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Summary: Two views regarding the “Millennium reign” of Christ on earth. Note: word Millennium with ? and two arrows

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A key word in verse is “THEN”

Follows a “millennium” of Christ’s reign on earth (Rev 20:1-10) and a final judgment (20:11-15)

DIAGRAM ON BACK

Two views regarding the “Millennium reign” of Christ on earth. Note: word Millennium with ? and two arrows

(explain) dotted line represents millennium as a literal 1,000 reign of Christ after returning to earth to rule.

• = Pre millenialists, a belief held by many in the first couple of century’s and again today.

Another view…referred to as Anillenialism…established by Augustine. Later by the Reformers, and still today by many. Views this as the reign of Christ which began at his first coming…the victory of the cross and resurrection over death and Satan and hell.

Such a view notes:

1) The idea of 1,000 year reign on earth is spoken of no where else but in Rev. 20

2) # used in Revelation, and in apocalyptic literature in general are symbolic…1,000 = long period of time

3) Much is said of the Kingdom already at hand in Christ, of his “first blow” defeat of Satan and evil…reign…binding. (as noted by dotted line which begins “the age to come”)

I share these two view points because they both offer valid viewpoints of what lies ahead…but as others have said, WE’RE NOT ON THE PLANNING COMMITTEE, WE’RE ON THE WELCOMING COMMITTEE…which leads to our second point.

2. The future of eternity will bring forth the JOY of being united with God…as a bride finally presented to her bridegroom.

verses 2-3 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride, beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.

Central to this vision of a recreated heaven and earth is that of a holy city…the new Jerusalem…the dwelling of God.

Must understand what Jerusalem had represented in the old covenant…holiness…set apart …dedicated to God…place of encounter…as close as any could come to his presence.

I don’t believe John is describing a literal remake of the ancient city but rather the greater reality of the arch type of all such uniting of God’s glory coming down in the midst of his creation. Word for dwelling (skene) carries sound of a similar word (shekinah)= glory of God.

How will God’s presence and glory come to us?

Like a bride prepared for her husband

Just when we might be intimidated, the first image God gives us is the most relational and intimate of all. “There is a tenderness and joyousness in the marriage image. This symbolic description is to be our first impression of God’s new order!

The first image is not the splendor of wealth. (Although that is given later in this chapter), but rather that of a bride beautifully prepared…the beauty that captures and culminates the longing of ones soul.

It’s the grand moment of every wedding…when held in a church…all rise…the doors open…there she is… (I’ll never forget…Leah)

Rev. 19:7 “Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.” Let us rejoice and be glad!!

…When we come together and worship God and honor his presence in our lives by His Spirit…it is merely and engagement party…the wedding awaits us!

3. The future of eternity will usher an ultimate and eternal PEACE…for all the pain and fear of life apart from God will be gone. V.4. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Those are words that fill my soul with life (Calvary Chapel in San Diego….one of His students…my favorite.)

For one of the most captivating truths about eternity is WHAT’S NOT THERE…

No ,More death…sorrow…crying…pain

We all know the pain that’s a part of this temporal life. Jesus a man of sorrows...acquainted with grief. Perhaps that is why God wrote this into John’s heart…for Jesus.. the joy set before him…hope joy

That’s not all go back to v. 1 “sea”

Might at fist seem a depressing thought…clearly symbolic…and refers only to the end of the original sea…just as it did the heavens and earth. The ancient hearer clearly understood the meaning of the old sea being seen no more…for not only was the old earth a source of toil, but the sea was a source of danger…fear. Common to ancient myths…the depths of the sea…also no compasses…vv .23-25…no darkness.

Rev. 21:22-27 “I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light and Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no noght there.

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