where people who rebel against God experience God’s wrath.

“It has been poured full strength into God’s cup of wrath.”

God’s wrath is another unpopular topic. Knowing that God’s anger toward sin helps us realize that he is a just God and helps us see why Jesus had to die.

3. Hell is a place suffering and torment.

“And they will be tormented with fire and burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb.”

The suffering in Hell is related to burning and fire. This is the closest earthly description of the sufferings that will take place in Hell. If you have ever burned yourself you know it is very painful.

4. Hell is a place where there will be no relief forever and ever.

“The smoke of their torment will rise forever and ever, and they will have no relief day or night, for they have worshiped the beast and his statue and have accepted the mark of his name.”

Imagine this type of suffering and knowing that you have no rest or relief to look forward to. Just as Heaven is forever, Hell is also forever.

These truths do not make me happy. I am heartbroken thinking about people who will experience this. I  am motivated to do whatever I can to help as many as I can to avoid this fate. Through prayer, sharing the gospel, and loving our neighbors we can be a part of rescuing people.

How does the reality of Hell effect your desire to share the good news of Jesus saving us?

Share on Facebook or Twitter or post a comment. Get daily updates by subscribing by email. From my reading in Revelation 14 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

Why I Believe Christians Will Go Through The Tribulation – Revelation 13

A running theme throughout the book of Revelation is that Christians need to preserver.

“This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently and remain faithful.” Rev 13:10

Patiently enduring implies that Christians will not be removed before the suffering starts. Instead I believe we will have to remain faithful in the middle of the trials.

This endurance will allow more people to come to Christ and those who suffer on this earth greater reward in heaven.

I wonder why God would give us so many instructions about enduring through the end times if Christians are not going to go through them?

There are certain things that God will protect His people from, but it seems to me that the context of Revelation indicates that we will endure hardship until Jesus returns.

We can take comfort that no matter how hard our trials are today followers of Jesus will eventually be taken to a place where there is no pain, crying, or death!

Share on Facebook or Twitter or post a comment. Get daily updates by subscribing by email. From my reading in Revelation 13 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

3 Ways To Win Spiritual Battles – Revelation 12

God has given us the tools to win the spiritual battles we face.

Satan, the “accuser” is constantly looking for ways to bring God’s people down. In Revelations 12 it describes people who won the fight against Satan. Here is how they did it and we would be wise to follow their example.

“And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.” Rev 12:11

1. The Blood of the Lamb

“And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb…”

The power for the spiritual battles we face comes from Jesus.  His blood covered our sins and He gives us the power to say no to sin and yes to His will for our lives.

2. The Power of Their Testimony

“…and by their testimony…”

Knowing what God has done in your life can give you confidence in the battle. Our testimonies can help strengthen our own faith and the faith of others. Sharing what God has done in your life is a great way to defeat Satan.

3. Courage in the Face of Death

“And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.”

When you have confidence in how much better Heaven is going to be, you won’t as afraid to lose this life. It is inspiring when Christians face persecution and even death with courage. We have a living hope that goes beyond this life. This should inspire bravery to live for Jesus no matter the cost.

Which of these ways of fighting spiritual battles do you want to work on in  your life?

Share on Facebook or Twitter or post a comment. Get daily updates by subscribing by email. From my reading in Revelation 12 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

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