There are people who question why Jesus had to die? Could God who is Almighty not just forgive everybody’s sins, set up His perfect eternal Kingdom and get finished with it? Well, God illustrates throughout the Word that the Cross is the Key to the Kingdom. Revelation 20 shows the last part of God’s brilliance in the Millennium. It is much more important than it seems.
Why is it necessary for Christ to reign a thousand years?
- By that time many of us will be in heaven with father Abraham and will look forward to the second resurrection and the new heavens and earth. So why do we have to wait another thousand years for God’s eternal reign of peace, happiness, safety and prosperity?
- It is God’s way to illustrate that a perfect environment and even a perfect Ruler will not guarantee a perfect society. You also need citizens with one special characteristic – loyalty.
- So let’s take a bird’s eye view of three of the stages of God’s plan:
1. A perfect environment in the Garden of Eden – failed.
- Genesis 2 is a picture of a perfect environment with full provision for Adam and Eve with a daily visit from God.
- Yet the minute the serpent arrived on the scene, they defected from God and chose to follow and obey Satan. So the devil became the ruler of the world. 1
2. A perfect set of instructions for the Israelites – failed.
- God called Abram, and promised him a country and descendants. They became the nation of Israel with extensive laws to show them how to live to please God.
- In spite of all God’s instructions, they defected from Him and served the gods of the people left in Canaan.
- Even circumcision of the body was not sufficient to help them remain loyal to God.
3. A perfect Ruler in Christ’s thousand year reign – failed.
- Who could be a better ruler than Jesus Himself who is sinless? Would His subjects remain loyal if they could see His face? Revelation 20:1-6 explains Christ’s thousand year reign.
- It will happen after the approximate 4,000 years of the Old Testament time and the approximate 2,000 years of the New Testament time (6,000 years of world history recorded in the Bible). Then there is that seventh period of a thousand years.
- When it begins an angel binds the devil with a big chain and locks him in the Abyss for the full thousand years. 2
- Isaiah 11:6 tells us what it will be like: ‘The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat….’
- After the thousand years Satan will be released and immediately he, ‘…will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth.’ 3
- Will the people stay loyal to their perfect King, Jesus? No! Revelation 20:8 reveals the magnitude of discontent with Jesus. Those who join the devil: ‘In number they are like the sand on the seashore.’
- What happened to those who did not like Jesus’ rulership? ‘…fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulphur.’ 4
- The Millennium proves that the Cross of Jesus is the necessary ‘ingredient’ for the eternal Kingdom of God. The only way that people will be able to remain loyal to God eternally is if their hearts are changed.
- On the Cross Jesus died for our sins and so cut away our old sinful nature (He circumcised our hearts). The King on the Cross regenerated the hearts of those who embrace Him, to remain loyal to God.
- The Cross is the Key to the Kingdom.
- Revelation 9:12
- Revelation 20:1-2
- Revelation 20:7
- Revelation 20:9b-10