Sunday, March 6, 2016

Pro Choice

“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 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.”    Revelation 20:1-3  NKJV

Why?  I confess I have often read this account of what occurs at the end of the millennium and wondered why is Satan let loose again?  Lewis Sperry Chafer, founder of Dallas Theological Seminary was once asked this question and his answer was “you tell me why God loosed him the first time and I'll tell you why God loosed him the second time.”  When I first read this I laughed, but after thinking about it for awhile it occurred to me that this is exactly the answer we need for it is apparent that the reasons for God allowing Satan to have free rein to deceive are the same in both instances.

 “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. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 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.”   Revelation 20:4-6  NKJV

If you recall the story of Adam and Eve in the garden, when questioned as to why she disobeyed God’s instructions Eve blamed Satan, in the form of the serpent, for the reason she sinned.  If you were to take a poll now and question people as to why they sin, they would probably blame this corrupt world, and the temptations within it as the reason for sin.  Thirdly, I am certain that many would also claim that it would be so much easier to choose not to sin if we could actually see God, and He lived among us and talked with us much like He did in the garden of Eden.  Then of course, it would be impossible to sin, and we could live a perfect life.

In the coming millennium, for one thousand years we will see an earth that resembles what the Garden of Eden might have been like in many ways.  All humans who enter the millennium will be believers, and they will live extended life spans which will result in a population explosion much like in Adam’s time.  Conditions on earth will reflect the perfection seen in the garden in the form of weather, fruitfulness, peace and harmony, and above all, a temple in Jerusalem where Jesus will rule and reign along with His saints from the ages before.  So why release Satan?  Although many will proclaim to love God, and claim to be believers, just like in the garden the truth is never really known until you are given a choice.  

“Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 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.”  Revelation 20:7-10  NKJV

Does it really surprise you that so many will choose to join Satan after a thousand years of peace and prosperity such as this world has never seen since the Garden of Eden?  What we find here is simply irrefutable proof that man is by nature, sinful, and even when presented with a life of seeming perfection, many will still reject God and choose to follow Satan.  This is why I and many others believe that one of the greatest gifts we receive when we are finally taken into the presence of God, when we are “changed” as we enter Heaven, is that as a result of choosing to follow Jesus and accept His sacrifice for our sins, our sin nature is removed.  

“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. 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. 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. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”                 Revelation 20:11-15  NKJV

As funny as this may sound, God is pro-choice.  Man chooses his own destiny, and the Word of God is clear that everyone who has ever lived will be given the opportunity to choose.  God does not choose to send anyone to Hell; we make that choice for Him.  God designed Hell for Satan, and designed Heaven for us.  The trouble is, all too many will choose to follow Satan into eternal torment in “the lake of fire and brimstone”.  Thankfully we are given the ability and opportunity to choose, and if you have made the choice to give your life to God and accept His invitation to spend eternity with Him, your future is secured.  If you haven’t made that choice, what better time than right now to do it, before it’s too late.  

Simply pray a prayer like this; Jesus I know that I am a sinner, and have sinned against you.  I believe you loved me enough to send your Son Jesus to die for my sins, and that He rose from the dead so that I can live.  Forgive me of my sins and come into my life and help me to live for you.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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