Lesson 29 - Revelation Predicts 1,000-Year World Blackout
One of the most fascinating of all Bible subjects is “1,000-Year World Blackout Predicted,” or the millennium. The word “millennium” is simply Latin for 1,000 years. There are many different ideas taught concerning the future of our world. Some Christians believe that the second coming of Christ will initiate a Golden Age for humankind on earth—a time during which everyone will be converted and peace will prevail. Others believe that the 1,000-year period will be a time of distress and hardship, of conflict and chaos.
A third view is that the millennium immediately follows the return of Christ. A time when all the righteous are in heaven. Satan and his angels are left on earth, and the wicked are dead. At the end of this 1,000 years, God creates a new heaven and new earth.
With this subject, as with all others, we will discover what the Bible really teaches. In this lesson we will discover the answers to the following questions: 1. What events occur at the return of Jesus? 2. What events occur during the 1,000 years? 3. What events occur at the end of the 1,000 years?
1. When Jesus returns, what happens to all the righteous (both the righteous dead and the righteous living)? 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17
Answer: And the dead in Christ shall rise first, then we which are alive...shall be caught up together.
2. What happens to the wicked or the unsaved? 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; 2 Thessalonians 2:8
Answer: The Lord shall consume...and shall destroy.
3. Where will the wicked remain during this period? Jeremiah 25:33Answer: From one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth.
The Old Testament prophets often described conditions which would occur as the result of Israel's rebellion against God. As the result of disobedience God would allow heathen armies to destroy thousands of Israelites. Jeremiah's prophecy goes far beyond ancient Israel. It reaches into the future. It describes a universal destruction from one end of the earth to the other of those who rebel against God.
4. How does the Bible describe the devastation of the earth at the second coming of Christ? Revelation 16:17-20; Jeremiah 4:23-27
Answer: There was a great earthquake...every island fled away, all the cities thereof were broken down.
Jeremiah's prediction fitly describes Israel's destruction at the hand of the Babylonians. As the language of the passage clearly portrays, it also describes the complete devastation of earth at the second coming of Christ.
5. Will there be any human being alive on earth during this time? Revelation 19:17, 18 (Compare with Jeremiah 4:25.)
Answer: An angel...cried...to all the fouls...eat the flesh of the kings...and the flesh of all men.
6. Where will Satan be during the 1,000 years? Revelation 20:1-3
Answer: An angel...bound him...and cast him into the bottomless pit...til the thousand years should be fulfilled.
The term "bottomless pit" has an identical meaning to the description "without form, and void" of Jeremiah 4:23. They also parallel the description of the world at Creation-a place of desolation and darkness. These parallels clearly show that Satan is bound to the earth, unable to tempt anyone. The Bible uses the term chains not as literal chains but chains of darkness. (See 2 Peter 2:4)
7. Where did Jesus promise to take His followers at His return? John 14:1-3
Answer: In my Father's house...I go to prepare a place for you...I will come again, and receive you unto myself.
8. How does Revelation 20:4 describe the righteous? What are they doing? (See also 1 Corinthians 6:1-3.)
Answer: They lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
During the millennium the righteous have an opportunity to observe firsthand the justice and love of God in dealing with the sin problem. In a new way, more forcefully than ever before, they grasp His powerful attempts to save all people. They realize anew that all who are lost are lost because of their own personal rejection of the appeals of Christ.
9. How many general resurrections does the Bible describe? John 5:28, 29
Answer: Resurrection of life and resurrection of damnation.
10. Are the wicked resurrected at the same time as the righteous? When do they receive their final reward? Revelation 20:5 (first part)
Answer: But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.
Some people are confused by the last part of this text "this is the first resurrection" (verse 5, last part). According to the Bible "the dead in Christ rise first" (1 Thessalonians 4:16,17). Revelation 20 is discussing the fate of the saved who have been resurrected in the first resurrection. "They live and reign with Christ for a thousand years" (Revelation 20:4). This would lead logically to the question What about the rest of the dead (the unsaved)? In one brief sentence John answers that question: "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years are finished" (Revelation 20:5, first part). The apostle then continues with the main theme of his discussion-the first resurrection, the resurrection of the righteous-by declaring, "Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection" (Revelation 20:6).
11. What is Satan's strategy at the end of the 1,000 years? Revelation 20:7-9
Answer: Satan...shall deceive the nations...to battle...the beloved city.
12. Where does the Holy City-New Jerusalem-come from? Revelation 21:2
Answer: The new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven.
13. How does God prevent Satan's overthrow of the Holy City? Revelation 20:9
Answer: Fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
14. What happens after the destruction of the wicked? 2 Peter 3:13
Answer: New heavens and a new earth.
The great challenge of the millennium is that men and women must choose today where they will spend eternity. There is no second chance after Jesus comes. The Bible clearly states, "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is that day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2, NKJV).* Thousands will be lost because they are looking forward to a future time to make a decision for Jesus Christ. Jesus invites you to give Him your whole life today. If you have not done so, why not do it now?
* Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King James Version. Copyright ©1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.