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Sermon Outlines - Revelation 20 Higher Praise Sermons


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                        "THE BOOK OF REVELATION"
                             Chapter Twenty
OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER
1) To consider the binding, future release and ultimate defeat of Satan
2) To examine the "thousand year reign" described in this chapter, and
   those who will reign with Christ during this time
3) To note the criteria of the final judgment, and the importance of
   the Book of Life
SUMMARY
Previous chapters have illustrated the defeat of agents used by Satan
to persecute God's people.  One by one we have seen the fall of
Babylon, the beast, the false prophet, and the armies they had
gathered.  What about Satan, the dragon who gave authority to the beast
in his efforts to wage war against the saints (12:17-13:7)?  And what
of those killed by the agents of Satan?
This chapter reveals the binding of Satan for "a 1000 years".  It most
likely depicts a long period of time in which Satan is no longer able
to deceive the nations as he did during the time of the Roman empire
(cf. 13:14; 20:3).  It began following the end of Roman persecution and
would continue for some time in the future.  During this period, John
see souls reigning with Christ, who were beheaded for their
faithfulness to Jesus and the word of God.  No mention is made of
reigning on the earth, so my conclusion is that they reign with Christ
in heaven during this period (cf. 2:26-27; 3:21).  This "first
resurrection" may be a special blessing for the martyrs of Christ
during the intermediate state (between death and the bodily
resurrection at the end of time), while 7:9-17 may describe the
intermediate state for the average Christian.  Truly those who had been
beheaded for the witness of Christ are "blessed and holy" (1-6)!
After the "1000 years" are over, Satan is released for a short time
where he once again seeks to "deceive the nations" to persecute the
people of God (cf. 13:14; 20:3,8,10).  The mention of "Gog and Magog"
is likely an apocalyptic reference to forces of evil at Satan's
disposal during this time, not any particular nation or nations.  But
the final attempt of Satan is quickly thwarted by the Lord, and the
devil is cast into the lake of fire, where the beast and false prophet
were (cf. 19:20).  If any section of Revelation pertains to the time
just prior to the Lord's final coming, I believe it is this one.  The
description is brief, for the book was written for the benefit of
Christians in Asia Minor about things to shortly come to pass (cf.
1:1-4; 22:6,10).  These Christians would not experience this last
attempt of Satan.  But to assure them (and us!) that Satan would
ultimately be defeated, we have the description found in these few
verses (7-10).
The chapter closes with a description of the final judgment.  Before
the great white throne and Him who sat on it, all the dead are judged.
Books are opened, including the Book of Life, and judgment is based 
upon their works.  None escape the judgment, for the sea, Death, and 
Hades give up all the dead that are in them.  Death and Hades are cast
into the lake and fire, described as the "second death".  The same end
is given to those whose names were not written in the Book of Life
(11-15).
OUTLINE
I. THE THOUSAND YEAR REIGN (1-6)
   A. SATAN BOUND FOR 1000 YEARS (1-3)
      1. John sees an angel come down from heaven
         a. Having the key to the bottomless pit
         b. With a great chain in his hand
      2. The angel binds Satan for a thousand years
         a. Casting him into the bottomless pit, shutting him up and
            setting a seal on him
         b. So that he should deceive the nations no more for a
            thousand years
      -- But afterward he will be released for a little while
   B. SAINTS REIGN WITH CHRIST FOR 1000 YEARS (4-6)
      1. John sees souls upon thrones, to whom judgment was committed
         a. Who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and the
            word of God
         b. Who had not worshiped the beast or his image
         c. Who had not received his mark on their foreheads or on 
            their hands
      2. These souls lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years
         a. The rest of the dead not live again until the thousand 
            years were finished
         b. This is the first resurrection
            1) Blessed and holy are those who have a part in the first
               resurrection
            2) Over such the second death has no power
            3) They shall be priests of God and of Christ
            4) They shall reign with Christ a thousand years
II. SATAN'S FINAL ATTEMPT AND DEFEAT (7-10)
   A. HIS RELEASE FROM PRISON (7-8)
      1. After the thousand years were completed
      2. He will go out to deceive the nations
         a. Those in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog
         b. To gather them to battle
   B. HIS FINAL ATTEMPT AND DEFEAT (9)
      1. To have the nations surround the camp of the saints and the
         beloved city
      2. But fire from God out of heaven devoured those Satan had 
         deceived
   C. HIS ETERNAL TORMENT (10)
      1. The devil who deceived the nations was cast into the lake of
         fire and brimstone
      2. The same place where the beast and the false prophet are
      3. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever
III. THE FINAL JUDGMENT (11-15)
   A. THE ONE ON THE GREAT WHITE THRONE (11)
      1. John sees a great white throne and Him who sat on it
      2. Before Whose face the earth and heaven fled away so no place
         was found for them
   B. THE JUDGMENT OF THE DEAD (12-13)
      1. John sees the dead, small and great, standing before God
      2. Books were opened, including the Book of Life
         a. The dead were judged according to their works
         b. The dead were judged by the things written in the books
      3. All the dead were judged, each according to his works
         a. For the sea gave the dead who were in it
         b. For Dead and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them
   C. THE LAKE OF FIRE (14-15)
      1. Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire (which is the
         second death)
      2. Anyone not found written in the Book of Life were cast into
         the lake of fire
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER
1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - The thousand year reign (1-6)
   - Satan's final attempt and defeat (7-10)
   - The final judgment (11-15)
2) What did John see coming down from heaven? (1)
   - An angel, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain
     in his hand
3) What did the angel do to Satan? (2-3)
   - Laid hold of him and bound him for a thousand years
   - Cast him into the bottomless pit and set a seal upon him
4) Why did the angel do this to Satan? (3)
   - So that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand
     years were completed
5) What souls did John see sitting on thrones? (4)
   - Those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the
     word of God
   - Who had not worshiped the beast or his image
   - Who had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands
6) How long did they live?  With whom did they reign? (4)
   - A thousand years
   - Christ
7) What is this reigning with Christ called?  Why are those who have a
   part considered blessed and holy? (5-6)
   - The first resurrection
   - Over such the second death has no power, and they shall be priests
     of God and Christ and reign with Him a thousand years
8) What happens when the thousand years have expired? (7)
   - Satan will be released
9) What will he do? (8-9)
   - Deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth to gather
     them for battle
   - To surround the camp of the saints and the beloved city
10) What will happen before they succeed? (9)
   - Fire from God out of heaven will devour them
11) What will happen to the devil? (10)
   - He will be cast into the lake of fire, where the beast and false
     prophet are
   - They will be tormented day and night forever and every
12) What does John see next?  What about the earth and the heaven? (11)
   - A great white throne and Him who sat on it
   - They fled away; no place was found for them
13) Who does John see standing before the throne? What was opened (12)
   - The dead, both small and great
   - Books, including the Book of Life
14) How were the dead judged? (12)
   - According to their works
   - By the things which were written in the books
15) Who had given up the dead? (13)
   - The sea, Death and Hades
16) What is the lake of fire called?  Who was cast into it? (14-15)
   - The second death
   - Death and Hades, and anyone not found written in the Book of Life
 

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