By Merrill Olson
In the chronology of the Bible, especially in Revelation, the Millennial Kingdom follows the Second Coming of Christ. The Second Coming is described in Revelation 19:11-21 and the Kingdom in Revelation 20:1-6.
Scripture lists the duration of the Millennium six times (Revelation 20:1-7). Therefore, “the thousand years” is described in such a way that it should not be taken symbolically or allegorically. A straightforward reading of the biblical text is that the earthly kingdom of Christ will exist for the extent of time that God’s Word clearly states. To read into it any other interpretation in order to agree with a particular eschatological framework is to degrade the very Word of God.
There will be four groups of people that will enter the Lord’s Millennial Kingdom. The first are those who are caught up in the Rapture before the Tribulation (1 Thess. 4:13-17). They will come back with the Lord at His Second Coming (Zech. 14:5; Rev. 19:14) and will enter the Kingdom in their resurrected bodies.
The second group will be raised in glorified resurrected bodies at the Second Coming. This will be the Old Testament saints (Dan. 2:2-3; Isa. 26:19-21). The third group resurrected also in glorified bodies at Christ’s Second Coming is the Tribulation saints who died as martyrs in the Tribulation (Rev. 7:9-14; 20:4). The fourth group is the surviving Tribulation saints, the “sheep” that the Lord singled out in His judgment of the nations (Matt. 25:31-46). These believers enter the Millennial Kingdom in their physical bodies and will bear the children that populate the Kingdom. The glorified bodies of the first three groups will not be capable of giving birth.
The Kingdom reign of Christ on this earth will be a glorious time. The Bible says that “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:9). Can you imagine? Today the world is filled with the knowledge of evil, but in that future day it will be “full of the knowledge of the LORD.”
Many of the blessings of that time are mentioned in Isaiah. For instance:
(1) Righteousness will prevail (11:1-5). As the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, rules this earth, righteousness and justice will prevail. (2) There will be universal peace (2:2-4; 9:6). Jesus is called the “Prince of Peace” and this earth will be filled with peace.
(3) Animals and humans will live in harmony (11:6-9). (4) Food and rain will be plentiful for both people and animals (30:23-25). (5) All physical infirmities and illnesses will be gone (29:18; 33:24). (6) People will dwell in an enhanced and blessed environment (35:1-2, 5-7). (7) Longevity will be greatly increased (65:20). (8) Prosperity will result in joy and gladness (Jer. 31:12-14; Amos 9:13-15). There are many more from Scripture.
However, the blessing for those who presently love Israel is that the Remnant of Israel will possess its promised land (Gen. 15:18-21; 26:3-4; 28:13-14; Psalm 105:8-12). It has been prophesied to be. God is not finished with Israel! Praise God!
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