I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.
And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom [is] as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. Revelation 20:7-9
As sad as this picture is, the people in this passage have accomplished an incredible feat. More miraculous than breaking the 4 minute mile, more incomprehensible than swimming the English Channel, with more stamina than those who have climbed mount Everest, these people have accomplished a feat totally un-matched. These people have managed to be lost!
Early Writings, Page 88 promises us, God “would sooner send every angel out of glory to the relief of faithful souls, to make a hedge about them, than have them deceived and led away by the lying wonders of Satan.” Yes, but these people described in Revelation 20:7-9 fought hard day and night over a lifetime to overcome all the angels in heaven, and even the Godhead itself in order to be lost! This feat is as remarkable as it is tragic!
True, Jesus says in Matthew 7:14, “strait is the gate, and narrow is the way” “Yet do not therefore conclude that the upward path is the hard and the downward road the easy way. All along the road that leads to death there are pains and penalties, there are sorrows and disappointments, there are warnings not to go on. God’s love has made it hard for the heedless and headstrong to destroy themselves.” –Thoughts From The Mount of Blessings, Page 139. “The way of transgressors is hard,” but wisdom’s “ways are ways of pleasantness and all her paths are peace.” Proverbs 13:15; 3:17
The fact that these all these people wind up being destroyed shows they fought hard against God’s will and plan. When the Son of Man sadly appoints them to their destination He also tells them they are lost because they took control of their own fate, instead of surrendering to God’s will and plans. “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” Matthew 25:41 Hell is prepared for the devil and his angels. Hell is not prepared for you! If you end up there it is because you waged a great fight against all the powers of heaven. It also means you fought hard to earn the right to be destroyed. The wages of sin is death. Romans 6:23. Wages come from working hard, and you have to work hard to be destroyed when all heaven is working to save you.
While Hell is prepared for the devil and his angels, Jesus tells us what is prepared for us. “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Matthew 25:34 “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2 Hell is not prepared you for my friend. Hell is prepared for the devil and his angels. The kingdom of God is prepared for you. Instead of working hard in order to earn the wages of sin which is death, why don’t you surrender. Yes, I am asking you to surrender your battle against God and all His angels. I am asking you to surrender your just wages of death, which you rightfully have worked hard for and deserve. If you give up all that sin and death stuff which is rightfully yours. After all you have worked hard for it, and surrender it to Jesus, He would love to give you His gifts, which you have not worked for at all. Jesus has an everlasting kingdom prepared for you. He has rooms in His mansion where you can live Him and his Father. Surrender your will of self destruction to His will of giving you the gift of eternal life and an everlasting kingdom He has prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Don’t be in the multitude who accomplish the incredible feat of overcoming all the powers of heaven, scratching, biting, kicking and clawing their way to destruction. Surrender the hell that you have earned for yourself, for the eternal life which God has prepared for you.
“The sinner may resist this love, may refuse to be drawn to Christ; but if he does not resist he will be drawn to Jesus; a knowledge of the plan of salvation will lead him to the foot of the cross in repentance for his sins, which have caused the sufferings of God’s dear Son.” Steps to Christ, Page 27
You may explore this quarter’s SS lesson and other SS lesson related blog posts here.