Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-2).
The 1,000-year Millennium defines Christian theology about the end-times.
Some claim amillennialism (the 1,000 years are figurative), others say postmillennialism (Jesus returns after the 1,000 years), while the preeminent position today is premillennialism (the church is raptured before a seven-year tribulation which comes before the Millennium).
Those raptured will return with Christ at the end of the tribulation to rule with Jesus for 1,000 years.
I know – confusing for those who haven’t studied the topic. Honestly, still confusing for me after years of study.
I remember my professor, who taught me the book of Revelation in seminary, saying that he believed in pan-millennialism – everything will pan out in the end.
According to the book of Revelation, the Millennium begins and ends with war.
The Antichrist and his followers will be defeated by the army of Jesus right before the Millennium. This great battle is called Armageddon, in which an army of 200 million will participate.
Then, peace on earth for 1,000 years (or the Millennium), as Christ rules the earth.
At the end of the Millennium, Satan and his followers will again defy God culminating in the final battle of Gog and Magog. After this battle, Satan, his followers, and even death itself will be vanquished.
God then establishes heaven, with no tears, sickness, or war – for eternity.
As I studied the Millennium, my thoughts were, “Why would there be a war after peace on earth for 1,000 years? Wouldn’t everyone have joy in following Jesus?”
War comes from “free-will” decisions to not follow God. We can choose God and peace or choose our own path to destruction.
A perfect setting doesn’t guarantee following God. Satan rebelled in a perfect heaven before time, Adam and Eve rebelled in a perfect garden, and there will be rebellion after the Millennium.
It’s a lie that education, a better environment, or politics can produce peace. All of us sin and fall short of the glory of God. Given better, or even the best, circumstances we still rebel.
Yet, in heaven, there will be no war. Why? How?
There are four differences that separate heaven from history.
First, no Satan. The key instigator of rebellion will be in hell.
Second, no flesh. Our bodies will be reconstituted in such a way to make them immune to temptation.
Third, grace. When Satan rebelled, there was no grace. Grace must be received by Jesus’ blood through faith. Satan saw God in heaven and turned away. We receive Jesus as Savior and then stand in the presence of God – after receiving grace for sin.
Fourth, worship. Our created heart’s desire is to enjoy God and experience Him fully. That’s worship. We’ve sinned, fallen, and now behold God’s glory in heaven.
In heaven, after wars, after tears, and after rebellion, with no tempter, a new body, thankful for grace, and seeing God’s glory…
No one will rebel again; no one will want to rebel again! We will worship God forever.
Interruptions will feature the book of Revelation in 2022. Read #280, #281, #295, #307,
#316, #333, #343, #364, #380, #395, #406, #432 and #433 at www.grantedwardsauthor.com
for previous blogs on Revelation. I’m writing 15 more blogs on Revelation in the next year.