When the devil tries to remind you of your past, remind him of his future! We see the final culmination of that future today. He loses! God WINS!
A thousand years have passed with Jesus on the throne ruling on earth. The earth has enjoyed peace because Jesus is ruling “with a rod of iron” (Revelation 19:15b). He is not going to let them get out of hand anymore. I don’t see everything as being “rainbows and sunshine” all the time though. We are still dealing with fallen man.
The people alive and being ruled by Jesus are those who came through the great tribulation alive. I can imagine their hesitancy to go against Jesus as He has the power to discipline them with those same kinds of acts of God. I would expect there to be a fair amount of awe and wariness abounding towards Him during His unchallenged reign.
It has also been peaceful because there is no one to “feed the fires of rebellion” in man’s heart. In the Garden of Eden things were moving along perfectly. Adam and Eve didn’t “have an itch” for something more until Satan presented the possibility to them. I believe that is how it will happen that Satan again gathers followers for this final confrontation.
I do NOT believe Jesus will be playing favorites in regards to standards of living and access to services between those who come to sit at His feet and those in distant countries. Jesus throne will be located in Jerusalem but His reach will be worldwide. Those scattered about the globe will still be under His care and He WILL care for them, regardless of their ultimate choice. But there will still be a difference in hearts.
During this thousand years man will again increase in number and cover the earth. Men will also still have a choice as to whether to embrace Jesus’ rule or simply follow along. Those who embrace Jesus as their Lord and King forever will be the new generation of saints. Those who “go along to get along” will be ripe for Satan’s picking.
Satan has been waiting for his chance to “escape” from his chains. I wonder if he will think he enacted his own escape or if he will recognize that this is his last hurrah. Will he be watching the clock and rubbing his hands in anticipation or checking for weak links in his chains? Does he know that God will be giving him freedom once again?
Once free, by GOD’S design, Satan will get right to work. He will be just as crafty as he was with Eve in the beginning. “What could it hurt to want a little more?” “Why does He always get to make the rules?” “Aren’t you tired of never having a real say in how things go?” And his tactics will be successful. MANY will forgo the peace Jesus has provided to get something more, just beyond their reach. Once they start “reaching” he will up his game and get them reaching for even more, including seeing him as their leader. They will sell out to his false promises. I bet the biggest one will be that THEY will sit in Jesus’ place one day.
Pride, jealousy, envy, lust. These are some of Satan’s favorite tools and he knows how to wield them for maximum effect. Two other great deceits he uses are “this time will be different” and “no one will know.” He got Able with that last one. Wrong then, wrong still, and wrong forever!
Jesus isn’t blind to Satan’s tricks. He knows what is coming and is prepared for it. But this time He doesn’t even have to lift a finger. When Satan finally gathers his army against Jesus and all those who have chosen to follow Him, God fights the final battle. Fire from Heaven wipes out Satan’s entire force!
I’m wondering if over the thousand years, those who choose to embrace Jesus as their Lord move to be physically closer to Him. Does this happen right before the end or is it happening all along? Do the people notice the signs of discontent and where it is leading?
I would not be surprised in the least to learn that Jesus is still “teaching in the temple” about the love of the Father. I could easily envision a daily or weekly broadcast to the world with the words of Jesus. I could also envision people coming to Him for miracles. As this is not Heaven, there may still be sickness, disease and death. I could be wrong on that count though, because the lack of death might be how the population of the earth rises to “their number is like the sands of the sea” (verse 8b).
Whatever and however Satan finds to get a little hold of man’s heart, he turns them against Jesus. This is their undoing and his final hurrah. In the end he winds up worse than where he started. His final end is in the “lake of fire” where he will spend eternity. He, the beast, the false prophet and soon all those who followed him will be in the lake of fire where “they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (verse 10b). THAT is his future. Plain and simple. No more chances. No reprieve. No escape.
Father God, thank You for peace. Thank You for a time to come without Satan. I don’t know what the “sin quotient” in man’s hearts will be like in his absence. I wish he would shut up NOW in my time too. I fall for his tricks too often. I wish I could say I’m never tempted or that I never sin; but that would be lying, which is a sin itself. What I can say is that I desire to be deaf to him and his schemes and to only hear Your voice. I’m working on that “goal” in my daily life. I want to choose You ALL the time. And it IS my choice to make. I have to make those choices. No one else can do it for me or is responsible for them except me.
Thank You for Your forgiveness when I do listen to the wrong voice and act against Your will. I know You hold that same forgiveness out to those who will follow me in this world. I have no doubt You also hold out the same choices for them. I pray for those who will have experienced Jesus living with them firsthand and still be tempted to throw away what they have enjoyed. NOTHING Satan has to offer is worth eternal separation from You. Remind me of that in my own life too. Every day if need be!
I’m SO GLAD You shared with us the “end” of the story! You WIN. Satan loses. No doubt about it! I’ll stay with the winning team. Thank You VERY MUCH for making that possible! I wonder what our “team jerseys” will look like. If You’re taking suggestions, I like teal blue.