“When the thousand years come to an end, Satan will be let out of his prison.”
Revelation 20:7 NLT
The thousand years are up. Christ’s millennial reign has come to an end. And, presumably, the angel returns with the key, opens the door to the bottomless pit and releases satan from his chains. Why?
The last one thousand years have been peaceful. No sin has been allowed to flourish. No financial frauds. No opportunities for gang warfare. No proliferation of drugs. No fighting and wars. Just a wonderful thousand years spent in Jesus’ presence. It can’t get much better than that! But not everyone will have thought so. There would still have been many who refused to bend the knee to Christ. But you would think that even living in such a peaceful time would have been preferable to how it was before.
Perhaps satan was released to show the contrast between his kingdom and God’s Kingdom. Between good and evil. He would have tried to reassert himself as the “god of this age”, once again waving his rebellious fist in God’s face. And encouraging those sinful and evil people on earth to join him once more. Perhaps, in his arrogance, he thought he had learnt enough this time to properly defeat God. After all, he’d had a thousand years to plot and scheme. Or perhaps the devil was released to test the population, who may have become complacent after a long period of stable and euphoric rule. Perhaps he had been released to stand trial before God on the day of judgement, and had been given one last opportunity to bow his knee before God, unlikely though that was. But in any case, deep in thought, in his incorrigible wickedness, the devil heard the scraping of the key in the lock. He rushed to the door as it opened, hurried the angel to undo the chains, and then burst into the sunlight. Desperate to wreak his evil mischief on mankind once again.
The devil would have struck fear into the hearts of many on earth at that time, as he does today. But Christians have nothing to fear from him. They have God on their side, and His instructions about how to deal with the devil were there in God’s Word, the Bible. Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armour so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm“. (Ephesians 6:13). But we have to be careful when the devil is around. He is the master of deceit, and his whisperings can sound so plausible sometimes. Peter wrote in 1 Peter 5:8, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour“.
We pilgrims might be thinking that this is all a bit academic. After all, we’re not going to be alive in a thousand years’ time. But hang on a minute – we will be, because we will have been resurrected at the start of the millennium and will be ruling and reigning with Christ for a thousand years, resplendent in our new bodies. So we have been forewarned. We’ll get to see what the devil is going to do in the next blog.
Father God, we praise and worship You today. We pray, as taught by Jesus, that You will deliver us from evil. Thank You Lord. Amen.