Is God Real to You or Not?

Most of us follow our very own version of Christ and His Way. I said it. Hate me all you want, but I am only closely examining myself. I came across this thought while my wife was reading a Noah's Ark-themed bed time story to our kids. I say themed, because Noah looked like a fisherman from the eastern seaboard, and the story was about several animals aboard the ark crawling in to bed with him because they were scared. It's a nice, whimsical idea, but really, it's also how we teach the Bible in Sunday School, as well as to ourselves when we grow older. We don't treat the Bible as HIStory (His Story, heh), we treat it as a guide book of morals. Many people grow up, because of stories like Noah's Ark being downplayed, believing much of the Bible to be mythical, and so the God of the Bible is not exactly (to our minds) who it says He is. This is utterly and absolutely false. Not only through the study of the language (by the way, the Hebrew words for days in Genesis is, you guessed it, literally "days"), but also in the ways it is carefully translated (by many translations, though watch it on some!), the Bible was believed by the authors to be historical fact, was believed by those early Hebrews who heard as historical fact, and was believed by the early church as Historical fact. Why? Because they believed God, even when their finite (and thus very small) minds could not wrap around some of the concepts within the Holy word of God. By telling the Bible what it can and can't say, we're basically closing our minds off to the very big possibilities of God who is infinite in power and scope, and, until we're on His level, we'll never understand Him fully or completely (He's just too big!). Stop reading IN TO the Bible, and start taking God at His word. Stop with the interpretations, and slowly, prayerfully, and carefully let the Bible speak to you. Allow the Holy Spirit to transform you through the renwing of your mind, and God, through as much as our limited scope can see, will become not just real, but powerful and the driving force behind all you do.

Revelation 20 English Standard Version (ESV)


The Thousand Years

20 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit[a] and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.


Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.


The Defeat of Satan

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. 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[b] and consumed them, 10 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.


Judgment Before the Great White Throne

11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. 13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.


Footnotes:

a. Revelation 20:1 Greek the abyss; also verse 3

b. Revelation 20:9 Some manuscripts from God, out of heaven, or out of heaven from God



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