estiny Bulletin   

The Millennium and Beyond

Life in the Millennium

The great promise of the future—that’s the content of most political speeches, many education courses, and many religious anticipations for the days to come. Really, we live in a world in which, built on one premise or another, people are promising that a perfect world will come to pass. Utopia is the name of it, and you can hear it in most of the speeches that are made today.

A lot of this is based on what we call “social Darwinism.” Charles Darwin stated that the biological world started with the simple and grew to the complex, as far as plants and animals are concerned. Then along came the social Darwinists, and they said, “Society is getting better and better. Man will bring to pass a world which is beautiful. It may well be called a perfect world.”

A Degenerating World

Will this promise come to pass? On one side, the answer is no, not as far as man is concerned. Man will never be able to create a perfect world, because “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

However, on the other side, the answer is yes, a thousand times yes. There will be a world to come so beautiful as to be wonderful beyond description. God will bring it to pass, and it is called “the millennial reign of Jesus Christ.”

Many of the things which the Bible says about this beautiful era, the millennial reign of Christ, are obscure to a lot of people. However, if you look one more time in the Bible, you will find many things that will characterize that time of the reign of Christ in the world.

Life in the Millennium—what are the characteristics of that world that will be ruled by Jesus Christ? It’s my hope that what we will say will be a trigger mechanism that will create tremendous curiosity on our part. I trust that we will take the time to think for ourselves, and study the Word of God about the reign of Jesus Christ—when He imposes, but beautifully so, the rule of God upon the nations of earth.

Three times in that short passage of Scripture, the Bible says there will be a time, a thousand years long, in which Christ shall reign. It will be a world that approaches perfection. Will there then be a marvelous world to come? Yes, it is called the millennial reign of Jesus Christ.

We live in a day which we call the Day of Grace. This is the Church Age. This is the time in which God is calling out of the world a people for His name, for the purpose of ruling in eternity. Someday soon there will come that moment in which the Church Age is done. It will end with the Rapture of the Church. Christ will come, and take believers up to be with Himself.

Then there will come to pass a time in the world which is, in its long perspective, called the Day of the Lord, the first seven years of which are called the Tribulation. The Tribulation will be the time in which man discovers how evil he really is. It will be a time of awful carnage in the world. One half of the population of the world will die. The world would really destroy itself except for divine intervention, the glorious Second Coming of the Lord Jesus. When He comes, He will deliver Israel from the vast attack that has been mounted against her, and the world from the clutches of sin. He will then initiate His millennial reign. The kingdom of Christ will be established in the world for 1,000 years. Now I know, when we hear this, we ask, “Why must this be?” The answer is because in the millennial reign of Christ, the world will discover the blessing, the joy, the wonderful things that it could have known all of the time, had it elected to follow Jesus Christ and to trust Him.

You see, this will not be heaven yet. Instead, the millennial reign will show what the world could have been like if it had not been infected by sin. Man’s perverse heart has accepted sin as the modus operandi, causing sin to move across the world. The Bible says about Adam: “by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12).

During that thousand year period of time, the effects of sin will be mostly reversed in the world. The Devil will be chained up, as we have seen, and man will discover such marvelous things, so that the world will be lovely beyond description.

Talk about utopia, talk about perfection: they will come to pass in the world. It will be absolutely beautiful. Will it come because of a political process? No. Will it come because autonomous man does such lovely things that he makes it happen? No.

Man by his efforts will bring to pass a day so terrible that it is called the Tribulation, and finally, the Great Tribulation. It will take divine intervention and the rule of the righteousness of Jesus Christ to finally bring peace and prosperity to pass in the world.

We have a number of characteristics that are taught in the Bible about what that wonderful era will be like.

A World Ruled by Christ

First of all, and perhaps most of all, the world will be ruled by Jesus Christ. The Bible, in Psalm 2, talks about a rebellion against God, in which the nations rage against the Lord. Isn’t it true that most of the problems of our world today come because of ignorant, bad, or evil leadership? Not so in the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. His righteous rule will be imposed on the nations of the world. Those who do not obey will have instant fearful judgment come upon them. You can be very sure that the world will be permeated by His rule and it will produce a beautiful result.

Jerusalem—The World Capital

Secondly, the capital of the world will be the city of Jerusalem. It is Jerusalem that the Bible calls the “Holy City” and the rule of Jesus Christ will be set up from His throne that reaches out from the city of Jerusalem. Again, we have that indication in the second Psalm, but also in many other places in the Word of God. The Father says: “Yet have I set my king upon My holy hill of Zion” (Psalm 2:6).

It is Zion (Jerusalem) that will be the place of the throne of Jesus Christ. Therefore, when we see Jerusalem in the news once again, when we see the Jews back in the city of Jerusalem, we can be very sure that we are beginning to see the fulfillment of the promise of Jesus Christ, where He says: “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Luke 21:24).

When you see Jerusalem in Jewish hands once again, you can be very sure that you are seeing a giant step in the direction of the rule of Jesus Christ from what the Bible calls His “Holy City.”

Israel Leads the World

There will also be a leading nation of the world. It will be the nation that God calls “the apple of His eye.” It will be the only nation whose borders are precisely defined by the Word of God, reaching from the River Euphrates all the way around to the Great River of Egypt. That nation is Israel. Isaiah speaks about this. Incidentally, if you want to take the time to read about a beautiful delineation of the millennial reign of Jesus Christ, read the latter chapters of the Prophet Isaiah. Israel will rule the world one day.

People are frequently indignant about Israel in our time. They need to be very, very careful, because to make friends with Israel is to make friends with the nation that one day will be the master of earth, humanly speaking.

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper who love thee” (Psalm 122:6).

Israel, the world’s leading nation, will be the instrument by which God rules the world in a day which is to come.

We’ll Never Grow Old

Now what about people? What will be their portion during the millennial reign of Christ? It will be quite remarkable, for physical health will be one of the characteristics of that rule of the Lord. The Bible teaches that a righteous person will still be considered to be young at the age of 100. A wicked person, however, won’t make it. He will be judged before that time (Isaiah 65:20).

You will be young again during the millennial reign of Jesus Christ, as well as young again for all of eternity. We are used to reciting in our time the little couplet that says, “Backward, turn backward, O time in our flight; make me a child again just for tonight.” “Let me be young again”—that is the call of so many people. That will be the case in the world in the time of the millennial reign of Christ.

A Truly “Great Society”

Let’s also rejoice in the fact that no one will do what he does in vain, and nothing will be stolen. There will be perfect order—no crime in the world in those days. One of the real problems of the world in our time is crime raging in the streets of our major cities.

Well, forget about that during the Millennium. God will establish the rule, strictly enforced, that the labor of your hands will become yours. No one will have the right or the opportunity, or even the possibility, of stealing something from someone else.

Think of the economy of the world today. Why is it that we have such fierce economic problems growing in our time? It’s because “men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous” (2 Timothy 3:2).

Covetousness ruins the world today, creating economic distress in every land. Not so during the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. You will be able to possess the labor of your hands. Consequently, the economy of the world will be straightened out, because people will labor with confidence, and with the expectation of retaining what they have earned.

Powerfully Answered Prayers

Have you ever asked the question, “Where is God?”—especially “Where is God when I need Him? How come my prayers aren’t answered?”

Well, there is an answer to that question. Most of the prayers of people, even believing Christians in our time, are answered by two words: “better; later.” They’re answered by the God “that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). Although He is able to say “yes” at any time, God often entreats us to have patience, because that’s what it will take to rule the universe someday.

However, during the millennial reign of Jesus Christ, it will be different. During that time, the Bible says, prayers will be instantly answered so that the result will be really quite astonishing. In fact, you may want to know what that verse says. “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24).

It’s as if God will stand ready to instantly respond, really, when the thought is in our mind, as to any need that we might have in all of life. In our present dispensation, the Bible entreats that we have patience, because the just shall live by faith. However, during the days of the millennial reign of Jesus Christ, it won’t be so much faith. It will be sight. Faith will give way to sight. Christ will be there, ready, willing, tremendously able to answer our prayers in an absolutely beautiful fashion. He will say, “What can I do for you?” Whatever we request will, in fact, come to pass.

A Harmonious Universe

Notice also that during the reign of Jesus Christ, there will be perfect harmony in all of the created universe.

This is perhaps a good time to remind ourselves that there are people who say, “We are even now in the millennial reign of Jesus Christ.” They say, “We can prove this in many ways.” One person said, “I’ll tell you how I can prove it: I have this lion and this lamb here in the same cage, and they get along beautiful. That’s proof that the millennial reign of Christ is not some time in the future, but it is now.” He then proceeded to explain, “But of course, I’ve got to put a new lamb in every now and then.”

Well, we are not in the Millennium yet. We do not have Kingdom authority (the Kingdom working of an instant and immediate God on our behalf). In this day, the just shall live by faith, producing a marvelous result for all eternity. In contrast, during the millennial reign of Jesus Christ, the result will be beautiful: perfect harmony in the created universe.

A New “National Passion”

Everyone, of course, will worship the King, and there will be beautiful consequences of that worship. The Prophet Zechariah talks about this. Zechariah, by the way, is another wonderful one to speak about the days when God Himself will take over the physical operation of the world.

So you see, we will not be in heaven yet; we will be in the millennial reign of the Lord Jesus. However, the Scripture indicates that the whole world will not simply be religious, but it will know for a fact that Jesus Christ has finally come to fulfill His promise. He will inherit all the nations of the world, and the worship of Christ will be totally, and completely, universal.

Before that, during the days of the Tribulation, the Antichrist will try the same thing. Of course, his efforts will come apart into a bestial war. What a contrast to the Millennium, when worshipping Jesus Christ will be the glad activity of everyone!

Peace will cover the earth. The promise of peace has been sought after by nations and people down through the ages of history. That promise has never been fulfilled. Jesus said, “you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars” (Matthew 24:6). And He was speaking about human activity in the days of the human mastery of earth.

But when you are speaking about the Millennium, it is peace that will characterize the entire world. Isaiah speaks about this in Chapter 66. Incidentally, when you read the latter portion of Isaiah, it grows on you. There’s a sense of joy that comes over you, when you realize that all of the bright anticipations of humanity will in fact come to pass on that glad day when the Creator of the universe takes over in the lives of men. What a day that will be!

Honor for God’s Chosen People

Finally, let us mention that Israel and the Jews will be the envy of the whole world. Zechariah speaks about the attitude of the world towards a person who is of the nation of Israel.

Israel, hated of the nations down through the ages of history, will finally be recognized because they have believed the Gospel of the Kingdom. They will be seen to be God’s chosen people. In effect, the world will say, “I’m with you. I know that you represent the only and the true God.”

Take a moment to think about these characteristics, and many others, that are given to us in the Word of God. Then take a moment to rejoice, for God has not forgotten. He will fulfill every one of His promises. Jesus shall reign. Look forward to that tremendous day.

From the writings of Dave Breese