Right Will Win
When one nation goes to war against another, the aggressor hopes to justify a “good” cause and win supremacy over the other nation.
When Jesus returns, He will ask all nations to submit to His authority. Those who refuse will take up arms to fight against Him, and the result will be Armageddon. This is a war that need not be; if they would submit, there would be no war. But they will not submit. In the words of Jesus Himself, “these shall make war with the Lamb” (Rev. 17:14). Much as they may have talked for peace and progress, when the way is opened, they will resist Him who has come to take control.
Can you imagine what this means on a worldwide scale? Can you imagine the president of any nation saying, “Come right in, you can have our government. I know you can run it better than we can”? Or do you expect a prime minister to say to Jesus, “We have made a mess of this government, but we know You have the answers; You know what to do. Come right in and take over”? No, they will resist. They will want to preserve their autonomy, their culture, their authority. None will want to give up to one whom they view as an intruder.
In the 14th chapter of Revelation is a picture of Jesus standing on Mount Zion with His faithful, chosen ones. These are His co-rulers, His associates, and each is fully qualified. Each has “the Father’s name” written in his forehead, the symbol of the law of God in their minds. They are equipped, trained, prepared. “These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These are redeemed from among men, being first fruits to God and to the Lamb” (Rev. 14:4). Through the previous 6000 years, God has been selecting and qualifying these very special individuals for the task of sharing Christ’s authority. What was the standard required of them? We are told in verse 5 “In their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God” (Rev. 14:5). There will not be one corrupt, self-seeking politician among them.
Then, with the new authority in control, this ultimatum is issued: “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come” (Rev. 14:7).
It is zero hour, and the choices are simple: do or die, submit or perish. “Fear God and give glory to Him for the hour of His judgment has come.” No more time to contemplate, no more time to enjoy the pleasures of sin, or exploit the poor, or promote anything sensual or base. The true God will be recognized universally as the Creator, and Jesus Christ His Son as the supreme authority on earth. No rebellion will be tolerated. “Fear God and give glory to Him…and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the seas and the springs of water” (Rev. 14:7).
The message will be: Listen! Believe, and bow—or die.
When the nations of earth go out to fight against Christ, He will have His forces ready to fight back. We read in Rev. 19:19, “And I saw the beast, the kings of earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse [representing Christ] and against His army.” They are saying, we don’t want this man to rule over us, as Jesus had stated in His parable (Luke 19:27). They do not want to
When Jesus returns, His first task will be the judging of His servants, those who have agreed to live by His covenant. This judgment will be followed by a judgment upon the nations of earth, to force them to submit to His laws. Both judgments are very important, because the first judgment prepares the way for the second.
The Bible indicates that those at the first Judgment will be judged faithful or unfaithful, according to their works. (Rev. 22:12; Matt. 25:31-46). Those who have repented and turned from their sins will have had their sins fully pardoned and erased, and when God pardons, those sins are never mentioned again (Ezek. 33:14-16). These will receive the crown of immortality, the crown which Paul was looking forward to when he said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only, but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Tim. 4:7-8).
But all will not repent and turn from their sins, hence all will not receive immortality. Those who turned back, who rebelled against God, who agreed to serve Him and forsook Him, will be required to serve for their unfaithfulness. These will comprise the sword of the Lord, which He will use in conquering the nations of earth (Rev. 19:15, 21).
The Lord requires accountability. If someone were to give a million dollars to an individual for the purpose of building a hospital, with an agreement that it should be done in a certain length of time, at the end of that time there would be an accounting. Suppose that individual decided that there was more than enough money to build a hospital, he would first take a trip around the world, and even build himself a new home. When the investor returned and found no hospital, and the money all spent, would he dismiss this man from his responsibility with a simple wave of the hand? No, there would be a reckoning. Even so, God will require His unfaithful servants to account for misusing the wealth He had entrusted to them. Those who did not live up to their agreement will be held accountable.
|be told what to do. When Christ takes the authority and closes the casinos, the night clubs, and the distilleries; when the makers of tobacco can no longer produce and sell their lethal products, and those who design and publish pornography, along with all their illicit filth, are swallowed up; when Jesus tells the people worldwide that they cannot have their TV shows, or their movies, or their lustful living because the government of Christ has taken control and all wickedness must end immediately, will people everywhere be happy? Will they be rejoicing? Will they be welcoming the new authority with open arms? No, they will resist, they will be angry. Many would rather die than live under such a regime. That is why the Revelator says, prophetically speaking, “I saw the beast, the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together.” They will resist to the death, if need be.
The momentous process of cleaning up the earth will be quickly undertaken and quickly completed. Jesus will have all of the forces He needs to take and hold control, and to remove those who oppose progress.
That is the reason for Armageddon, to subdue and remove all impediments to progress, so that the earth can be cleaned up, made ready for the new and better. Those who refuse to comply with the new rules will die. But there will be no torture, no cruelty, and no innocent persons suffering. The wrong will be subdued, and no resistance will be allowed.
In Revelation 18 we have a picture of the fall of Babylon. Babylon is a symbolic term not for a city but for the whole economy of evil. In verses 2-3, the angel comes with his great authority, and cries “mightily, with a loud voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for
|every unclean and hated bird! For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication….” In Revelation 17, the woman on the scarlet colored beast is seen thriving and prospering. But the powers of earth are going to fall; whether they be political, ecclesiastical, or economic, all will fall together. And all will have one choice: to submit to the Lord and live, or hold to their own way and die.|
Revelation 18 describes the scope of the fall of the old system as it affects the political, economic, and ecclesiastical interests of the world. Verse 3 reads, “The merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.” Think of the filth being broadcast and promoted in the fields of entertainment and media production, to say nothing of the thriving industries of gambling and pornography, all destructive and immoral. See the vast amounts of money being spent for interests that are against the cause of God. All will be removed in one vast sweep of destruction. Verse 16 describes the wailing that will result: “Alas, alas, that great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet,…For in one hour such great riches came to nothing…in one hour she is made desolate” (verses 16-17, 19).
In Revelation 17:14, we are told the outcome of the battle of Armageddon. As with any battle Divinely directed, the winner will be predetermined. There will be no question at any point as to the outcome. Christ is coming with unlimited authority, and those who oppose Him will only destroy themselves.
Who will be accompanying Jesus in His ride to triumph? It will be those who are “called, and chosen, and faithful” (Rev. 17:14).
Revelation 1:7 likewise describes the distress of those who oppose Him. “Behold He comes with clouds, and every eye will see Him…and all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him.” Why the mourning? Why the distress? Perhaps they panic because they realize He will not support their customs, their cultures, their accustomed way of life. Or perhaps this statement reflects the reality they face when they go out to fight the intruder—and find that Christ’s armies are literally undefeatable. “All the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him”—because He will bring down their booming and highly profitable structures of evil.
Resistance to Christ will be totally futile. The deadliest explosives and most powerful armaments of His enemies will be powerless against this New Authority. When they see their military power broken, and the forces of Christ literally indestructible, they will quickly realize that they have undertaken a task which will destroy only themselves.
Only the judgments of God can bring about the drastic change, from the world we have today to the new world where Christ is supreme. Only the judgments of God can turn the trend, and bring men and women worldwide to seek the Lord. “When thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness” (Isa. 26:9-10).
Who will survive the mighty holocaust? The words of the prophets indicate a devastating loss: “The slain of the Lord shall be…from one end of the earth to the other” (Jer. 25:33). The incorrigible element will be persistent, and the destruction vast. The Prophet Zechariah is specific: “And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein” (Zech. 13:8). Two parts are overtly rebellious to the point that they refuse to change, even to their own death. The proportion seems staggering, but when one considers the resistance God’s cause has met through the years, how people persecuted His Prophets, crucified His Son, and stoned and imprisoned the Apostles, and how the world at large totally ignore His Word today; how even in a country founded on Christian principles the Bible is
|Resistance to Christ will be totally futile|
|largely out of vogue and not seen as an authority for life, perhaps we should marvel that a third will submit to the new order.
Can we imagine what would happen if the rebellious were not eliminated? The history of the last century would be repeated, making peace impossible so long as the willful mischief makers were permitted to live.
But the God who can read the heart and know the future of every individual can remove only those who are impenitent. All who will submit will survive. There will be no innocent loss of life.
And the survivors will form the nucleus of the new world, from which will be developed the subjects of the Kingdom. Death, long an enemy, will be an indispensable agent for the removal of the evil element, so that the good can grow and prosper.
For those that survive, the future will be bright with opportunity, but they must be tried and disciplined, refined and developed, like those of former ages, before they can be granted the immortal crown. “I will bring the one-third through the fire, will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say ‘This is My people’; and each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God’” (Zech 13:9).
Those who survive will form the nucleus of a new and better nation. They will multiply, and their children and their children’s children will be the progenitors of a whole new race who will fear God and live according to His laws, and ultimately fill the earth with His glory (Num. 14:21). These will be the “great multitude” which the Revelator saw in vision, a number “which no man could number [a number not revealed]” (Rev. 7:9-17), who during the millennial reign of Christ will be prepared for life in that great eternal world.