What is the millennial kingdom? What is its purpose? This phase of the kingdom lies just before the entrance to eternity—to eternal bliss, to everlasting peace and joy and love. So it is a very important transitional period. It is a period of 1000 years, where Jesus Christ will make things happen in us and in the world in order to prepare us (all people, mortal and immortal) for the rest of eternity: He will restore harmony to His creation; He will show us a perfect government; He will fulfill His covenants with Israel; He will display for us His own glory and perfect character; and He will provide for us a final test.
With such great purposes for this future kingdom (which we will discuss in later posts) we can expect a great and dramatic entrance into it; for as the people on the earth step from the previous phase of the kingdom (the tribulation) to this one, there will be a great contrast from great evil to great good, from great tribulation to wonderful peace, from a ruthless destroyer to the Prince of Peace.
Christ’s coming. The millennial kingdom will be introduced by our Savior and King. He—with all the raptured, glorified saints behind Him, and with the angels, Rev. 19:14—will come to the earth at the crucial time when all the nations of the earth are gathered together for war at a place called Armageddon (Rev. 16:16). Here is how scripture describes His coming and what transpires at that time.
But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken, 30 and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.
And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12 And His eyes are a flame of fire, and upon His head are many diadems; and He has a name written upon Him which no one knows except Himself. 13 And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15 And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
As we see from these passages, Jesus will come “with power and great glory.” And His coming will be preceded by signs in the sun, moon and stars. From the description here, it seems as if there will be solar and lunar eclipses, which may cause some darkness, probably over the entire earth.
As also described in Luke’s gospel, (Lu. 21:21:25-26), there will be “upon the earth distress among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves [probably caused by the things happening in the heavens], men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world.”
These “things” will no doubt be God’s signal to the world that He is coming! This will be God’s last warning to all humanity to repent and make themselves ready to meet Him.
We don’t know how long these catastrophic events will last, but I imagine it will be for a while—for a few hours at least, or even a few days. Then, when people are quite shaken and disturbed, and when many have had a chance to review their lives, Jesus will appear in the heavens above. What a scene that will be!
When He appears every eye (Jews and Gentiles) will see Him (Rev. 1:7); His coming will be quite evident and spectacular. The “tribes of the earth” mentioned in Matthew 24:30, I think, refer to all living people on the earth; but I think it refers especially to Israel. Likewise, the mourning is probably by everyone on the earth, because they will realize the guilt of their sin. For the elect Jews, their mourning will be genuine and they will repent of their rebellion and rejection of Him; thus, this is the time I believe when most of Israel will be saved—but many may be saved before this time. As for most of the rest of the world, their morning will not cause them to repent; they will remain in their unbelief.
Next post: The Millennial Kingdom of God: The Gathering
Copyright © 2014 by Stephen Nielsen