(15 verses, 2:25 to read) Re-posted from Pr. Stout
What I am about to READ
- The Binding, Releasing, and Final Judgment of Satan.
MARK & LEARN & MEDITATE.
- 1-3: Satan is bound for 1,000 years – Jesus does this binding because He is the stronger man who bound the strong man (Matt. 12:29). When the strong man is bound, his prisoners are released to the stronger man. Jesus has released you. You belong to Him. Satan was bound through His death and resurrection. The thousand years, as interpreted through other Scripture passages, is symbolic for God’s perfect length of time (Ps. 90:4; 2 Pet. 3:8) or complete amount (Ps. 50:10). It is not literal. This has traditionally been interpreted as the age of the church. Satan is bound and his chain is short. Yet, he will be released near the end of world. Jesus is the One releasing. He is the One who holds the key. The Church’s confidence is in Him even if they don’t understand all the “why’s.” Jesus still holds the time of the resurrection in His hand and will bring to completion in the perfect time. “And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short (Matt. 24:22).”
- 4-6: Christ’s reign with the saints for the same period of time – Both saints in heaven and saints on earth share in Christ’s rule and judgment. Some of this is very mysterious. However, we have confidence that Christ’s judgment is exercised through His pastors and Church when sins are forgiven from those who repent and forgiveness is withheld from those who refuse (Matt. 16:16-19; Matt. 18:18; John 20:22-23). The verdict you hear through your pastor on Sunday is God’s verdict in heaven. The absolution to give you a clean conscience is comforting judgment, not condemning judgment. Christ’s gifts through His Word produce the first resurrection when we who were spiritually dead are made alive by His grace. This is the comfort we cling as we wait for the bodily resurrection where we will be protected by Christ from eternal condemnation, or second death.
- 7-10: Satan is released and the Church conflicts with Gog and Magog – Like many Old Testament battles, you can imagine how unlikely it is that Christ’s Church will have victory when surrounded by such enemies. But that is only if they were fighting the battle themselves. It is then that Satan and his demons are cast by Christ, not into the pit, but into the eternal lake of fire.
- 11-15: The Day of Judgment. Christ’s saints are judged by His righteousness. You are written in the Lamb’s book of life by His blood and the faith that was given to you. Covered in Christ and by grace, we also receive credit for good works we have accomplished through and in Him. We somehow get credit for producing fruit that was produced often without knowledge. For many of the good works, we will ask, “When did we do these things (Matthew 25:37)?” The answer will be found in loving, forgiving, having mercy, and providing for those through whom our vocations touch. They do seem small and menial now, but they are precious in God’s sight, and sometimes also in the sight of those who are served.
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Pastor Christopher Stout