It is easy to get sucked into the detail of the book of Revelation and miss the big picture. For instance, in this passage you can focus on the ‘key to the bottomless pit’ (verse 1) and the ‘great chain’ (verse 1) or you can focus on the thousand years. People speculate and have significant arguments on these issues. However, in my view, that is focusing on the wrong thing here and means you miss the big picture.
The big picture presented is here is one of Victory. It is a picture of the total and ultimate defeat and destruction of Satan. The chapter starts with Satan being bound and imprisoned – a picture of Satan’s influence on the Church being curbed (verse 1-3). Satan is able have some limited influence and is able to gather together an army (verse 7-8), but only for a short while. He is then totally defeated and thrown into the ‘lake of fire’ along with the beast and false prophets. Their torment will be for eternity (verse 11). We have a picture of all of Christ’s enemies being defeated!
The victory is secured and then we see Christ descending on His throne. He comes down to judge. All mankind is standing in front of the throne and we are all judged by what is written in the books, which have recorded everything we have done (verse 12). But there is an exception made for those whose names appear in the ‘book of life’. If your name is in that book you are spared but everyone else is thrown into the ‘lake of fire’.
That means that whatever is written in those books – whether good or bad – cannot save you. Your deeds are useless if your name is not written in the ‘book of life’. Your church attendance, how much money you’ve given to the church, how many times per day you prayed … none of that matters if your name isn’t in the ‘Book of Life’. Your name is in the ‘Book of Life’ if you are one of God’s children. If you’re His son or daughter then the victory is secured. Not by our deeds but simply by the work of Christ – the same Christ who is coming back to judge all mankind.
Prayer: Thank You that my name is written in the Book of Life and therefore I know the victory is secured. Thank You that I can rest in that certainty because it is based on what Christ has done, and not on what I have done, or could do in the future. When my Christian walk is hard, remind me that the victory is sure. Amen.