1000 Years

Scripture: Luke 17:26, Revelation 20:1-6, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52
What is the 1,000 years about in Revelation 20? Where is Christ during this millennium on this earth? Where are the wicked during this time? This sermon carefully shows how the righteous are in heaven during the millennium and Satan will be bound to this earth during this time.
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Today we are going to draw aside the curtain of the "here and now" and allow the Bible to paint a picture of the future. With inspiration as our guide we will let the Word of God reveal to us what will finally happen to every soul who has ever lived on the face of the earth. Many people believe that the world is destined to become better and better that Christianity will finally lead into a grand millennial reign of peace on earth. I wish this were true, friends, but the Bible reveals an exactly opposite condition. Jesus taught that the world would become more and more godless until it would be in a similar state as the age of Noah. "As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the coming of the Son of Man." Luke 17:26. How was it in those days? Genesis 6:5 tells us of the antediluvian that "every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."

Further evidence may be found in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 where the prevailing sins of the last days are graphically described. Among those terrible transgressions we find this one: "Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof." This alerts us to the fact that conversions will be few, and true godliness much known by its absence. The picture of a temporal millennium is only a dream. Today we shall seek for the facts concerning this thousand years of peace. Actually the word Millennium is not found in the Bible at all. It comes from two Latin words which mean a thousand years. This period of time is referred to mainly in the 20th chapter of Revelation.

We must establish two points in order to proceed in a full study of this doctrine. When will the millennium begin and when will it end? Notice this text in Revelation 20:6. "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection." "On such the second death hath no power and they shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with him 1000 years." This tells us that only the good people come up in the first resurrection and they begin their reign with Christ at that time, for 1000 years. So the millennium begins with the resurrection of the righteousness. But when do the wicked come up? Read Revelation 20:5. "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished." Here, the rest of the dead, or the wicked, are said to remain in their graves till the close of the thousand years. Then they will come forth in the second resurrection. Now, see how plain this is! Thus far we have seen that the millennium is a thousand year period which begins with the resurrection of the just and closes with the resurrection of the wicked.

Now, let us ask, When will the first resurrection take place which introduces the millennium? At the second coming of Christ the "dead in Christ shall rise first." 1 Thessalonians 4:16. "For the Lord Himself shall descend with a shout with the voice of the archangel and the dead in Christ shall rise first." This event then marks the beginning of the thousand years. The righteous dead come out of their graves with glorious, immortal bodies to be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Now let's read 1 Thessalonians 4:17. "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." The living righteous are also united with the resurrected ones, and they ascend to join the Blessed Lord at His coming. Keep in mind that this is the occasion for the change from mortality to immortality. 1 Corinthians 15:51,52 says, Behold, I shew you a mystery we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." Where do all these changed and translated saints go with Christ? In John 14:2 Jesus said, "I go to prepare a place for you and if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you unto myself that where I am there ye may be also." That redeemed host will go up to Heaven, the paradise of God to reign with Him for a thousand years. Revelation 20:4.

When Jesus appears in His glory there will be four groups to be dealt with: the righteous living, the righteous dead, the wicked living, and the wicked dead. We have seen what will happen to both groups of the righteous now let us consider the wicked at His coming. These wicked ones who are in their graves at that time will remain there until the end of the thousand years. "But the rest of the dead lived not again till the thousand years were finished." Revelation 20:5. But what of the living wicked? They shall be destroyed by the "brightness of His coming." 2 Thessalonians 2:8. They will pray for the rocks and the mountains to fall on them to hide them from the presence of Jesus. Sin cannot exist in His presence, therefore sinners will be struck down when He appears. The prophet Jeremiah says of this time, "And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end." Jeremiah 25:33. Then he adds this significant comment, "they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried. . ." Why will they not be lamented or buried? For the simple reason, my friends, that there is no one left upon the face of the whole earth. The righteous are all in heaven with Jesus, the wicked dead remain in their graves, and the wicked who are slain must lie where they fell. The earth has been emptied of all its inhabitants.

We shall now consider the condition of the earth during the millenium. The entire earth will be turned into a no-man's land. There is not a single living human being left, and the desolation is indescribable. Listen to Jeremiah's picture of it. "I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void: and the heaven and they had no light. I beheld, the mountains, and lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the Lord, and by His fierce anger." Jeremiah 4:23-26. At the coming of Jesus there was a great earthquake which caused cities to crumble. At the "presence of the Lord," man's strongest institutions turn into rubble and ruin.

There are people who honestly think that the unsaved will have an opportunity to accept salvation during this one thousand year period. But it will be impossible for anybody to accept the gospel during this one thousand year period of the millennium. How do I know this? Look at Revelation 20:5. "The rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished." Instead of any of the unsaved being alive and hearing the gospel during this one thousand years, they are all dead. They will not have any chance whatever to hear the gospel and be saved during this millennial period.

But now let us consider where the great adversary, Satan, will spend this millennial period. We shall read Revelation 20:1-3. "And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. The devil will be bound or confined during the thousand years in a place called the bottomless pit. What is the bottomless pit? That word bottomless pit comes from the Greek word abyssos or abyss. It is used in the Septuagint version in Genesis 1:2 to describe the earth in its chaotic state before it was moulded by the Word of God. "The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep." Here the same word is used to describe the desolate earth as is used for the bottomless pit, and since the earth is indeed left in a state of chaos during the millennium, we can only conclude that this earth will be the prison house of Satan for a thousand years. He is bound by a chain of circumstances because there is not a soul on earth for him to deceive or entice.

But what will happen at the close of the millennium? Let us notice carefully some of the events which mark the end of the thousand years. Read Revelation 21:12. "And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." The New Jerusalem descends from heaven with all the righteous people who have been reigning with Christ for a thousand years. Zechariah describes that event, and how the feet of Jesus will touch the earth. "And His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south . . .and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with Him." Zechariah 14:4,5. In His second coming Jesus does not touch the earth at all, but the saints are caught up to meet Him. But now, when the city descends His feet touch the earth, "All the saints" are with Him. This time He does not come for His people but with them.

Another great event which marks the close of the millennium is the resurrection of the wicked. "But the rest of the dead lived not again till the thousand years were finished." Revelation 20:5. The raising of the wicked dead also explains Revelation 20:7. "And when the thousand years are expired Satan shall be loosed out of his prison." Satan now has people in whose lives he can operate. And he begins to work feverishly to mobilize all those countless wicked ones who had been resurrected. Verse 8 tells us that he "shall go out to Gog and Magog to gather them together to battle the number of whom is as the sand of the sea." What a terrible scene this must be. All the sinners of all ages being recruited by the evil genius of Satan for the final great battle in the controversy with God. But where is the battle to be fought and against whom? "And they went up on the breadth of the earth and compassed the camp of the saints about and the beloved city . . ." Revelation 20:9. So here we find the object of their wrath, that New Jerusalem which John saw coming down, and in which the saints of God are.

What is the result of this last attempt by Satan to overthrow the rule of God? "And fire came down from God out of Heaven and devoured them." Revelation 20:9. Dear friends, the devil had entered the last battle of his war against God. The evil hosts were overwhelmed by a flood of fire which devoured them. Thus the story ends but not quite, for the fire which devours the wicked also purges and purifies the earth. The very curse of sin will be burned out, leaving an atmosphere clean of every trace of evil. 2 Peter 3:12, 13 says, "Looking for and hasting unto the coming of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." Then God will create a new earth which will rival the Garden of Eden for beauty and perfection. "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away and there was no more sea." Revelation 21:1. The saints of God will inherit this recreated earth as a home throughout eternity. The Holy City will be its capital. At that time "the meek shall inherit the earth." Matthew 5:5. But, friends, here's a solemn thought for our final consideration. When the fire comes down, we must either be inside the city with God, or outside the city with Satan. Every soul who has ever lived will be in one group or the other. Which one will you be in?

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