2 Timothy 2.8-13 – He Is Faithful

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11 The saying is trustworthy, for:

If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
12 if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he also will deny us;
13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—

for he cannot deny himself.

Paul continues with encouragement and reminders for Timothy the young pastor, and reminds him to continually remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead…It could be said that without the resurrection, the Christian faith has nothing to set it apart from any other worldview or faith tradition that man can create (1 Corinthians 15.14). Paul is preaching this then first and foremost, and tells Timothy that he is bound with chains as a criminal for doing so (v.9).

Even though Paul is bound, even though throughout history Christian have been and are still persecuted and killed in staggering numbers, the word of God is not bound. This should give us all encouragement; that no matter what government, man, religious fanatic, heard-hearted atheist, or pseudo-believer can do the word of God is not bound and will endure forever (Isaiah 40.8).

Paul then bursts into an early Christian hymn and reminds Timothy of the promise of resurrection (v.11), of the eternal rewards of following Jesus (v.12a), and of the fact that our words and ways can actually lead to the truth of Matthew 10.33 being realised.

The overwhelming comfort here for Paul, for Timothy, and for you today is that even if we are faithless, he remains faithful – for He cannot deny Himself.

Your relationship with the living God does not rest on you, your salvation does not rest on you, the conversion of others does not rest on you, the forgiveness of your sins does not rest on you, it rests on Him alone and friends, He has promised this and He cannot deny Himself. He is so faithful and will walk with you as you live for Him today and every day.

Revelation 20.1-6 – The first resurrection and the millennium

Today an angel comes down from heaven and binds the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and binds him for a thousand years. He is thrown into a shut, sealed pit for a thousand years so he cannot employ his main tactic, his principal approach, deception; so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended.

He will be released at the end of this time, for a little while, when we will see Christ’s ultimate and eternal victory over him. Until then, he is bound and cannot influence people on earth by deception.

1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. 2 And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3 and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.

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.

You would think that this is then all that is needed for us to see paradise on earth – the devil is out of the picture – but, sadly, this is not the case and due to our fallen sinful nature, the fact that the devil is bound and Christ is reigning on earth for a thousand years is still not enough for some people. Eternity starts at the beginning of chapter 21, and that is when we will see a permanent paradise.

This then is the first resurrection;

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.

How we long to be a part of this first resurrection!

Should our time on earth come to an end before Jesus snatches up His church out of the Great Tribulation then we are assured that to be away from the body is to be at home with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5.6-8). We would then be a part of this millennial reign with our Lord along with the raptured church, saints of the Great Tribulation, and all others who have fallen asleep in the Lord.

To be a part of this means we are not part of the second resurrection, and therefore not part of the judgement before the great white throne.

Two resurrections, a thousand years apart.

The first is far preferable, right? By the grace of God we can be part of the first because the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, and it is by this very same grace of God we have been saved. All we need to bring to the party, so to speak, is faith…faith in the name of Jesus, for it is by grace we have been saved through faith in Jesus.