In part 1 we covered the beginning of the Kingdom and the identity of those who would populate it and concluded part 1 with Satan being bound. As we read in Revelation 20:3 Satan will be released for a short time and will draw a huge number of unbelievers to him quickly. In Revelation 20:7-10 it is written:
“7 When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. 9 They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”
I am always amazed at mankind’s ability to quickly adjust and take the most remarkable things for granted. Today we, as members of the body of Christ, should not be too quick to throw stones at those who live during the Millennial reign of Christ.
Far, far too often the great blessings we enjoy as Christians go unappreciated; the monumental blessing of the indwelling of God, the Holy Spirit, in every Christian seems to be a matter of little or no interest to many. How then can we point an accusing finger at the those who take for granted the personal presence of the Lord Jesus Christ as King of Kings and Lord of Lords? The sin nature is a formidable enemy!
Fire from Heaven!
We live in an age of hyperbole where things of little consequences are spoken of in exaggerated terms; the life changing benefits of toothpaste or a particular brand of deodorant being cases in point. The Bible, on the other hand, is remarkably understated with the most extraordinary events being described in an almost prosaic manner.
The events in Revelation 20:9 are a perfect example of this; fire from heaven coming down and selectively devouring those who are rebelling against the Lord! Can you imagine how horrific this will be on any scale? Here, however, we are talking about a number like the sand on the seashore and although no number is given it must be a staggering number of people who are devoured by fire.
Destruction and Reconstruction
We now enter a time where details are conspicuously absent; we know that major changes are coming but the Bible gives little information on how this will happen. We know the old heaven and earth are going to be destroyed by a fervent heat. In 2 Peter 3:10-13 it is written:
“10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.”
We also read in Revelation 20:11,
“11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.”
The Great White Throne judgment is only for those who have rejected Christ as Savior. At that point all that has charmed the unbeliever will be gone, vanished from creation; only the great white throne and final judgment will remain! The old cursed, sinful creation is being once and for all disposed of in order to make room for the new heaven and earth.
The Bible does not reveal the way the redeemed are preserved through this destruction of the old heaven and earth. We know the New Jerusalem, which has been in existence throughout the Millennial Kingdom will be preserved but the exact mechanism of preservation is not revealed in either case.
Although uncounted millions will have been killed by fire from heaven, I suspect a vastly greater number will have been saved among all who have received salvation by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior during the Kingdom age. It is these who will be preserved through the transition to the new heaven and earth who will populate it and become the nations described in the last two chapters of Revelation.
Next time, the Mystery of the Nations in the New Universe.