My reading guide has had me reading in Revelation. Yesterday’s reading was chapter 7 and today’s is from chapter 20. We skipped the scary stuff.
Not really, chapter 7 ends with the “vast crowd, too great to count, from every tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the lamb. They were clothed in white and palm branches in their hands. They were shouting with a great roar, “salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the lamb!”
This doesn’t sound scary. What am I talking about. This is a praise rally before the throne of the lamb! Yes! Amen! But who are these people?
“Then one of the twenty-four elders asked me, “Who are these who are clothed in white? Where did they come from?” And I said to him, “Sir, you are the one who knows.” Then he said to me, “These are the ones who died in the great tribulation. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white.”
Revelation 7:13-14 – NLT
This is scary to me. And there is a comfort too.
‘“That is why they stand in front of God’s throne and serve him day and night in his Temple. And he who sits on the throne will give them shelter. They will never again be hungry or thirsty; they will never be scorched by the heat of the sun. For the Lamb on the throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water. And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”’
Revelation 7:15-17 – NLT
Revelation chapter 20 starts with Satan being bound in the bottomless pit. Then begins the 1000 year reign of Jesus.
Then there is satans final defeat, joining the beast and the false prophet in the lake of fire. “There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
What’s next? Have you ever been in a room where you are watching a film and the film ends but the projector doesn’t get shut off? The film starts flapping on the drive real and the screen is suddenly filled with blazing white light, whatever state of reverie you were in is shocked awake by the sudden switch from darkness to light.
That’s how I see verses 11-15 of chapter 20. All of creation snapped awake by the end of the film and our existence flooded with the light of the almighty creator!
“And I saw a great white throne and the one sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from his presence, but they found no place to hide. I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds. Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death.
Revelation 20:11-14 – NLT
Ok folks, that is scary. The billions of people, according to one estimate 108 billion people standing in line in front of the throne of God to be judged according to what we have done. Some things cross my mind. First, that’s a looooong line. Disneyland had long lines. They are very clever to route the lines do you cannot see the whole length when enter at the back. But Disney has nothing on this. All of humanity waiting in line. One of the most frustrating things about lines is that we have better things to do. This will no longer be true. We have absolutely nothing else to do but wait for our judgement.
Judgement solely based on our behavior. Scary. God has seen it all. Every little and big thing I have done. This is also scary. I didn’t see what you did last summer, but God did. Those things that were supposed to stay in Vegas? Yeah, all that’s here to. I didn’t see what you did last summer, I know I said that already, but God did, and he saw what I did in the summers of 74 and 75, and 76 and well all my summers, and all my springs and falls and winters.
Some of the stuff he cares about we brush off as trivial. Lying. Telling the truth is important to God. He expects us to tell the truth. All the time. Gossip. God hates gossip and slander. To quote a cartoon bunny, “if can’t say something nice, then don’t say nothing at all…”
Wow! God is really going to call us on all of that? Yes. Yes he will. So our actions and words are being monitored and recorded but that’s okay. We have been exemplary. Our behavior and words are beyond reproach. Remember that one time there was that super hot girl/guy and for just a moment you were mentally on a Caribbean beach going places and doing very things, naughty things? Jesus said those little mental dalliances are the same as the real thing. You have, we have already done the deed in our hearts. That time you got ticked off at the car in front of you and imagine yourself in a weaponized wagon of mass destruction and you mentally blew them off the road? Or was that just me doing that? Anyway, if we have thought about killing someone , God knows it and he counts it as if we did the deed.
My point is, We are all guilty and hopeless as we stand before Gods judgement throne.
But wait. There’s more!
In verse 15, “And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.
Revelation 20:15 – NLT
An important thing to notice here; Anyone who was found written into the lambs book of life, was not thrown into the lake of fire.
Our only hope is the Lamb. The lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Getting our names in his book of life.
We can see him in chapter 5 of Revelation “Then I saw a Lamb that looked as if it had been slaughtered, but it was now standing between the throne and the four living beings and among the twenty-four elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which represent the sevenfold Spirit of God that is sent out into every part of the earth. He stepped forward and took the scroll from the right hand of the one sitting on the throne. And when he took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they held gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. And they sang a new song with these words: “You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. And you have caused them to become a Kingdom of priests for our God. And they will reign on the earth.”
Revelation 5:6-10 – NLT
Jesus is the lamb. Jesus is our hope, our only hope. He has washed away all of our sins.
My name is in the book. Is yours?
“If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Romans 10:9-13 – NLT
A prayer that confesses our need for forgiveness, that acknowledges Jesus death as the payment for that sin, and a belief in Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and our name appears written in blood, Jesus blood, into the lambs book of life.