Revelation 20

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Read Revelation 20

The Thousand Years

20 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.

I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They 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 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 are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

The Judgment of Satan

When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prisonand will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophethad been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

The Judgment of the Dead

11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life.The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hadesgave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Go Deeper

As we near the end of our study on the book of Revelation, we have a lot going on in this short chapter. As with many chapters in the book, this one includes things that have been debated for hundreds of years like the thousand year reign of Christ, the final defeat of Satan, and the judgment of the dead. 

It’s been well said, “The millennium is a thousand years of peace that Christians like to fight about.” We need to have a tight grip on the essentials of the faith and have room to disagree with the things that while still important, are not essential and not worth breaking fellowship on. So, whether you’re an amillennialist, premillennialist, or postmillennialist (or if you have no idea what those words mean!), we can all acknowledge that these passages are complicated and there are certain theological issues we may not fully understand on this side of eternity.  

Judgment before God will take place. We see two books opened in this passage, one for the judgment of the dead and the other the book of life. Believers and unbelievers alike will face accountability for their actions, as it says in Romans 14:10-12: 

“You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written:

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will acknowledge God.’
So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.”

In this passage there is another book: the book of life. Verse 15 says anyone’s name that is not found in the book of life will be thrown into the lake of fire. So, while everyone will be judged based on their deeds, believers will be saved solely by the blood of the lamb that was shed. Their deeds should reflect a faith in Christ. No one can earn their way to an eternity with God; the only way is to have accepted Christ’s payment on the cross for your sins. When the book of judgment is opened as we stand before the throne of God, the works that were done should reflect a genuine and authentic faith in Christ. 

Satan, on the other hand, is currently running a scorched earth strategy. Satan knows that the end of his reign on earth is ending, and he is facing judgment. His goal is to take as many souls as possible with him. 

We as believers have a responsibility to boldly proclaim and share the Gospel. If we believe that the only way to be with God for eternity and escape an eternity of torment is to accept and follow Jesus Christ, why would we not tell everyone?


  1. Is there a turning point in your life that makes it evident that you placed your faith in Christ? What changed in your life? 
  2. Who in your life that you’ll see today do you need to share the Gospel with? 
  3. Do you think it’s important to have a position (held loosely) on the millennial reign of Christ?

Listen Here

Listen to this message from David Platt on the entire chapter of Revelation 20!

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6 thoughts on “Revelation 20”

  1. Ella Snodgrass

    Verse 4 provided an opportunity to reflect on martyrs of the faith. Lest we forget, this is currently happening in the world today. Last Thursday, 3 missionaries in Haiti, David & Natalie Lloyd and Jude Montis were brutally murdered by hostile gangs as they returned from a church meeting. May we never grow complacent in our faith but leverage everything we have for the gospel.

    1. Her dad reached out on social media about this and I was heartbroken. Such beautiful souls! Prayers for these families and other missionaries reaching out to tell others about Jesus 🙏🏼

  2. Making disciples (aka apprentices), loving our neighbors, and persevering through trials. Pray without ceasing should be like breathing, or our blood circulating through our bodies. This is what we/I should be doing everyday. We should be praying in and through the Holy Spirit for every step we take. Am I doing these things? No, but do I strive to become better to do these things? YES!

    God thank You for helping me to speak about You, to love like You do and to know You are before me, with me, and working on my behalf through this life. God thank You for showing and reminding me to pray, then pray and then pray some more. Matthew 7:9-11
    “If your children ask for bread, which of you would give them a stone? Or if your children ask for a fish, would you give them a snake? Even though you are bad, you know how to give good gifts to your children. How much more your heavenly Father will give good things to those who ask him!” God thank You for every good gift and every perfect gift that is from above, coming down from You,,the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change (James 1:17). Thank You for even when I can’t see You working or feel You working, You never stop. You started before the beginning of me and will complete it. Thank You for my believing getting bigger and better minute by minute in Jesus name amen.

  3. I want to thank the families of the men and women who have died serving our country!
    US Army veteran Charles Michael Province observed:
    It is the Soldier, not the minister
    Who has given us freedom of religion.
    It is the Soldier, not the reporter
    Who has given us freedom of the press.
    It is the Soldier, not the poet
    Who has given us freedom of speech.
    It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
    Who has given us freedom to protest.
    It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
    Who has given us the right to a fair trial.
    It is the Soldier, not the politician
    Who has given us the right to vote.
    It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
    Who serves beneath the flag,
    And whose coffin is draped by the flag
    Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

    Also I wnat to thank the men and women in our armed services that serve us now.
    God bless America!!

  4. “The millennium is a thousand years of peace that Christians like to fight about.” That’s very good!

    4 “And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God.”

    I used to think this reference to beheading was to ancient, more barbaric times, but sadly as world events demonstrate, humans haven’t changed much.

  5. Diane Frances Rogers

    In Revelation we are reminded that nothing defeats our God. Let us gain courage in fighting the battle He has already won for us. Nothing will be able to destroy us or separate us from Christ eternally. Father, I pray that Holy Spirit continue to sanctify me in pursuit of sharing the Gospel with whomever crosses my path. For Your glory, Lord. In Jesus’s name, Amen!
    “Consecrate yourselves. therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God. Keep my statutes and do them; I am the Lord who sanctifies you.” Leviticus 20:7-8

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