1) Have you ever done something challenging or difficult on the way toward a desired end? Are there times when the path to success includes defeat?
2) The Bible speaks of a one-thousand year period after Jesus’ second coming when Christ will rule on earth. Who will be alive then? What will that time be like?
3) How will God judge in the end? What will be the basis for His decision of life or death?
In Chapter 20 we read of Satan’s punishment as he bound and thrown into the Abyss (20:1-3). It’s with a sense that all is finally over that we view what happens. However, the passage says that he is bound only for 1,000 years and “after that, he must be set free for a short time.” Then, in verse 10, we read of Satan’s final doom. Why the thousand years? I don’t know. But for us this can be a reminder that the road to success may include times of defeat.
It’s hard to believe, but after Jesus comes back and sets up His kingdom there will again be people that rebel against Him. How is this possible? The only people that will be alive after Christ returns are His followers. But generations later, after 1,000 years, Satan will once again be able to deceive people. The Bible speaks over and over about the hardness of our hearts. Unless hearts are transformed by Jesus, they will be open to the deception of the evil one. Each generation, each person, must choose to trust Christ for the forgiveness of sin. Salvation is not genetic.
The final judgment for all mankind is found at the end of Chapter 20. Verses 11-14 speak of the great white throne. Two books are opened. One, referred to as the book of life, is a record of all those who have trusted Christ. The other book contains the works of those who chose to live life on their own. Since they chose not to trust Christ they will be judged based on their works. As a result, they will be thrown into the lake of fire.