I have Good News for you! A day is coming when Satan and all his minions will be no more. This serpent of old, who walked in the Garden of Eden on the holy mountain of God in the midst of stones of fire (Ezekiel 28:14), whose heart was proud because of [his] beauty; [who] corrupted [his] wisdom for the sake of [his] splendor (Ezekiel 28:17), the nachash – the shining one – who set his heart on being greater than the Lord his Creator, has a date with destiny. This signet of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty (Ezekiel 28:11) will come to a dreadful end and shall be no more forever (Ezekiel 28:19).
God knew this from the beginning when He first brought forth the heavenly host, among whom was this rebellious creature, along with many others who would chafe at the restraints imposed upon them. And what were those restrictions? No more than what the Lord subsequently demanded of man. Micah 6:8 (NIV) encapsulates God’s command:
He has shown you, O man, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
But free will was the downfall of those who lived in heavenly splendor, just as it was to us who are mortal. God allowed all His creation the option of making choices, of choosing for themselves whether to serve Him wholeheartedly or to turn away. A major lesson we glean from Scripture is what the consequences are for those that transgress the boundaries God has set for each of us. In every case – whether for divine being or man walking the earth – when any of us decide we know better than God and pursue the path of disobedience – the end is not good. God’s Word makes this abundantly clear.
Satan is the poster child for this example. God gives him plenty of rope to hang himself, and he does an excellent job of it. In his delusion that he could defeat God, in the years prior to the Tribulation, he schemed and worked to arouse mankind to his way of thinking. With the assistance of others in the heavenlies of like mind, Satan corrupted humanity, stealing, killing, and destroying all that God made good. Together, these spiritual rebels brought men to the point that they believed they could achieve eternal life without God by becoming their own god. When the armies of the earth gather on the plains of Armageddon in the final throes of the Tribulation, this may be the culmination of that deceit. But with the return of Jesus, He slays them with the sword from His mouth – the very Word of God – and all those in rebellion perish in a horrible death.
At that time, God has Satan, and all those working with him, cast into the bottomless pit, where they are chained in darkness for 1,000 years. How do we know that it’s not just Satan who whiles away the centuries in this place of gloom and doom? During the Millennial Reign of Christ, the Bible gives no mention of any demonic works occurring.
However, sin will still be present. Those who remain alive and in Christ at the end of the Tribulation enter the Millennium in their mortal bodies. These will be both Jews and Gentiles who endured and persisted – all coming to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. It is these who remain fully human who procreate and repopulate the earth after the utter devastation of the prior seven years of God’s wrath. The dead outside of Christ remain that way until the day of final judgment.
But what happens during this incredible time when Jesus rules and reigns on earth from His throne in Jerusalem? Millions upon millions of people are born and also live extremely long lives. Each one – because all continue to have free will – has the opportunity to choose Jesus as Savior and Lord, or not. Once more, because of the ease of life during this period, the sinful nature of man persists and many choose to live apart from Christ, as astounding as that may seem given that He is physically present in the world. This dreadful choice opens the door for one final hurrah on Satan’s part as described in Revelation 20:7-8:
And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea.
The lessons from a thousand years ago have become the thing of myth. All these whom Satan deceives are as full of themselves as Satan continues to be. When this evil dragon is released, I have no doubt that all imprisoned with him likewise come swarming out. Satan is not omnipresent in order to propagate his lies throughout the planet. He must have help. Just as demonic spirits like frogs went out to assemble the kings and peasants of the earth during the 6th Bowl Judgment (Revelation 16:13-14), so they will again.
Their end will be as ignominious as it was for their forebears 1,000 years ago when they tried the same trick of coming against God on His holy mountain of Jerusalem. Revelation 20:9-10 tells us:
And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Their leader is deposed and all these in rebellion immediately die. Soon thereafter, all the dead from all the ages of earth are resurrected to face God at the White Throne Judgment. Because He is just, through the books kept on every person who has ever lived, the multitudes in this courtroom are double-checked to assure that all are rightly judged. Are there any who have slipped through the cracks and have earned eternal life? The text doesn’t tell us.
The bottom line is that all who followed the broad road of destruction come to its terrible end as recounted in Revelation 20:14-15:
Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
This is the end of sin. From here on out, no one in heaven or on earth will ever transgress against God again. It’s hard to imagine, isn’t it?
That’s why God is so glorious!