A Place Prepared for the Devil — Revelation 20:7-10

Sermon Series in Revelation # 41 Revelation 20:7-10 

7 And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison

8   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.

9    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,

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. [1]

Revelation 19:19-21 provide a summary of the end of the world. The bad guys are captured, they are stripped of their influence and then cast into the Lake of Fire. All of God’s enemies are slain by the sword of His spoken Word which is meant to remind us of the image of Jesus in chapter one.

But in that summary of the end, there is nothing about the person who is ultimately responsible for all our trouble. The instigator isn’t mentioned.

There is no mention of the father of all the lies getting judged. There’s nothing about the false light of the world being sent into eternal torment. That’s because God wanted to give us those encouraging details a few verses later.

Verses 7-10 are those details. Lucifer, who led a third of the angels to stop obeying the will of God Almighty, will pay for his insurrection. The Serpent who misled Eve will get what’s coming to him. The Slander of the Brethren, the Dragon, the Devil will have all the prophetic words of damnation come true. All the writ, the legal documents, the judgments against the devil will cease to be prophecy as they become the Devil’s reality.

Verse 7 says that after the 1,000 years. I am not interested in scheduling the 1,000 year period of time, as I have already argued that it is a symbolic period of time, probably referring to the Church Age.

The 72 disciples of Jesus came back from a weekend of Gospel preaching and evangelizing in Luke 10:18, and Jesus said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” Satan is bound as the Church bears witness to the truth of Jesus. The word of God in the hands of the Church has power to cast out the darkness and push open the gates of Hell.

Our verses retell the story of the end of the world out of chapter 19, yet from the perspective of the Dragon.

Toward the end of time, the Devil’s power is unleashed. Humanity increases their sinfulness. As technology makes the world smaller, humanity is brought in unison into deeper and darker levels of depravity.

The four corners of the earth, meaning the whole world, is led into a great darkness.

The symbolic heathen nations, Gog and Magog, follow the Devil in one final effort to rid the world of all restraints upon their immorality. This final conflict includes all the unconverted in one final moral and spiritual conflict. Visualize them as the sands of the sea for number. No one is missing.

And they come from every corner of the earth to make their final move against God, against Christ and against God’s people.

And just like in Revelation 19, they are wiped out by the final outpouring of God the Father’s wrath. Fire comes down from Heaven to consume them. The judgment has a Divine origin and the world knows it!

And here’s the new information. Verse 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.

What is the Lake of Fire?

The Sea of Fire is a place so big, that there are no shores. No islands of refuge. No stable footing and no reachable surface.

There is sulfur. Gunpowder is made with sulfur to increase the heat and explosive nature of the compound. Sulfuric acid has lots of sulfur. Sulfur boils at 850 degrees.

Ancient civilizations understood that volcanoes have lots of sulfur in the magma. The Old Testament tells us that God rained down brimstone, which is a synonym for sulfur, on Sodom and Gomorrah.

So God is asking for us to imagine a sea of boiling sulfur into which the Devil is cast and sinks. That’s not a comforting thought, unless you hate the Devil.

And this experience of the Devil is permanent. There’s no end to his torment. He is lost under the billowing waves of God’s wrath. He will forever feel like he is burning up. He will forever feel like he is drowning. He will be forever lost to God’s love.

The Lake of Fire is a bottomless pit. The fear of falling is forever realized as one sinks down, down, down.

Jesus says in Mark 9:48 where the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched. The fear of being eaten alive is forever realized in the Lake of Fire.

Of course, there is fire, but not a fire that consumes, only a fire that torments.

And the Devil will be cast into this terrible place forever and ever.

Why would God create such a terrible place?

Well, Heaven existed, but Lucifer and his followers couldn’t abide in God’s love and peace in Heaven after they sinned. So God created the universe and cast them out of Heaven to roam the vast Creation.

But that’s only a temporary solution. One day, the boundaries of Heaven will include the whole Creation. Those two places will become one place, and in that Paradise the Devil will once again not belong.

So God had to create a place for the Devil and his followers to exist, outside of Heaven forever. Matthew 25:41 Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

Hell and the Lake of Fire exist because God had to create a new place, outside of Heaven, for the Devil and his followers to exist forever. Hell, and the Lake of Fire, are those places.

As I bring this message to a close, I want you to consider an interesting fact. We know more about the future suffering of the Devil in the Lake of Fire than we know about the suffering of the Son of God on the Cross.

I can list some of the details about the Lake of Fire. I can’t list any of the details about the suffering of Jesus on the cross. I can tell you about the nails, the crown of thorns and the cat of nine tails that ripped open His back, but I cannot detail anything about the suffering of His soul that bought us our salvation.

The most detailed account of Jesus on the cross are verses out of the Old Testament. In Isaiah 53 God uses Hebrew poetry to artfully describe the depth of suffering Jesus endured on the Cross.

Only Divinity knows what Jesus endured while hanging on the tree.

We confess in the Apostle’s Creed that Jesus suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, was buried. And then we confess the meaning of His descent. Jesus descended into Hell.

This nugget of theological truth within the Apostle Creed helps us to understand why the details of Hell are primarily revealed by Jesus. He is the only person to every go into Hell and live to tell about it.

Jesus knows it’s a place worthy of praying, My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will Mathew 26:39.

The anticipation of drinking the bitter cup of God’s wrath stored up for sinners was so stressful, that the blood capillaries on Jesus’ forehead were breaking and the blood was seeping into His sweat as He prayed over and over again Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.

Jesus understood real fear when He said Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

With earnestness Jesus said Matthew 5:2930 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.  And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Jesus suffered on the cross the punishment that we deserved. All of the pains of an eternity in Hell came upon Jesus while He hung on the cross.

God was willing to shield us from ever knowing those details. God turned the lights off, darkened the world for three hours that no one could watch the grimace of the Son of God as He descended into Hell for His people.

Isaiah 53:4-12 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? 9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. 11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.

Let us pray . . .

[1] The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.


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