The Devil Doesn’t Rule Hell: Insights from Revelation 20:7-15

May 20, 2024

This past weekend, the teaching team preached the final sermon in this year’s installment of the In The End Series. As we walked through Revelation 20:7-15, our goal was to help strengthen the certainty of our eternity for our church. In fact, the main idea of that sermon was Jesus’ victory gives you certainty about eternity. In verses 7-10, John the apostle writes of Satan’s complete and total defeat, and in verses 11-15, John writes about the two books that determine a person’s eternity: the book of deeds and the book of life. We saw that all our deeds are written in the book of deeds, but if your name was written in the book of life, you could be certain that you would spend eternity with Christ. If you were looking to know that your name was written in the book of life, all that is necessary is to trust Christ as your life.

Satan’s Defeat

What is interesting about Revelation 20:7-10 is how starkly different it depicts the purpose of the lake of fire, or Hell, than it seems our culture perceives it. If you asked most people to describe what they thought Hell is like, they’d probably talk about fire, the tormenting of souls, and the devil sitting on some kind of throne with a pitchfork. In our culture, it’s common to think of the devil as the ruler of Hell, being the one tormenting the unfortunate souls condemned to eternity.

But that’s not actually what the Bible says. Revelation 20:10 says “and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (emphasis added). The Bible actually says that the lake of fire was created for the devil, the beast, and the false prophet to be tormented forever.

In other words, Satan is not the ruler of hell! In fact, he is a prisoner of hell.

Christ on the Throne

Maybe the image of Satan ruling hell from a throne was what was in your mind. But this text shows us that there is one who is seated on a throne, and His name is Jesus. Thrones signify authority and kingship. The throne we focus on is the throne to which we submit. Instead of thinking of a fictious throne of Satan, let’s focus our thoughts on the one who sits on a throne forever – Jesus. He is the one who has defeated Satan on the cross, and He will defeat him completely in the end. He is the one who, by His one deed, has the authority to write your name in the book of life. When we focus on the one seated on the throne, we submit to His rightful, ultimate authority.

– Neeko Williams (Clifton Road Campus Pastor)

Watch the full sermon from the final week of the “In the End” series below:

Additional Resources

7 Arrows for Bible Reading
An article on a simple Bible interpretation method that reminds us to ask “How does this passage prompt me to pray?”

The Urgency of Eternity
An example from David Platt’s Pray the Word podcast of praying Revelation 20:15.

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