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The Millennium

Future_2One area of debate amongst end time theologians is when the ‘millennium’ (spoken of in Revelation 20:1-6) will be.

The millennium is a 1000 year period where believers will rule and reign with Christ on the earth as a reward for their faithfulness.

Some people believe that we are in the millennium now and therefore that the second coming of Jesus will be after the millennium. They are called 'post-millennialists'.

Some people believe that the millennium does not refer to a literal period of time but rather that it is symbolic of the entire period between the first and second comings of Christ. In other words, we are living in the millennium period now. They are called 'a-millennialists'.

Still others believe that the second coming of Christ will occur before the millennium. They are referred to as 'pre-millennialists'.

The challenge for all interpreters is that Revelation 20 is the only explicit reference of the millennium in the New Testament and there is no mention of the relation of the second coming to the millennium in the actual text (whether it is before or after).

Personally, I don’t think we’re in it now (you call this rest?). I tend to think that the second coming will occur first and then the millennium will be after that, but even that view has some challenges. So, this is not a subject anyone can be dogmatic about because there are too many unknowns.

P.S. For an overview and discussion of each of the major views about the millennium see the book Three Views of the Millennium and Beyond (Darrell L. Bock: General Editor). Another book on this topic that may interest you is the The Christian Millennium by my dad, Kevin J. Conner.

Comments

Regardless which view we believe in, we need to be ready for the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

He said this in Matthew 24:42-44 - "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

Hi Mark,

Good to hear you thoughts. Personally, I consider myself a 'classical' pre-millenialist myself but am aware of the myriad of views.

Someone's wise words, quoted to me in my Uni Christian Fellowship days with friends from a spectrum of denominations, come to mind:
"Shall we who are relying on the same Redeemer, begotten by the same God, inhabited by the same Spirit, incorporated in the same body, entrusted with the same gospel, assaulted by the same devil, hated by the same world, delivered from the same hell and destined to the same glory - shall we who have so much in common allow ourselves to be divided in heart and service because, just because we are divided on this secondary matter?" (Norman Douty)

That's a great comment Mark C. One of my favourites is "In the end, the end is all that matters". I figure that no matter what I happen to believe about the Millennium, the Tribulation, Armageddon etc it is all going to ultimately happen according to God's plan, not according to my personal interpretation...and that's good enough for me!

Allow me a further comment though. My approach has been the belief that Scripture profits me the reader and while some people take a view like yours because of all the spectrum of confusing views, it's still good to make up your mind what the scripture says. Have a read of the different views (Mark's already mentioned a couple of books) and ask the Holy Spirit. But having a view brings me hope for the future and a greater eagerness for His coming.I'm just cautious about being divisive in the church over such issues.
Some also remarked:
" Now abideth faith, hope and love; but the weakest of these is hope!"

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