One thousand years is a long time. Many people get stuck wondering when does the 1000 years start? All the references we have encountered in Revelation thus far have been symbolic to represent God’s dominion and victory of sin and death. Why would the reference to 1000 years be any different?
One thousand years in Latin is millennium. This in the only place in the Bible where this is mentioned. Think of it, the number 10 represents “completeness” and when multiplied by itself three times (3 being the divine number) we get 1000, or “completely divine.” Because people want answers and try to break the code to when Jesus is going to return, I discovered there are several schools of thought among Christians of how we view this reference to the millennium.
I had no idea about all of this, so I thought I would share this with you. I am quoting from my husband, David’s book, Examining Our Core Beliefs. “According to premillennialism, Jesus will return before the millennium. According to postmillennialism, Jesus will return after the millennium. According to amillennialism, we misunderstand the text when we envision a literal 1,000-year period. One popular amillennial view, first espoused by Augustine, regards the millennium as simply a way of speaking in visionary terms of the age of the church.”
Better than to get caught up in what it all means, it’s probably best for us to realize that, like the rest of the book of Revelation, we are to look instead at the big picture. Whatever the time period, Satan is locked up. Depending on the time line, it could be a time of utopia on earth if this happens after the beast and the false prophet are thrown into the lake of fire. Can you imagine no evil on earth? For even a day that would be fantastic. It would seem that we haven’t experienced that yet.
During this millennial time, we read that those who have lost their lives on account of Jesus will be raised to life to reign with him. It doesn’t say whether they are on earth or in heaven. Either way, these souls are raised to life in what is called the first resurrection. Everyone else will be brought back to life later, at the end of the millennium.
We also see the fifth of the seven beatitudes here. “Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. For them the second death holds no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him a thousand years.” Indeed, blessed and holy are those who have given themselves for Jesus. They are promised a reward extending far beyond their greatest moment of human trial!
We don’t need to be afraid. Of anything! So long as we are true to our faith and stand strong for God, we are safe. There are no guarantees we will be safe on earth, but we know our destiny is so much greater than what we are experiencing in the here and now. Because it is unseen, it is sometimes hard to grasp.
When the going gets rough, we need to make sure the “easy” road is not just a smoke screen from the devil to lure us into his trap. We need to be on the alert, surrounding ourselves with the things of God to help us stand strong and be able to discern evil from good.
Let’s pray. Father, thank you for loving me and giving me your attention. Give me the discernment to know right from wrong. I pray for those being persecuted for their faith, but thank you that you will be providing such a grand reward for them. If my path in life ever leads me into the hands of oppression, I know you will help me stand strong giving me the courage that comes only from you. Thank you that I can serve you now in this way. In Jesus’ name. Amen.