I’ve been reading Revelation again in my personal Bible reading and, as I’ve gotten to the end of the book, I’ve been stunned again at the vivid images John gives us and the wonderful way the book speaks to our time and lives.
Revelation 20:4 is a debated section but let me encourage you in what I understand it to mean. John tells us that there are those who will come to life at a time when Jesus reigns on the earth, before his second coming and the final judgment. I understand the time here described as Jesus reigning to be the present day – I’m sure Jesus’ death and resurrection were a declaration to all the world of his rule over death and all things. As people hear of that revelation of who Jesus is and respond to it in faith, they, in John’s words ‘come to life’.
The thing that strikes me in v4 is the way those who come to life live their life – that is, as people who do not worship the beast (John’s picture of godless priorities in life). I’m sure we all know the temptation to pursue things other than Jesus and his plans for our life, but here is a great encouragement to be focussed not on ‘beastly priorities’ but on Jesus and his glory.
What a testimony it will be if, as you stand before Jesus on judgment day, it is said of you, ‘You did not worship the beast’! May the Lord deliver us from all those worldly things that will rob us of not only that testimony, but also all the happiness, joy and peace such a life can bring us in this world.

Ray Robinson

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