Summary: Eventually a literal kingdom is set up in the New Jerusalem. Christ's people literally reign over a literal planet with a literal King, Jesus. We stress "literal" because of so many who love to "spiritualize" texts.
5 . THE KINGDOM COMES TO EARTH
A. The day of the Lord!
No less than fifteen Bible characters speak of a unique day that is to come at the end of this present age. All of their descriptions point to a time that has not begun as yet! They speak of an unrepeatable time, as exceptionally glorious later as it is exceptionally awful at its inception.
1. Isaiah (2:12, 13:6)
"The day of the Lord of Hosts shall come…Wail, for the day of the Lord is at hand!"
2. Jeremiah (30:7)
"Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it. It is the time of Jacob’s trouble…"
3. Ezekiel ( 39:18)
"It is coming and it shall be done…This is the day of which I have spoken…"
4. Joel (1:15, 2:31)
"Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as destruction…the great and terrible day of the Lord."
5. Amos (5:18)
"Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord!"
6. Obadiah (v. 15)
"The day of the Lord upon all the nations is near."
7. Micah (4:6)
"In that day I will assemble the lame…"
8. Zephaniah (1:7)
"The day of the Lord is at hand, the Lord has prepared a sacrifice."
9. Zechariah (14:1)
"Behold the day of the Lord is coming…"
10. Malachi (3:2, 4:1)
"But who can endure the day of His coming? The day is coming, burning like an oven…"
"…day of judgment, take heed, lest that Day come on you unexpectedly…"
"…day of wrath and revelation," "the day of our Lord Jesus Christ," "the day of the Lord," "that Day," "the Day."
13. Peter (II Peter 2:9, 3:7-12)
"the day of judgment," "the day of the Lord."
"the day of judgment," "the great day of His wrath," "great day of God Almighty."
15. Jude (v. 6)
"the judgment of the great Day."
This day, perhaps as we have always known it, a 24-hour period, is a specific time that God’s spirit has indicated to cleanse the earth of its evil, and get it ready for the reign of Jesus Christ. If He can create the world in such a short time...
B. And how does that dreadful day begin?
Once more the voices raised are unanimous. According to Daniel (9:24-27) a treaty signed by a certain “prince” in the last days signals a period of seven years, three and one half of which will be the looked-for tribulation. A time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation, Daniel 12;12. Jesus is talking about the same time period in Matthew 24:21. The broken treaty seems to lead to world war. Psalm 2 describes the raging of the nations, and Revelation 19:19 their gathering together to make war against the returning Christ. An invitation is made by God Himself to a great feast of flesh for the birds of Heaven: Ezekiel 39:17 and Revelation 19:17, 18. Then Jesus touches down, Zechariah 14: 3ff. Here we see His response to the challenging nations who are headed by Satan’s Christ. Jesus returns in glory to the Mt. of Olives. He fights. While Jews run, the enemies are stricken with a force that dissolves their body parts immediately. This latter part of the judgment seems to be over in one literal day.
Mix together Armageddon, the Gog-Magog war (perhaps a part of Armageddon), the vial judgments of Revelation, and this final touchdown, the wrath of God on the Jew first, then all the Gentiles who have come against the Jew, and you have the makings of near-total destruction, said by Jesus to be so close to annihilation as to trigger His return to spare earthlings their final gasps. The combination of horrors is outlined by another strong group of witnesses:
Psalm 97:3, 5 "A fire goes before Him…" "The mountains melt like wax…" Isaiah 24:6, "the inhabitants of the earth are burned…" 34:9, "Its streams shall be turned into pitch, and its dust into brimstone. Its land shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night or day. Its smoke shall ascend forever…" 66:15, "The Lord will come with fire…to render…his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword the Lord will judge all flesh…" Ezekiel 20:47, "I will kindle a fire…and it shall devour every dry tree in you; the blazing flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be scorched by it. All flesh shall see that I the Lord, have kindled it; it shall not be quenched…" Joel 2:3, "a fire devours before them, and behind them a flame burns…" 2:30, "I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: blood and fire and pillars of smoke…" Malachi 4:1, "The day is coming, burning like an oven, and all the proud…will be stubble. The day which is coming shall burn them up… " II Thessalonians 1:8, "The Lord Jesus [will be] revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God…" Revelation 9:17, "Out of [the horses’] mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone. By these three a third of mankind was killed…" 18:8, "[Babylon] shall be utterly burned with fire."