THOUSAND YEAR MILLENIAL REIGN OF CHRIST
WHY DOES JESUS NEED TO RETURN TO EARTH TO REIGN?
What could possibly be the Lord’s purpose in returning to this world to reign for a thousand years? Why does the Lord or the world need a millennium? WHY? Because of God’s promises to Israel and the Jewish people, to the church, to the nations, to the creation, and to God’s promises to Jesus. We know God’s promises will come to pass because God always keeps His promises.
PROMISES TO ISREAL AND THE JEWISH PEOPLE
God has made covenants and promises with the nation Israel and the Jewish people but with space constraints on Facebook I will not go into specific details. Briefly, God had promised that He would gather to the land of Israel the remnant of Jews who accept Jesus as their Messiah at the end of the great Tribulation (Ezek. 36:22-28; Zech. 10:6-9). He will pour out His Spirit upon this remnant (Isaiah 32:15; 44:3), and greatly expand their numbers and their land (Eze. 36:10-11; 48:1-29) and make them the prime nation in all the world (Isaiah 60-62). A golden era with a perfect government under King Jesus, ruling from David’s throne in Jerusalem, where creation will be restored, perfect justice will prevail, world experiencing international peace, and perfect distribution of truth in Christ’s millennial reign.
Zechariah says the blessings of God upon the Jewish remnant will be so great in those days that, “Ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew saying, ‘let us go with you, for we have heard God is with you’ (v. 8:2).”
PROMISES TO THE CHURCH
God has promised that the Redeemed in Christ would reign over all the nations of the world. “Then the sovereignty, the dominion, and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him (Daniel 7:27).”
In the New Testament, Paul repeated the same promise in the simplest of terms: “If we endure, we shall also reign with him (2 Tim. 2:12).” Jesus affirmed the promise in His letter to the church at Thyatira when He wrote: “… and he who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron (Rev. 2:26-27).”
When John was taken to heaven for a visit to the throne room of God, he heard a heavenly host singing a song that contained the following verse: “And Thou has made them (the redeemed) to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth (Rev. 5:10).”
Jesus will reign as King of the world from Mount Zion in Jerusalem (Isaiah 24:23; Zech. 14:9). The redeemed, and their glorified bodies, will help Christ with His reign by serving worldwide as administrators and spiritual tutors to those who enter the kingdom in the flesh and to their children (Dan. 7:18, 27; Jer. 3:19; Luke 19:11-17).
PROMISES TO THE NATIONS
God has promised that a time will come when the nations will be provided with their greatest dream; namely, worldwide peace. This has been an international dream since the beginning of time but it has proved to be impossibly elusive.
Nations will learn God’s ways: “Many nations shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord….. He will teach us His ways, and we will walk in His paths. For out of Zion the law shall go forth… (Micah 4:2).
God has promised to give mankind and the earth a rest from its wars. But that peace will not come until the Prince of Peace returns. Only then will the nations, “… hammer their swords into plowshares, and their Spears into pruning hooks.” Only then will we realize the dream of a world where “Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war (Isaiah 2:4).”
PROMISES TO THE CREATION
God has promised to remove the curse which He placed upon the creation due to the sin of man. He has promised to deliver the creation from its bondage to decay and to restore it to its original beauty, balance, and peace (Rom. 8:18-23).
The carnivorous animals will become herbivorous (Isa. 11:6). The deadly animals will cease to be poisonous (Isa. 11:8-9). The plant kingdom will flourish and produce bountifully (Isa. 35; Ezek. 34:25-31). The land of Israel will become so radically transformed that visitors will proclaim in amazement: “This desolate land has become like the Garden of Eden (Ezek. 36:35).”
PROMISES TO JESUS
The reason for the millennium is that God is going to use it to fulfil promises which He has made to His Son. God has promised Jesus that he would be glorified in history to compensate in part for His humiliation in history. The Bible says point blank that Jesus will return to manifest His glory (Isa. 24:23; 66:18-19; 2 Thess.1:7-10). God also has promised that He will give Jesus dominion over all the world and that He will reign over the nations from Mount Zion in Jerusalem (Dan. 7:13-14; Isa. 2:2-4; Zech. 14:1-9).
Psalm chapter 2 presents a good summary of these promises. It begins by surveying the rebellion of the world’s political leaders against God and His Son, referred to in the passage as “His Anointed (v1,2).” It describes their contempt for the Lord (v.3). But the Psalm says that God sits in the heavens and laughs and scoffs at them because He has appointed a day of reckoning when He will “terrify them in His fury (v.5).” That will be the day when He installs Jesus as “King upon Zion (v.6).”
Jesus then speaks and tells of the promise His Father has made to Him: “I will surely tell of the degree of the Lord: He said to Me, ‘Thou art My Son, today I have begotten Thee. Ask of Me and I will surely give the nations as Thine inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Thy possession. Thou shall break them with a rod of iron…’ (v. 7-9).”
It must be kept in mind that Jesus is currently a “King-in-waiting.” Like King David, who had to wait many years after he was anointed before he became King of Israel; likewise Jesus has been anointed King of kings and Lord of Lords, but He has not yet begun to rule. He is currently serving as our “High Priest” before the throne of God (Heb. 8:1). Jesus is waiting for His Father’s command to return and claim all the kingdoms of this world (Hebrews 2:5-9; Rev. 19:11-16).
THE VINDICATION OF CHRIST DEMANDS IT
It is inconceivable that the last public view the world would have of Jesus would be that of a bleeding, dying, crucified criminal, covered with blood, hanging naked on the cross. Some people may not realize this but after Christ’s resurrection He never appeared in a public venue before unbelievers. No record that unbelievers ever saw Him. But on Christ’s return the unbelieving world will see His glory displayed to everyone. The Savior who was humiliated, taunted, and put to death in a public display of humanity’s hatred of God will return as conquering Lord in view of the entire world (Luke 21:25-27). “And every eye will see Him (Rev. 1:7).” The Second Coming of Jesus, coming in glory as a conquering hero, is the apex of human history – the glory of Christ at His most glorious moment in Scripture.
THE DESTRUCTION OF SATAN DEMANDS IT
Satan, an already defeated foe as far as Christians are concerned, still exercises a kind of dominion over this world (John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11; 2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2, 6:12; 1 John 5:19). But Christ is the only rightful ruler of this world and when He returns, He will overthrow and destroy Satan completely. In Revelation chapter 5, Jesus receives the title deed of the earth from God, the Father.
After one last-ditch effort by Satan to retain his unlawful dominion over the earth during the tribulation, Christ Himself returns at the battle of Armageddon to vanish the foe. He chains him into a bottomless pit, and then after the thousand years, confines him to an eternal lake of fire (Rev. 19). With that Christ’s victory over Satan, the usurper, is complete.
ESSENTIAL TO THE MASTER PLAN
The millennium is essential for the fulfilment of all the promises that God has made to Jesus, to the Jews, to the church, to the nations, and to creation. It is also essential to His determination to prove that the source of all evil is the fallen nature of man, not the corruption of society, and that the only hope for this world is Jesus, not political reform.
In the beginning, when God created man, the devil sought to dwarf the Divine plan for the human race. Man (Adam) surrendered the scepter to Satan, who is now the god of this age (2 Cor. 4:4). But Jesus Christ, the last Adam, through His death and resurrection has regained for man the dominion over the world and will after the millennium dethrone Satan and rule as King supreme. The Redeemed of the earth will be associated with Him in His reign (Rev. 5:9, 10; 20:4-6). So, it would appear that the very honor of the Lord is at stake in all of this. The scene of Christ’s humiliation, suffering, and crucifixion will one day witness His exultation and glory. The millennium is essential to God’s purpose in glorifying His Son. God is going to manifest the glory of Jesus before His redeemed saints and before all the nations of the world.
A description of the millennial blessings: “All the ends of the world will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations who worship before Thee. For the kingdom is the Lord’s, and He rules over the nations. Posterity will serve Him, it will be told of the Lord to the coming generation. They will come and will declare His righteousness to a people who will be born, that He performed it (Psalm 22:27-31).”
The millennium will be the time when there will be a full manifestation of the glory, the power, and the will of God over this earth. Just as God fulfilled all the promises in the First Coming of His Son, He is going to fulfil all those promises that relate to Christ’s Second Coming, including the promise of a millennial reign.
A FINAL REASON – MY THOUGHTS
I believe God is going to use the millennium to prove to man once and for all that Satan’s religion of humanism is totally bankrupt. All humanists, regardless of their political or theological labels, all agree that the source of evil in the world is external to man. They view evil as rooted in the corruption of society. They believe that the solution to all man’s problems can be solved in societal reform.
Take, as an example, their attitude towards crime. Humanists believe society is the root cause of crime. All we have to do to eliminate crime, they argue, is to provide people with a guaranteed job that will supply them with sufficient income so that they will be able to live in a nice suburb. But such reforms do not transform the basic nature of people – man’s sinful nature. You do not change man’s basic nature by changing their environment. Changing their environment simply converts them into more sophisticated sinners.
The humanistic view is absolutely contrary to Scripture. The Word of God teaches that the source of evil is rooted within man’s fallen nature and that it is man, and not society, which needs to be changed (Gen. 8:21; Jer. 17:9-10; Mark 7:20-23). God’s Word also teaches that the only way this change can take place is through the work of the Holy Spirit within a person who has put his faith and trust in Christ Jesus.
God is going to prove this point by using the millennium like a great experimental laboratory. He is going to place mankind in a perfect environment of peace and prosperity for a thousand years with Jesus reigning in Jerusalem. Satan will be bound and all people will be free from spiritual deception. Righteousness will abound. The Lord Jesus will be visibly ruling from Jerusalem dispensing joy, blessing, correction, teaching and perfect justice will prevail. Those who are born in the millennium are still born with a sin nature (the seed of man). They will still need to repent and receive salvation. God is just and fair and will give these people every opportunity to repent. Under these conditions, man will have no excuse on the Day of Judgement. They won’t be able to say that the “devil made me do it” or that the temptations of the world causes mankind to sin.
Yet, at the end of the thousand years, what is man’s response? Many, in spite of knowledge, had refused to turn from their self-willed life and submit to God. When Satan is turned loose after a thousand years, he is actually able to deceive a vast number into attacking Jesus Christ himself! God gave man every external comfort and advantage, yet the problem really lies within each individual. Each person is desperately in need to be reconciled to God and freed from that tyrant called “self.”
In the end God’s Word is fully vindicated as all possible excuses for man’s behavior are eliminated and Satan’s short-lived uprising at the end of the millennium is crushed. The millennium will prove that what a man really needs is not a new society but a new heart – a new heart transplant that can only come when we put our total faith and trust in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen
F/B – Signs Of Our Times
Understanding The Signs Of Our Times .com
Transforming Power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man
Lian Muan Kim –
Koinonia Baptist Seminary, Yangon