Four Facts About The Future - Part 2 Of 2
III - THE MILLENIUM
“Whatever judgment comes to men will be commensurate with their character and opportunities. Because of what He [God] is, He must not only punish the wicked, but also care for His own; judgment for all will be unquestionably just.”—Daniel Shephardson
1. The Millennium explained
(1) The word “millennium” derives from two Latin words: mille, meaning “a thousand,” and annus, “a year”—a thousand years.
(2) This period of time is referred to in only four passages of Scripture (Ps. 90:4; Eccl. 6:6; 2 Pet. 3:9; Rev. 20:2-7).
(3) Never does the expression mean a time of peace and prosperity– it applies to duration rather than quality.
(4) The world ends in a terrible global conflict (Rev. 16:14-16; 11:18).
(5) A graphic description of the outcome of this battle (Rev. 19:20, 21; 6:14-17).
(6) The saints will be rescued from this carnage and taken to heaven
2. The events that mark the beginning of the Millennium
(1) The coming of Jesus ushers in the millennium (1 Thess. 4:16).
(2) The resurrection of the righteous dead takes place when Jesus comes (v. 17).
(3) The translation of the righteous living follows (v. 17).
(4) The redeemed all taken to heaven (John 14:1-3; 17:24; Rev. 7:9, 14, 15).
(5) The wicked are destroyed (2 Thess. 1:8-10; 2:8; cf. Matt. 24:37, 38; Luke 17:28, 29).
3. The events which transpire during the Millennium
(1) The depopulation of the earth results in the binding of Satan (Rev. 20:1-3; 16:20).
(2) The wicked remain unburied on the earth (Jer. 4:16, 17).
(3) The earth is a desolation (Rev. 20:3): “bottomless pit” is the Greek equivalent for the Old Testament “chaos” (Isa. 23:1-3; Rev. 6:14-17).
(4) The righteous in heaven are engaged in judgment (Rev. 20:4; cf. 1 Cor. 6:2, 3).
(5) God’s justice vindicated (Dan. 7:21, 22; Phil. 2:10, 11).
4. The events which mark the end of the Millennium
(1) The resurrection of the wicked unlooses Satan (Rev. 20:5, 7).
(2) The wicked alone participate in the second resurrection (John 5:28, 29; Acts 24:15).
(3) The wicked have no second chance (Rev. 20:11-15).
(4) The Holy City descends and Satan overthrown (Rev. 21:2; Zech. 14:4, 5).
(5) The earth restores to its Edenic beauty (Rev. 21:1).
(6) The saints join in universal adoration (Rev. 19:1, 2).
“Our redemption is a work at once of price and of power—of expiation and of conquest. On the cross was the purchase made, and on the cross was the victory gained. The blood which wipes out the sentence against us was there shed, and the death which was the death-blow of Satan’s kingdom was there endured.”—T. J. Crawford
IV - HEAVEN
“When 1st century Jews spoke about eternal life, they weren’t thinking of going to heaven in the way we normally imagine it. Eternal life meant the age to come, the time when God would bring heaven and earth together, the time when God’s kingdom would come and his will would be done on earth as in heaven.”—N. T. Wright (Time, April 16, 2012)
1. Heaven is a place (Matt. 6:9; 1 Pet. 1:3, 4).
(1) At the Incarnation Jesus came from heaven (John 6:33).
(2) Following His resurrection, Jesus ascended into heaven (John 6:62).
(3) At His Second Coming He will descend from heaven (John 14:3).
(4) The Apostle Paul identifies three heavens (2 Cor. 12:2).
(a) The atmospheric heavens (Gen. 1:20; 7:11; Rev.19:17).
(b) The stellar heavens (Ps. 19:1).
(c) Paradise where God dwells (Acts 7:55; 2 Cor. 12:4; Ps.
2. Heaven will be on Earth (2 Pet. 3:10, 13).
(1) A renovated nature.
(a) The new earth (Rev. 21:1, 2).
(b) The living creatures (Isa. 35:9; 11:6-9).
(2) A regenerated man.
(a) Physical metamorphosis (Phil. 3:20, 21).
(b) Immortality (1 Cor. 15:52-54; Rev. 21:4).
(c) No sickness (Isa. 11:6, 9; 33:24; 35:5, 6).
“Pain cannot exist in the atmosphere of heaven.”—Ellen G. White (GC, 676)
(3) A redeemed and recreated life.
(a) A life of productive activity (Isa. 65:21-23).
(b) A life with a secure environment (Isa. 32:18; 60:18; 65:21, 22).
3. Heaven is an indescribable and glorious reality
(1) Its glories are incomprehensible (1 Cor. 2:9).
(2) It’s an inheritance destined for the redeemed (Ps. 37:29; Gal.
“There [in the new earth] . . . every faculty will be developed, every capacity increased. The acquirement of knowledge will not weary the mind or exhaust the energies. There the grandest enterprises may be carried forward, the loftiest aspirations reached, the highest ambitions realized; and still there will arise new heights to surmount, new wonders to admire, new truths to comprehend, fresh objects to call the powers of mind and soul and body”—Ellen G. White, (GC, 677)
Rex D. Edwards is a former vice president for religious studies, Griggs University.