A short insight into the amazing thousand-year kingdom of peace that Christ will establish in the end times.
The prophecy given in the book of Revelation tells about all kinds of terrible plagues and tribulations that will fall over the earth in the end times. God’s wrath will be poured over the servants of Satan in abundance in an event known as the Great Tribulation. This is the natural culmination of the development of sin on the earth. As long as sin had the upper hand the earth became steadily more corrupt and damaged. (Read more about the Great Tribulation here.)
But at the end of all this Jesus Christ will come back with the armies of heaven and they will begin a glorious time of healing on the earth. This is the start of the thousand-year era of peace known as the Millennium.
What is the Millennium?
The Millennium is a time of peace and harmony on the earth when Jesus and the saints will rule in righteousness. It is a time when all wrongs will be put right and all evils will be cleansed from the earth. Isaiah 65:20-25 contains a fuller description of the wonder and harmony that will characterize this time.
Nobody will exploit another, nobody will steal or murder. The entire earth will be ruled by Christ, His bride and the martyrs. (Revelation 20:4) And their governance will be fair and exactly according to God’s laws. It will be how God always intended the earth to be. A haven of peace and righteousness and joy. A creation in complete harmony with its Creator.
People will live much longer lives than they do now. (Isaiah 65:20) Even the animals will stop from killing one another for food and all of them will turn to eating grass and plants. (Isaiah 65:25)
Will there be sin during the Millennium?
In spite of all of this the sinful nature that is inherent in all of mankind will not have changed. People will still be born with a flesh in which dwells no good thing. (Romans 7:18) The possibility for people to choose to sin will still be there.
But because Satan is bound during this time (Revelation 20:2) he will not be able to exert his outer influence on people. It will be much easier for people to choose to serve God and live a righteous life when they are surrounded by that same righteousness on all fronts. When there is equality and justice and mercy and patience and humility all around instead of war and famine and tyranny and injustice.
Those who nevertheless choose to live a sinful life and give in to their own pride and selfishness during this time will die early. (Isaiah 65:20) God’s laws still apply and nobody will be able to get away with sinning unnoticed.
Jesus, the bride, and the martyrs
Jesus and His bride, along with the martyrs killed during the Great Tribulation will be ruling the earth. These are God’s most trusted servants. Jesus, who was tried in all points yet without sin, has absolute authority over all sin and unrighteousness. He is one hundred percent united with God’s will.
Those who are in the bride of Christ have also conquered sin in their lives. They too have authority to judge and rule in righteousness because they have let God teach them this righteousness throughout their time on earth. God has tested them and they have been purified by fire, in the same way as Jesus. Jesus and His bride will dry away the tears and bring joy and peace to people. But they have no tears of their own to dry away because they are already filled with God’s goodness and joy. (Read more about the bride of Christ here.)
The martyrs of the Great Tribulation have also been tested and will also be along in ruling during the Millennium for they have also given their lives to God, albeit in a different way than the bride. (Revelation 20:4-6) The glory and the responsibility of the bride of Christ will be much greater than that of the martyrs, because their sacrifice was also greater.
All of these will work together to ensure that the world grows in peace, harmony, righteousness, and godliness during the Millennium.
After the Millennium
Even though the Millennium will be a time lived in peace and righteousness, it is not God’s final goal for His creation. Satan has been bound, but not completely eradicated. And despite the wonder and harmony on the earth, it is still not perfect in God’s eyes because it bears the eternal stain of sin.
At the end of the Millennium Satan will be loosed from his chains for a short time, though it is unclear exactly how long this time is. This is his final chance to deceive all the nations and get people to follow him. Incredibly, he will gather enough people from all over the earth to create an army, and they will surround Jerusalem again, in a last desperate bid to take over God’s creation.
But now it is finally enough, and Satan’s time is up. God will send fire down from heaven to devour them. The devil will finally be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the Antichrist are, and they will be tormented there forever. (Revelation 20:7-10)
This marks the end of the Millennium and is the last event before the Final Judgment takes place, time ceases and eternity starts. (Read more about Judgment Day here.)
Before the end
It is wonderful to sit and think about what immense rejoicing the Millennium will bring, when all the tears and sorrows are finally washed away. But the happiest people in the Millennium will be Jesus and His bride. They have the greatest reward because they have made the greatest sacrifice.
Now is still the time to choose where you will be. The glory of each one will differ in eternity. How awful would it be to trade in our eternal glory for the passing pleasures of sin here on earth! Why not choose to be a part of the bride now? Choose to be one of those who accepts God’s judgment and leading in their lives. This is His way of training you for the responsibility of ruling over the earth during the Millennium.
Choose to be one of the ones drying away tears instead of one who has tears to dry.