Just men reading, memorizing and studying the bible together!

Alternate Plans
Bible Order: Revelation 7–12
Chronological Order: Revelation 6-11

The Greatest Story Ever Told

Bible openingRevelation 20:1–21:8

Well guys, we only have two more days left on this year’s Bible reading plan.  I have queried you guys as to what you would like to do next year, and I have, of course, prayed about this issue as well.  After much consultation, prayer, and consideration I’ve decided that the official reading plan for Brothers of the Book next year will be an Old Testament reading plan.  What this means is that I will read the Old Testament in one year and comment on what I read as I go.  You brothers will be able to follow along with me or choose a different plan; Bible Order, Chronological Order, or New Testament.

Now since Brothers of the Book has already gone through each of these three plans, commentary is available for each of them, although some of the holiday recognitions may be off and they may claim I am on vacation when I am not.  Still, if you want to read what I had to say about any bit of scripture on one of these plans you can do so by going to the archive and clicking on the appropriate day in the appropriate month.  For example if it is March 21, 2013 and you are following along with the Chronological plan, you would go to the archive and click on March 21, 2011 – this is because we followed the Chronological plan in 2011.  Below is a listing of each plan and the year it was followed.

2010:     Bible Order

2011:     Chronological Order

2012:     New TesBible openingtament (2012 was a leap year so commentary here will likely be off by a day starting at the end of February.)

Brothers, I will say as I have said from the beginning, the point of Brothers of the Book is not to have you read my words but to have you read the Bible.  You miss little by skipping my commentary, but you miss essential spiritual food if you skip reading the Bible.  READ THE BIBLE EVERY DAY – that is the point of this blog.  Choose the plan you want to follow and follow it.  I will continue to offer each of the previous plans at the top of each post.  This means that all you have to do to get to the daily Scripture for the plan you are following is click the link.

I want to encourage you men who have followed along over the last year, or the past several years – keep reading!  We tend to be very goal oriented and want to check “Bible reading” off our list.  “Yep, I’ve read the Bible – I don’t have to do that anymore.”  The goal isn’t to read through the Bible once; the goal is to read the Bible every day.  The Word of God truly is our spiritual food, and our spiritual maturation depends, in part, on getting our minimum daily requirement.  We cannot grow up to be rock solid, spiritually mature Christian men if we don’t eat our spinach, as it were.  Even if you don’t continue following along with Brothers of the Book, I implore you to never cease in daily Bible reading.  This is an essential spiritual discipline; please never stop!

Okay, on to today’s passage.  Did you know there is a second death?  We will all die physically one day.  Those who are still alive at the time of the rapture may not experience a physical death per se, but since we all get new, glorified bodies, they will see some passing away of their old physical bodies.  I don’t know how this will occur but obviously there is a transition at some point.  Now the second death is reserved for those who do not belong to Christ.  Those who have rejected God’s authority will be rejected by Him, and they will find themselves rightfully cast in to the lake of fire.  Instead of being born again and having a second life, they will continue in their old life until their first physical death, only to later experience this second death.

Notice in today’s reading that there are also two resurrections.  There is the resurrection of the followers of Christ and then, at a later date, there is the resurrection of everyone else.

Revelation 20:4-6 ESV

“[4] 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. [5] The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. [6] 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.”

It is only after the thousand year reign of Christ that those who don’t belong to Him are raised from the dead and at that point their entire life will be revealed.  Every deed that was against the will of God will be proclaimed and judged.  Now I have written before that we are condemned the moment we put our will against God’s.  This means that at our earliest age of culpability we are guilty before a Holy God.  This judgment at the end of it all is simply the pronouncement of the verdict and execution of the sentence.

The final point I want to make is that of completion.  The story has been told.  Why has nothing been added to the Bible since the New Testament?  Because the story has been told.  In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth.  He created man for right relationship with Him but man wanted to elevate himself, if not above God, to God’s level.  This was man’s choice –separation from God.  The rest of the Bible is the story of God’s plan to restore mankind to right relationship with Him.  Here in Revelation we see climax and denouement of the story.  Jesus Christ, God, is the beginning and the end of the story.  He is the Alpha and Omega.  In Genesis we see separation from God; in Revelation we see reunion with God.  This truly is the greatest story ever told!

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve

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