- Imagine lining up all the teachings of the Bible in a row from the most important to the least important. Where should we put the millennium? One hundred forty years ago early Adventists emphasized the millennium. James White put his sermon on the millennium first in his collection of sermons. But Adventists were not unique. The millennium was on the lips and minds of many Christians. Influential voices in major Protestant denominations were announcing the dawn of a 1000 years of peace and righteousness for the world because the devil would be bound and the whole world would be converted during the millennium and then Jesus would come to meet a world prepared for him. Adventists vigorously disagreed and spoke out against this view as deceptive, not biblical and highly dangerous. They believed the Bible taught the world would grow more evil before the soon coming of Christ. From their point of view, the time left to make peace with God was very short, not a long period of hundreds of years.
- The millennium is described in Revelation 20. While the wicked are dead Christ shares His reign with everyone who hasn’t worshiped the beast (Rev. 20:4-6). This brief picture of the millennial reign presumes that God and Christ are secure in sharing their power because they have so much of it. To use an earthy way of speaking, even after everyone has a chunk there’s lots left over.
- According to Rev. 20:11-13, at the end of the 1000 years Satan will be freed to assemble a final assault against the saints of God in the holy city. The hordes of humanity surround the holy city only to meet the final judgement of God. Everyone stands before the throne of God and is judged according to their deeds.
- How important is the millennium? What would be lost if the millennium got left out?
- Would I be interested in reigning if everyone gets to sit on a “throne”. Is the value of being a “winner” diminished if so many win? Do I lose respect for a God who shares his throne with so many ordinary people? How important is it to me to be at the head of the line or the top of the ladder? What if the ladder has only one rung and everyone is invited to stand on it?
- If God raises the wicked only to destroy them again, is this being vengeful on his part? Wouldn’t it be better to let them remain in their graves? What is implied about the wicked by the siege of the holy city? What does the final judgment imply about the relation of the wicked to God.
- Does Rev. 20:13 teach that the final judgement is based on human performance?