Books Were Opened

OPENING PRAYER

Father, though the culture has rejected it, I want to understand what it means to fear God and honor You.

 

Read: REVELATION 20:1-15

[1] And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. [2] He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.[3] He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time. [4] I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They 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 a thousand years. [5] (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. [6] Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. [7] When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison [8] and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth-Gog and Magog-and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. [9] They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. [10] And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. [11] Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. [12] And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. [13] The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. [14]Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. [15] Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire. 

 

Reflect: WHO REIGNS WITH CHRIST?

Though there are still scenes to be played out, the future and final defeat of Satan is assured (10,14,15). Judgment will bring relief and recompense to those who have suffered for their faith (6). The faithful will enter resurrection life and reign with Christ.The dead are brought before the high court of heaven. Books are open that record the deeds of every person. Every violation, every foul thought, word or action, every curse against God—it is all recorded. A single sin would be enough to warrant eternal separation from God, but the books reveal endless sin. Another book is opened. This is the Lamb’s book of life (21:27). We will each stand before that court either trusting in our own works—and finding that they fall fatally short—or trusting in the work of Christ on the cross, where his blood washed away the works that would otherwise condemn us. “But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Heb. 9:26). Now is the time to choose.

 

APPLY

Choose Christ and in so doing choose life. Know that he longs to draw you near as a child. Yield to that love.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Savior, I bow before You and confess that You are Lord and I believe that You died and rose to give me life. Thank You.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
 

Terry Schneider