The Millennial Kingdom and the Final Judgment – Revelation 20

 

I have always been intrigued by the thought of the millennial kingdom or the thousand year reign of Christ. It will be a glorious utopia on earth for one thousand years. There will be a perfect peace that will rule the planet. At the end of the millennial reign, there will come a great battle followed by a great judgment. Once that judgment is complete, there will be a new heaven and a new earth where all believers will live for all of eternity. When I think of these things, I realize just how much we have to look forward to. In Revelation chapter 20 we have the prophecy of the millennial kingdom and also the final judgment. Let’s look at this chapter in greater detail.

The binding of Satan. One of the greatest things about the millennial reign is the binding of Satan for those thousand years. Notice what it says in verses 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. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 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.”[1] I don’t know about you, but the thing that I look forward to the most is seeing Satan chained up and cast into the pit. The time in which Satan is bound takes place immediately after the second coming of Christ as seen in chapter 19. The Bible Knowledge Commentary states, “Accordingly there is no reason why chapter 20 should not be considered as describing events which follow chapter 19. “And” (kai) continues throughout chapter 20, beginning each verse except verse 5. There is thus no linguistic or grammatical suggestion that these events are anything other than events following the second coming of Christ and occurring in sequence.”[2] At this present time, Satan is roaming about deceiving the nations. This is clearly seen in modern history. The influence of Satan on this world is clearly seen. Though Satan’s power is limited by the sovereignty of God, Satan is certainly not bound up today. There is coming a day, however, when Satan will be bound and He will not be able to have any influence on the earth for one thousand years.

Reigning with Christ. Those who were martyred for their refusal to follow the antichrist will sit on thrones during the millennial. Verses 4-6 speaks of this. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” [3] The tribulation saints along with the saints of God of all ages will reign with Christ during the millennial reign. As Weirsbe points out, “The Tribulation martyrs will be raised from the dead and given glorious thrones and rewards. The church will share in this reign, as symbolized by the twenty-four elders (Rev. 5:10; see also 2:26–28; 3:12, 21; 1 Thes. 4:13–18; 2 Tim. 2:12).” [4] Imagine what it will be like to rule with Christ! What an exciting time! Weirsbe goes on to say, “During the Millennium, the inhabitants of the earth will include not only glorified saints, but also citizens of the nations who bow in submission to Jesus Christ (see Matt. 25:31–40; also 8:11). Because of the earth’s perfect conditions, people will live long lives (Isa. 65:17–25, especially v. 20). They will marry and have children who will outwardly conform to our Lord’s righteous rule. But not all of them will be truly born again as the Millennium progresses; and this explains why Satan will be able to gather a great army of rebels at the close of the Kingdom Age (Rev. 20:8). For many centuries, man has dreamed of a “golden age,” a “utopia” in which the human race will be free from war, sickness, and even death. Men have tried to achieve this goal on their own and have failed. It is only when Jesus Christ reigns on David’s throne that the kingdom will come and the earth be delivered from the oppression of Satan and sin.”[5]

The final demise of Satan. After the thousand years are ended, Satan will be loosed for a short season. He will gather up all those who have not come to faith in Christ and will deceive them and lead them to rebel against the kingdom of God. This is described in verses 7-10. “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”[6] It is an amazing thing to think that after leaving in such a wonderful environment for a thousand years, there will still be people that will rebel against God. This just goes to show how powerful sin can be. The good news is that once the rebellion is over, Satan will be cast into the lake of fire where the anti-Christ and the false prophet are, and there he will be for all eternity. That great enemy, Satan, will finally be completely defeated!

The Great White Throne Judgment. In verses 11-15 we see the final judgment known as the Great White Throne Judgment. “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” [7] The Great White Throne Judgment is where all unbelievers from every dispensation of time will stand before God in judgment. Once someone is at this judgment, there is no hope for salvation. The book of life will be opened revealing the devastating fact that their names cannot be found there. At this time, all unbelievers are cast into the lake of fire. There they will suffer throughout all eternity. This will be a sad day. Sad, not because of the execution of judgment on all unbelievers; but sad because of the many who will go to hell because they loved sin more than their own life.  Every single person had the opportunity to come to faith in Christ, yet, they rejected the Gospel. It is because of their rejection of the Gospel that they will be cast into hell.

What about you? Will you be at the Great White Throne Judgment? I hope not. Jesus came to pay the price of sin for you. He has paved the way for you to be saved and to live with Him for all eternity. You do not have to experience the judgment of God. You do not have to go to hell. All you must do is by faith accept God’s free gift of salvation given to us through the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross.

 

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Re 20:1–3). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[2] Walvoord, John F. (1985). Revelation. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 978). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[3] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Re 20:4–6). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[4] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 619). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[5] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 620). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[6] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Re 20:7–10). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[7] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Re 20:11–15). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

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