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Statue of Liberty shines light of hope December 31 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today's Bible reading: Revelation 19, 20, 21, 22

Future Things

The New Year is just about upon us. Perhaps we have been invited to a New Year’s Eve celebration. We wait in anticipation for the stroke of midnight, and we wonder what things will be coming in the New Year. There is another kind of New Year celebration talked about in the Bible, but we do not need to wonder what is coming if we just read the book of Revelation.

The book of The Revelation of Jesus Christ was written to encourage churches that were suffering (or should have been suffering) for their Christian testimonies. The encouraging message is that Jesus is coming again. Today, we still await his sudden appearance. Before Jesus comes, however, the way must be prepared. Evil must be swept away and the earth and heavens renewed.

We are at the end of our study of The Revelation. After the seven Seal, Trumpet, and Bowl Judgments, the wrath of God is complete, evil is swept away, and Satan’s throne, the city of Babylon, is destroyed. Souls of countless multitudes of martyred believers then rejoice in heaven over God’s justice and retribution against this evil nation. What’s next?

What is next in our reading is the wedding between the bridegroom, Jesus Christ, and his bride, the church. What a glorious day that will be! He will dress all true church age believers in white linen, bright and clean. Then the angel will speak to John saying, “Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” (Revelation 19:9, NIV). Are you a true believer in Christ? If so, then you have been given a gracious invitation to be a part of the wedding! If not, then believe in Christ for your salvation so you can come (more...).

Though the marriage supper of the Lamb will be a time of celebration, the war between Satan and God will not be quite finished. In the next scene we see our bridegroom, Jesus Christ, coming to earth as a conquering hero. He has the appearance of a king wearing many crowns upon his head and a robe dipped in blood. He rides a white horse, and on his thigh is written, “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS,” (Revelation 19:16, NIV). He has a sword in his mouth [a picture of judgment] with which to strike the nations. He will come with his army of believers and conquer the kings of the earth. He will destroy and feed all the unbelievers, whether they are kings or peasants, to the birds of the air, inviting them to the supper of his wrath. He will take the beast and the false prophet and throw them into an eternal lake of fire. He will then bind Satan for one thousand years. Which supper will you attend, the wedding supper or the supper of God's wrath?

After Jesus conquers Satan and destroys all the wicked of the earth, Jesus will fulfill the Old Testament prophecies about his rule and reign. He will begin his rule from Jerusalem, and his rule will extend over all the earth for one thousand years. He will rule over believers who amazingly survive the Great Tribulation Period. He will rule with righteousness and justice, and the world will live in peace (Isaiah 11:1-9).

After the thousand years are over, Satan will be loosed for one final battle against God and his righteous ones (cf. Ezekiel 38-39 with Revelation 20:8-9). We may question, if Jesus destroys all the wicked of the earth, how could Satan raise an army against God? The answer is logical. During the one thousand year reign of Christ, children will be born to those righteous ones who survive the Great Tribulation, and the earth will quickly be repopulated. Like today, some children of good Christian families rebel against Christ and Christianity when given the opportunity; so it will be in that day. Children and adults will be forced to obey the laws and come to worship in Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:16-21), but they will not like it - they will not like playing the part of a Christian. From all over the world Satan will deceive them and gather his army of rebels for one final battle against Jerusalem. Fire from heaven will suddenly devour them, and Satan will be defeated and cast into the Lake of Fire, where the beast and false prophet were thrown, and suffer eternally. Then, all unbelievers from every age will be judged somewhere in outer space at the Great White Throne of God and also be thrown into the Lake of Fire to suffer eternally. The battle against Satan and all evildoers will be over, and Christ and all true believers will win.

What’s next? In preparation for the New Year of eternal celebration, a new heavens and a new earth will be created. There is some debate as to whether that means that the old heavens and earth will be completely obliterated and then newly created, or regenerated after being completely cleansed by burning (2Peter 3:10; Revelation 21:1).

After the new heavens and earth are created, the Holy City, New Jerusalem comes down from heaven, and with it comes God himself. God will make his dwelling with mankind on the earth. There will be no more tears or sorrow, only joy.

The city is very large and very beautiful, shining with precious stones and the glory of the Almighty God. It has streets of translucent gold. The dimensions of the city are 1400 miles to each corner of the walls, and each wall is 1400 miles high. Some think the city is cubic in shape while others believe it is a pyramid. It will have no temple in it “because the LORD Almighty and the Lamb are its temple,” (Revelation 21:22, NIV). “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life,” (Revelation 21:27, NIV). It is only believers who are written in this book. Are you written there?

Flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb is a river of life with the tree of life on each side of it. There will be no more curse of death for sin. There will be no darkness to threaten us - only light from God himself. He will make his throne in the New Jerusalem, and we will serve and reign with him forever. That is good news!

Here is more good news: We are all invited to this New Year’s celebration! “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life,” (Revelation 22:17, NIV). If you have not received salvation, you are invited to come to Jesus. He will give you eternal life and will forgive any wrongs. He will give you peace and a new life that you can celebrate long after the New Year’s festivities are over. Come to Jesus (more...).

Lessons to live by regarding Future Things:

  • Jesus is coming and will conquer Satan and all evildoers.
  • We are invited to the wedding and the wedding supper if we are true believers.
  • There is eternal judgment for unbelievers but eternal life for believers (more...).
  • Let’s invite others to receive the free gift of salvation so they may also believe and receive eternal life. Then they too, with us, can have joy and give glory to God forever.

Today’s Bible memory verse: Revelation 22:17: “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.” (NIV)

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