August 23, 2020 – Revelation 19 – 20

Lesson Date: August 23, 2020

Focal Scripture Passage: Revelation 19:1 – 20:15

AIM: To lead students to discover how God will ultimately judge and punish all sinners, and to trust Jesus Christ for salvation so they can spend eternity with Him.

 

Before class: Read the notes on Revelation 19 – 20 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Get enough copies of the “Revelation Timeline” handout for your anticipated attendance.

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Ask: “Have you ever noticed that some people are not punished for their wrongdoing?” Ask the students if they can name any examples of people who did not pay for their crimes or offenses. Tell them that some criminals escape punishment because they are never caught. Others commit terrible crimes and are caught, but they escape punishment through some legal technicality. Some in the wealthy and privileged class use their money and influence to escape punishment. On a more personal level, we all probably know of someone who broke the rules at work, cheated on their taxes, violated traffic laws, or lied to their family without being punished as they deserve.

Ask: “How do you feel about people getting away with their wrongdoing?” (we know it isn’t right; it makes us feel that there is no real justice in the world).

Tell the class today’s lesson is about how God will ultimately judge and punish all sinners. Every guilty sinner will eventually face God’s judgment and punishment. We will also learn about the return of Christ and other important end-time events.

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):

  1. Review.
    • Tell the students that we are nearing the end of our study of the book of Revelation.
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (the fall of Babylon).
    • Ask if any volunteer would recite last week’s memory verses (Rev. 21:1-2).
    • Give each of the students a copy of the “Revelation Timeline” handout.
    • Starting at the left of the timeline, tell the students the following:
      • We are currently living in the Church Age.
      • At the end of the church age Jesus will snatch away all the Christians living on earth. That event is called the Rapture of the Church.
      • Most of what we have studied in the book of Revelation is about the Tribulation.
      • At the mid-point of the Tribulation the Antichrist will go into the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, declare himself to be god, and demand the worship of everyone on earth. This event is called the Abomination of Desolation.
      • This week’s lesson includes six more of the events on the timeline.
  2. Rejoicing in Heaven.
    • Remind the class that in chapters 17 and 18 we learned about the fall of Babylon, Antichrist’s wicked worldwide religion and kingdom. People on earth mourned the fall of Babylon, but heaven rejoiced.
    • Ask a volunteer to Revelation 19:1-6.
    • Tell the class these verses describe great celebration and rejoicing in heaven.
    • Ask: “What will heaven celebrate?” (God’s judgment of the great harlot – Babylon, and avenging of the blood of His martyrs).
    • Ask: “Who will rejoice?” (many people in heaven, along with the 24 elders – the glorified church, and the 4 living creatures – the angels).
    • Ask: “According to verse 3, how long will the smoke of Babylon’s destruction rise up?” (forever and ever).
    • Ask: “According to the last phrase of verse 6, what will everyone in heaven celebrate?” (the Lord reigns – Jesus’ kingdom is near).
    • Summarize: Near the end of the Tribulation everyone in heaven will rejoice and celebrate the fall of Babylon, Antichrist’s wicked kingdom on earth.
  3. Marriage of the Lamb.
    • Read Revelation 19:7-10.
    • Ask: “According to verse 7, what has come?” (the Marriage of the Lamb; direct everyone’s attention to that item on their handout).
    • Tell the class that the wife or bride of Christ is the church.
    • Ask: “How is the bride of Christ described in verse 8?” (she is dressed in clean white linen, which is the righteousness of the saints).
    • Ask: “According to verse 9, who are blessed?” (those who are called or invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb).
    • Explain the following:
      • The bride is the church: those who accept and follow Christ during the church age (that includes us).
      • The Old Testament saints are not the church, because the church didn’t come into existence until after Christ’s death and resurrection.
      • Those saved during the Tribulation are not the church, because the church will be removed from the world at the Rapture.
      • Both the Old Testament saints and the Tribulation saints are redeemed, in heaven, and invited to attend the marriage supper of the Lamb.
    • Summarize: Near the end of the Tribulation all of heaven will celebrate the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
  4. Return of Christ.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Revelation 19:11-16.
    • Ask: “What did John see in verse 11?” (heaven opened, revealing Jesus returning on a white horse).
    • Tell the class this is what Christians have been looking forward to for 2,000 years – The Return of Jesus Christ (direct everyone’s attention to that item on their handout).
    • Ask: “What is Jesus called in verses 11, 13, and 16?” (Faithful and True, The Word of God, and KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS).
    • Ask: “How is Jesus described in verses 11-13 and 15?” (righteous judge and warrior, eyes like a flame of fire, many crowns on His head, a name that no one knows but Him, clothed with a robe dipped in blood, a sharp sword goes out of His mouth, He will rule the nations with a rod of iron, and He will trample the winepress of the wrath of Almighty God – see Rev. 14:19-20).
    • Ask: “Who will come with the Lord Jesus when He returns?” (the armies of heaven).
    • Explain that these armies include the saints (Christians) who will return with Jesus Christ for the battle of Armageddon and the ensuing Millennial Kingdom (Zech. 14:5; Col. 3:4; 1 Thess. 3:13; Jude 1:14).
    • Stress that at the Rapture Jesus comes for the church; at His Second Coming He comes with His church.
    • Summarize: At the end of the Tribulation Jesus will return in great power and glory, accompanied by the glorified saints.
  5. Battle of Armageddon.
    • Read Revelation 19:17-19.
    • Ask: “Why did the angel summon all the birds?” (to eat the flesh of all ranks of people).
    • Tell the class these verses describe the Battle of Armageddon (direct everyone’s attention to that item on their handout).
    • Ask: “Who did John see gathered together for war?” (the Antichrist, the kings of earth, and their armies).
    • Ask: “Who were they gathered to fight against?” (Jesus and His army).
    • Read Revelation 19:20-21.
    • Ask: “According to verse 20, what will Christ do to the Antichrist and the false prophet?” (cast them alive into the Lake of Fire).
    • Ask: “What will happen to all of Antichrist’s armies?” (Jesus will kill them all with the sword from His mouth and the birds will eat their flesh).
    • Tell the students that the Battle of Armageddon is not really a battle and the armies of the Lord do not actually fight; Jesus simply speaks a Word and instantly kills all His opponents.
    • Summarize: When Jesus returns Antichrist and his armies will attack Him, but Christ will destroy them all and send the Antichrist and the false prophet to the Lake of Fire.
  6. The Millennium.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Revelation 20:1-6.
    • Ask: “According to verses 2-3, what will happen to Satan?” (he will be bound and cast into the bottomless pit for 1,000 years).
    • Tell the class this 1,000-year period is the Millennium, during which Jesus Christ will reign over the earth (direct everyone’s attention to that item on their handout).
    • Ask: “According to verses 4 and 6, who will reign with Jesus?” (believers, notably those who suffered for Christ and refused to take the mark of the beast).
    • Ask: “According to verse 5, what will happen to the rest of the dead – the lost?” (they will not live again until the 1,000 years are finished).
    • Explain that the first resurrection is the resurrection of the saved, which takes place at the Rapture. The second resurrection, the resurrection of the lost, takes place after the Millennium.
    • Summarize: After returning to earth and annihilating Antichrist’s forces, Jesus will establish His earthly kingdom for 1,000 years. Saints will rule with Jesus.
  7. Satan’s Final Rebellion.
    • Read Revelation 20:7-10.
    • Ask: “According to verse 7, what will happen at the end of the 1,000 years?” (Satan will be loosed from his prison in the bottomless pit).
    • Ask: “What will he do?” (deceive the nations and lead to fight against the Lord).
    • Tell the students this will be Satan’s Final Rebellion (direct everyone’s attention to that item on their handout).
    • Ask: “According to verse 9, what will happen to Satan’s forces gathered to fight against the Lord?” (God will send fire down from heaven to devour them all).
    • Ask: “What will happen to Satan?” (he will be cast into the Lake of Fire where he will be tormented day and night forever).
    • Summarize: After the Millennium Satan will be loosed from the bottomless pit and lead one final rebellion against the Lord. His forces will be destroyed and he will be consigned to torment in the Lake of Fire forever. Satan will trouble humanity no more!
  8. Great White Throne Judgment.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Revelation 20:11-15.
    • Ask: “What did John see in verse 11?” (the Lord seated on a Great White Throne).
    • Tell the class the Lord is so holy and righteous that the earth and heaven will not be able to stand in His presence; they will flee away.
    • Ask: “What will happen at this Great White Throne?” (the dead will be judged according to their works).
    • Tell the students this is the Great White Throne Judgment (direct everyone’s attention to that item on their handout).
    • Explain that all the unsaved dead from all time will appear before Almighty God.
    • Ask: “Who will be cast into the Lake of Fire?” (death and hell: anyone whose name is not written in book of life).
    • Tell the class this is the second resurrection and the second death.
    • Summarize: At the Great White Throne Judgment all of the unredeemed dead of all time will appear before the Lord to be judged according to their works. Since their names are not written in the Lamb’s book of life, they will be cast into the Lake of Fire.

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Remind the students that at the beginning of today’s lesson we talked about those who escape punishment for their crimes and sins. Seeing such occurrences makes us long for a time when wrongs will be made right and true justice will prevail.

Tell the class in today’s lesson we have learned that God will ultimately judge and punish all sinners. Some may escape punishment in this life, but none will escape punishment when they stand before Almighty God. The wicked will receive the punishment they deserve.

Ask: “What about you? Are you headed to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb or the Great White Throne Judgment? Will you spend eternity with Jesus or in the Lake of Fire?” Tell the students those are the only two options and the choice is theirs to make. Now is the time to make that choice if they have never done so.

Briefly share the plan of salvation, using the verses printed on the back of the quarterly, the Roman Road, or a Gospel tract. Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes. Ask any who are not saved to turn from their sin and place their faith in Jesus Christ. Ask those who are already saved to pray for those who are not. Voice a closing prayer.

 

CONCLUSION: Tell the students that next week’s lesson reveals the exciting conclusion of God’s eternal plan. Ask everyone to memorize Revelation 21:3-4. Give them each a copy of the Sunday School Member Quarterly for the fall quarter study of Genesis 1 – 25.

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