We are continuing our study on the Millennium, the thousand-year reign of Jesus on Earth. In the third study on eternity, we talked about the resurrection of the saints at the return of Christ. Those born-again and walking with Christ will receive an imperishable body, a body of power that is immortal. This body will be like Christ's resurrection body, a body that had been sown in dishonor but raised in glory (1 Corinthians 15:43). The saints are given authority to reign with Christ for a thousand years (Revelation 20:4; 1 Corinthians 6:2), and Satan will be bound and thrown into the Abyss (Revelation 20:1-3).
1And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. 2He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. 3He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time. 4I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5(The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-6 Emphasis mine).
Theologians and scholars call this thousand-year reign of Christ the Millennium. The word millennium means a thousand. There are three beliefs about the Millennium. The first is called Amillennialism. An Amillennialist believes that the thousand years mentioned five times in the passage above is a symbolic number and represents the time we are in now, the church age. Secondly, there is postmillennialism. Postmillennialists also believe that the 1000-year period mentioned in the passage above is not a literal 1,000 years. In their view, the church will bring in a golden age of Christian ethics, and Jesus' Second Coming will come after that period. Thirdly, there is premillennialism, which is the view this writer holds. A premillennialist believes that Jesus' coming will be during a time of tribulation, that He will raise the saints, those who have been born-again of the Spirit (John 3:3), and the saints will rule and reign with Him in a literal thousand-year reign on the earth.
The dragon, that ancient serpent that appeared in the Garden of Eden, also called the devil and Satan, will be bound, verse three tells us, in the Abyss (Greek word is Abussos, a word that means bottomless, unfathomed; enormous; unbounded; immeasurable depth). There will be no more war until the 1000 years are up; after that, Satan must be released for a time. Try to imagine what our world will be like with Satan bound. What changes will come about for those living on earth in total freedom from satanic influence?
For believers in Christ in their resurrection bodies, there will be no temptation towards evil and sin and no more deception at work on the earth (v. 3). Our resurrection bodies will remove all fear of harm, and there will be no fear of death. From the point when Jesus returns, all true believers in Christ are immortal (Philippians 3:20-21). Our sinful nature will also be taken away, and there will be no urge or desire to sin. Our creativity will be unleashed because we will be operating in a free capacity. We will see our bodies, souls, and minds operating at an entirely different level, free from constraint. We will experience life as God intended us to know it. Oh, how I look forward to it! I hope you are too. Keith Thomas
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