Summary: This sermon attempts to give an overview of the Millennium, the reasons why there needs to be a Millennium, and what impact the Millennium should have on our lives as Christians now.
WHAT IS THE MILLENNIUM? The thousand-year reign of Jesus on the earth after the Tribulation.
- We don’t get a ton of information in this brief passage about it, but we want to unpack what we are told here as well as bring in the numerous Old Testament references to this time.
- Put the Millennium in its larger end-times context.
KEY PIECES OF THE PICTURE:
1. SATAN IS BOUND FOR 1,000 YEARS.
- Revelation 20:1-3, 7.
- This is not hell, but the abyss. Satan will be consigned to hell after the final rebellion that happens at the end of the 1,000 years.
a. Satan is taken out of the picture so that Christ can rule upon the earth.
- Satan’s departure opens up the opportunity for Jesus to rule as He desires on the earth without the Enemy’s opposition.
- Think about how different it will make the situation for people when there is no Tempter.
b. Why does it say that he must be released for a short time after the 1,000 years?
- We will discuss this more later in the sermon, but I think it has to do with proving once and for all what the nature of mankind is.
2. JESUS RULES ON THE EARTH, WITH THE SAINTS RULING WITH HIM.
a. Jesus rules on the earth.
- He has won the dramatic victory at Armageddon, as we discussed in earlier sermons in this series.
- Now He is going to rule on the earth for 1,000 years.
b. The saints will rule with Him.
- Which saints? This is uncertain. Some believe it is all the saints: Old Testament, church age, people saved during the Tribulation, etc. Others think that the church age saints will not be a part of this ruling because of the Jewish focus of the Millennium. The Bible does not give us a definitive answer.
- We can say, though, that some of the saints will rule with Christ. As reward for their faithfulness and fruitfulness during this life they will be given various levels of authority to rule with Christ. This is enormously exciting and interesting – we will get to rule with Jesus. Work was not part of the curse. Work was present before the curse. Work became toilsome because of the Fall. Work still exists in the Millennium and eternity beyond that because meaningful work at something we are gifted at is something that brings meaning and purpose to our lives in the way that God designed us to be.
- This is what it means when Paul writes that the saints will judge the world (1 Corinthians 6:2). Not Final Judgment, but ruling with Christ.
- This what it means when Paul writes that we will reign with Christ (2 Timothy 2:12).
- The saints will be glorified and no longer sinful.
- I believe we will also rule with Him in the new heaven and new earth described in Revelation 21 and 22, but likely we will here as well.
c. The regular people this time starts with are those who have followed Christ and survived Armageddon.
- So this era will start with people who are devoted to Christ. Over the 1,000 years (and certainly pretty quickly into the Millennium), as new people are born there will be others who are not interested in following Christ, despite how wonderful the world is under His rule.
- The decrease of disease, the elimination of war, and the relative economic prosperity will lead to many babies, along with longer lives.
- This is why the Revelation 20:5 reference to “the rest of the dead” means the lost.
d. This shows what it would be like to have Jesus ruling people who still have a sin nature.
- Although the saints who we discussed a moment ago who are ruling with Christ are transformed and glorified, the people on earth living out of the Tribulation will still be “regular people,” that is, people with a fallen nature.
- So although this world is wonderful in many ways, it is not a perfect world. It is Jesus ruling over people who still have the ability to choose against Him. Disobedience is still possible (and, indeed, inevitable).
- People will live longer, but there will still be death.
e. Nature will be more peaceful during this time.
- This is where you get the famous time of lions laying down with the lambs.