Wednesday, December 28, 2016

"The Abyss"

Revelation 20.1-3a 
“The Message”

“I saw an Angel descending out of Heaven. He carried the key to the Abyss and a chain - a huge chain. He grabbed the Dragon, that old Snake – the very Devil, Satan himself! – chained him up for a thousand years, dumped him into the Abyss, slammed it shut and sealed it tight. 

No more trouble out of him,...”

“No more trouble out of him”! Wouldn’t that be great. No more devil means no more evil, no more temptation, no more suffering, and no more sin. What a wonderful world it would be! Or would it? No more devil also means no more choice, no more options, no more free will. Does God want a world of robots divinely pre-programmed to serve Him without thought, intentionality, or emotion? Probably not.

Apparently Satan gets what he deserves in the end... chained up, “dumped... into the Abyss,” and locked up for a very, very long time. Until then I assume the devil will continue his dirty work, freely “roaming about on the earth” (Job 1.7) looking for folks to hurt and deceive. I must refuse to be his victim; that is, another casualty in the war of the flesh (Mark 14.38) or  one of his pre-Armageddon body counts. 

Is the story of an angel with the key and chain more than a glimpse into the devil’s future? Perhaps the fallen angel's destiny is more relevant than I think.
  • Could this “Angel descending out of Heaven” be an example for me to follow?
  • Are “the keys of the kingdom of heaven” Jesus gave Peter (Matthew 16.19) also mine to open the door of the abyss and assist in setting others free?
  • Can I use the angel’s chain to bind the devil and limit his impact right here-and-now?
  • May I serve as my own angel endowed with the opportunity, charged with the responsibility, and empowered with the authority to take Satan down?
“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” 
Jesus, Matthew 16.19 NASU

When it comes to personal temptation and sin, I already have “the key… and a chain.” It’s up to me to engage the power of Christ and face the devil now. With Christ on my side I can “dump him into the Abyss,” slam the door on Satan, and “seal it tight.” 

It’s my choice to make sure I have “no more trouble out of him.”

_____________________

Photos from "Mysterious Abyss" collection. Photographer unknown.

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