the king who reigns
Transitions of power tell a story. When an elderly pastor passes off the lead pastor role to a younger pastor who he’s discipled for years, it speaks well of the older pastor’s faithfulness and preparation. Or on the political side of things, peaceful transitions of power signal a stable democracy, while violent coups or leaders clinging to power tell stories of weakness and unrest.
In Revelation 20, we witness the greatest transition of power that will ever take place.
Since the Fall in Genesis 3, God has allowed Satan to have a certain amount of reign over the world. Satan’s power is not absolute; God is still completely sovereign. Yet, in the mystery of His unsearchable knowledge and plan, He has permitted Satan to have a limited amount of power for the time being. But that time will end, and it’s an end we get to witness in the fulfillment of Revelation 20. Here, we see a transition of power not in the sense that Christ will have more power, as He is forever omnipotent, but in that all of Satan’s power will be taken from him.
Satan’s Inevitable End
The removal of Satan’s power as he’s defeated by Jesus tells a story of the supremacy of Christ. Jesus and His army are so much greater than the devil that Jesus doesn’t even need to be the one who binds up Satan. In verses 1–3, John sees an angel be the one to throw Satan into the abyss. Then, the final defeat of and his demons is seen in Revelation 20:10.
“And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
A time is coming when the devil and his wicked schemes will be no more. Forever and ever Satan will be locked away in Hell, never again permitted to tempt or deceive. Never again will he have power. Instead, he will be tormented and punished for all of his evil acts.
In the coming chapter of Revelation, we’ll read about the new creation, new Earth, and new Jerusalem. But this is the essential starting point. We must faithfully walk through the order of how God will restore the world. Before the rest of God’s beautiful promises come to fruition, this defeat of Satan will take place. Why? Because it permanently establishes God’s peaceful reign.
Again, none of that diminishes the current realities of God’s control, Jesus’ Kingship, or the Holy Spirit’s power. It is simply a recognition, at this moment, that Satan does enjoy a certain amount of power. However, when the time comes, Satan will be permanently banished to Hell, and there will be an unparalleled, complete peace through the second coming of Christ as He reigns forevermore.
Present Realities About a Future Reign
This future transition of Satan out of power is guaranteed. He will be defeated by Jesus who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords now and forever. This is a guarantee which puts our current matters into perspective.
For example, it’s impossible in America today to be unaware of the coming election and the questions about who will fill the Oval Office in 2021. There are thousands of speculations and opinions. Some of which will be proven right. Some of which will be proven wrong. For now, we simply do not know who will be elected to lead our country. That’s why Christians should be the calmest people in the country right now. No matter what happens in November, we know that the Church will go on, God will still be on His throne, and abundant peace will still be available to all who are in Christ.
We stand on the solid rock of Christ, not the sinking sand of political allegiance.
Furthermore, the topic of Jesus’ reign is not only relevant to the world around us, but also to the world within us. Who or what reigns supreme in your life? This can be hard to discern on a day-to-day basis which is why ever so often we should stop and evaluate ourselves. We should see which of our passions are most intense. We should look back and identify how we’ve made decisions recently. We should analyze how we spend our days and what we think about the most. And if at the end of that process, we realize glorifying God isn’t our utmost passion, that we never sought God’s guidance in our decisions, or that our time and thoughts aren’t primarily focused on Him, then we need to realign ourselves back to Him and His Word.
There is no question about whether Christ currently sits on the throne of Heaven or if He will reign for eternity. Those are givens. The question each person must ask themselves, in light of that truth, is whether they’re allowing Christ to sit on the throne of their heart.
There’s no ruler who is kinder, wiser, or more loving. How lucky we are that the King of Kings wants to be the King of our lives.