The first verse of Revelation chapter 20 reminds me of what a friend of mine said once, “Satan is God’s devil”. In other words, Satan had free will (just like us) to rebel against God….and he did. Now, although he deceives the nations, he can only go as far as God allows him to go. I don’t know if Satan knows he has been defeated, or if he knows he is restrained; but we can be confident that both of these are true. Satan has been defeated, now it is up to us to decide, which law are we going to be under; the law of the Spirit of Life, or the law of sin and death?
Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
Satan wants to keep as many as he can under the law of sin and death; but he is on a leash:
Revelation 20:1-2 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;
I don’t know if at this stage in the unfolding of God’s timetable if this is literally a thousand years; but the ultimate point is, there will be a time when Satan will not be allowed to deceive the nations at all:
Revelation 20:3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.
A good friend of mine loves the movie, “Usual Suspects”. There is a character in that movie that says, “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist.” I would say there are many other tricks, like, “all roads lead to Heaven”, “Good people go to Heaven”, “such and such religion will get you to Heaven”, “there’s no such thing as Heaven or hell”. I am sure you can think of plenty more, and truth be told, some of you reading this may have fallen for the deception of Satan. So; this seems like a good time to say it straight, “If you have put your trust in anything other than the fact that the only way to Heaven is to repent and put your faith in Jesus Christ, the Creator and Savior of the world; you have fallen prey to the deception of Satan.”
If you have not repented and put your trust in Jesus Christ to save you, you will face what the Bible calls “a second death”. There is a saying, “born twice, die once; born once, die twice”. That simply means that unless you are born-again, you will face a second death, which is eternal Judgment. However, if you are born-again, you will not taste eternal death:
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
Revelation 20:4-6 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of 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, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
After Satan is release (briefly) from the bottomless pit, he will deceive the nations again; and then his destruction will be final:
Revelation 20:7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison
Revelation 20:10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
After Satan joins the beast and the false prophet in the bottomless pit forever, never to be released or relieved from their torment again; there will come final Judgment. Pay very close attention as you read the following verses. Notice how the ones whose names were NOT written in the Book of Life were Judged according to their deeds….OUCH!!!! The last thing I want on Judgment Day is to be Judged according to my deeds…praise God that if you will repent and put your faith in Jesus, His Righteousness is accredited to you and you WILL NOT be Judged by your deeds, but instead you will be seen as completely sinless because of your Advocate, Savior, and King!
Revelation 20:11-15 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
Romans 4:3-5 For what does the Scripture say? "ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS ACCOUNTED TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS." 4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. 5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,