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Millennial Reign of Christ
God's Plan for the Future
God has set out in His word the plans that He has for all peoples in the world. It is a matter of regret that His ministers today neglect this very important aspect of their calling, with the consequence that attendees in our churches are not familiar with what God intends to do. It has been left to individuals to study His word and find out for themselves God's plan. This is not always easy, but I trust that I may be able to assist by giving you references in scripture, and comments as to what I believe God will do.
As an introduction, your attention is drawn to scripture relating to what will happen:
a) before the second coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (this article)
b) at His second coming and during His 1000 year's millennial reign on earth (find out more here), and
c) important events after the end of the millennium (find out more here).
I propose, therefore, to give scriptural references and some brief comments to help you in your Christian walk.
Events Preceding Our Lord's Second Coming
The Apostle Paul, writing to the church at Thessalonica, states in 1Thes 4:16 that "The Lord Himself (Jesus Christ) will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first." These are the first signs that we on earth will have that the second coming of Christ is imminent. This statement of Paul needs to be looked at carefully as it mentions a resurrection and specifically states that it is only "the dead in Christ" that will be resurrected at this time.
What Happens to Christians?
What happens then for the Christians living on earth at this most wonderful time? Paul knew that we need to know what happens to them and goes on in verse 17 of that same chapter to state, "After that, we who are still alive and left will be caught up with them (those who were dead in Christ and resurrected) in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. And so will we be with the Lord forever."
Answers to Potential Questions
This, of course, raises another question which must be dealt with before proceeding. When a Christian dies, we are told at the funeral service that he / she is with the Lord (2 Cor 5:8). How can this be when there is a resurrection on earth for believers as mentioned above? Those who have read my articles will be aware that the human person is made up of soul, body and spirit. When a Christian dies, the body is buried or disposed of, the spirit returns to God who gave it (Eccl 12:7) and it is the soul that goes into the presence of the Lord Jesus (Php 1:23).
Another question is raised. How does the soul that is with Christ become reunited with the body at the resurrection? We must go to the apostle Paul again who answers this question. In 1 Thes 3:13, Paul writes, "May He strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all His holy ones." Here we find that the Lord Jesus Christ will bring with Him the souls of those who were dead in Christ and who were with Him in glory. He will then remain in the air while the souls continue to earth to be reunited with their resurrected body on earth and together with Christians living at that time on earth, return to meet the Lord in the air. Nowhere in scripture does it tell us that Christ and all those with Him in the air, will then return to earth at that particular time. It is, however, important to state that all these people had been changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and given their spiritual bodies before meeting the Lord in the air (1 Cor 15:52). What a wonderful and amazing experience it will be!
A Challenge for You
We will deal with the next phase of the Millennium, associated with the actual coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth, in the next article, but pause briefly to give you an opportunity to consider the matters raised here.
Dear reader, if you want to be there with the Lord, confess your sins, accept His love, His saving power, His forgiveness and His promise of everlasting life. If you have not done this before, then I urge you to do it now. The Bible tells us that those whose names do not appear in the Book of Life (all saved people’s name appears in this book) will be destined to the lake of fire (Rev 20:12-15).