The Millennium-Tony Evans
Do you know your answer could be sitting right next to you, but you’ll never know it until God is ready to reveal it? God says, “If you come back home, you’ll see I haven’t gone anywhere”. So, you draw near to him, and he will draw near to you ’cause he’s the one who’s never left. If you walk in the Spirit, or walk by means of the Spirit, he will open up the hole for you to get through. The snake is gonna try to stir stuff up. The snake is gonna try to get you away from God. There is a serpent in the garden, and your job is to keep him out. Sometimes he brings a little something that’s a little cue to let you know, “Keep on going, keep on trusting because I hear you”.
Mankind has longed for utopia, paradise. You’ve seen it in TV, in movies; where we long for a time when the pain will end, when peace will reign, when problems will go away. Something has interrupted the dream of utopia. It’s called sin. Whether it’s your sin or somebody else’s sin that affects you or even the environment that has been cursed by sin, sin has disrupted the possibility of utopia, paradise. In fact, Paul says in Romans chapter 8 that the whole creation groans under this curse. However, there is coming a time when there will be utopia, and that time is coming in history before we ever get to eternity, and we call it the millennium, the millennial rule of Jesus Christ. Millennium means 1.000. Let’s review. Jesus raptures the church, seven years of tribulation, Jesus comes back to set up his millennial kingdom.
And so, today I want to talk to you about paradise, not heaven. We haven’t gotten to heaven yet. I’m talking about history, the 1.000-year rule of Jesus Christ. To understand this, you have to understand why this 1.000-year period of time must occur. When God created Adam and Eve, he said let them rule. We call it the dominion covenant, where man was going to rule on Earth as managers of God’s creation. That rule got interrupted by Satan and sin when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, leading to the deterioration of Earth. Lifespans began to decline, marital conflict entered in, Cain kills Abel. The world becomes wicked. The whole world, in Genesis 6, has to be destroyed by a flood because sin cursed the creation that man was supposed to rule on behalf of God. Because of the sin cycle, there was no man who God could use to oversee the rule on Earth, so God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ.
In Luke chapter 1, verses 31 to 33, we are told that Mary, the mother of Jesus, gave birth to a son who was to be in the seed of David and who was to rule on the throne of God. We know him to be Jesus. He has redeemed the people for his namesake called the church: Christians. There will be tribulation where God will remove the church. All hell is going to break loose on Earth as God’s wrath is revealed, for it will no longer be held back because of the death of Christ. Christians during that seven-year period of time are going to be rewarded based on their faithfulness now. So, what you do now (I’ll pick this up in a moment) will affect what you get to do in the millennium, in the 1.000-year rule of Christ, or what you don’t get to do.
Luke chapter 19 gives one of the many illustrations in the Bible of a person who, based on their faithfulness, gained or lost reward in the millennial kingdom. He says some will be over ten cities, some will be over five cities, some will be over no cities because they were unfaithful during their earthly life here. All of this is setting the stage at the return of Christ, when the Bible says Christians will come back with him for this 1.000-year rule of Christ known as the millennium. The two reasons why the millennium will be utopia, paradise, the Bible even calls it a return to Eden, Ezekiel 36, verse 35, a return to Eden, we get back to what God originally designed.
There are two reasons why this will be paradise. One, as we’ll say in a moment, Jesus will be ruling from Jerusalem. The capital of the whole earth will be Jerusalem. It’s the conflict of the whole earth today. It will be the capital of the whole earth then. Jesus Christ, the Bible says, will rule with a rod of iron. In other words, there will be allowed to be no rebellion. You and I, based on our rewards, will be the people who he utilizes to make sure his rule is exactly as he wants it to be, and nobody will be able to override you ’cause you will have a glorified body. So, you won’t have to worry about rebellion against you ’cause nobody can overcome you.
Now, who exactly will you be overseeing in the millennium? Well, that is explained to us in Matthew chapter 25, verse 31 to 46, because in those verses, at the end of the tribulation, God is gonna separate the sheep from the goat, that is, the unrighteous Gentiles, the goats; from the righteous Gentiles, sheep. It says the unrighteous Gentiles coming out of the tribulation will be sent to eternal judgment; and the righteous Gentiles coming out of the tribulation, they’re going to go into the millennium in their natural human bodies. So, there’s gonna be a whole earth full of folk in natural bodies while you and I will be overseeing them in glorified bodies. So, in our glorified bodies, based on the positions that we have earned during our stay here in our natural bodies, will affect your assignment, then, in your glorified bodies over those who are in the millennium in their natural bodies, and I’ll prove to you in a moment how those natural bodies will function, but of course, you and I are in a glorified body, and this will last for 1.000 years before we ever get to eternity.
So, one reason is that Jesus will rule through the saints from the capital of the world, Jerusalem, when he returns. There is a second reason why this will be paradise. The second reason you read in the first two verses of Revelation 20 because it says, “And Satan will be bound for 1.000 years”. Satan will be bound so that he no longer is able to deceive the nations. Let me give you a little summary of satanic strategy. It exists today. That’s why he has to be bound. And that is deception, that he will no longer deceive the nations anymore. The reason why we are messed up is ’cause we’ve been tricked. And because Jesus will rule with a rod of iron for 1.000 years, even if you wanna rebel, you won’t be able to. You will not be allowed to rebel.
So, your rebellion, you better keep it to yourself because in the millennium with you and I as judges and in various relationships, we’ll be co-heirs, the Bible says. We will be co-heirs with him. So, this will be the ultimate answer to the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. Earth will take on the look of heaven. So, let’s get this straight. For 1.000 years, if you are a believer today, most of your time is going to be spent on earth, not in heaven. There will be an event that will lead into the millennium. The judgment separates your sheep and goats, but leading into that is going to be a wedding.
Look at chapter 19, verses 7 to 10. “Let us rejoice and be glad and give glory to him, for the marriage of the lamb has come and his bride has made herself ready. It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, ‘Right, blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the lamb.’ And he said to me, ‘These are true words of God.’ Then I fell at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, ‘Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and your brother, who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.'” So, everybody loves a wedding.
So, let me tell you about a wedding, because this wedding involves you ’cause you’re the bride. See, the Bible calls the church the bride of Christ. So, God uses this terminology to express our relationship. Jesus is called the bridegroom, okay? So, there’s gonna be a wedding. To appreciate this, you have to understand the oriental weddings. So, let me tell you the oriental weddings, and then how it applies to us, and then how that applies to the millennium. In biblical days, the wedding took on a number of different parts. The first aspect of a wedding in biblical times was the betrothal period. You and I would say “engagement,” but there was a big difference between our engagement and the biblical times’ engagement because the biblical time engagement was a legal contract. Then there was the marriage, okay?
That would lead to what we all are aware of, and that is the reception. You know what the reception is? It’s a party. Jesus’s reception is gonna last 1.000 years. They were being made ready for the marriage supper of the lamb. That’s the reception. So, there’s going to be a party with Jesus and his bride, and it is gonna happen on Earth even though you’re in a glorified body, and for 1.000 years carrying out your responsibilities as Jesus’s bride. You are going to be in a wedding reception called the marriage supper of the lamb, and you will be there based on the level of your reward. So, everybody won’t party equally, and, in fact, the Scripture says some who are part of the wedding will be in outer darkness.