"Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years."
These words are from Revelation chapter 20 verse 6 and describe the approaching phase of human history in which Jesus Christ returns to earth to reign as King for 1,000 years. Perhaps you have met some Christians who believe this 1,000 year reign of Christ actually takes place before His return to earth. It may soon begin or has maybe already begun. Some others believe the 1,000 year reign of Christ does not ever take place on this earth, but is merely a figurative reference to His present spiritual reign from His throne in heaven. But when we read chapter 20 of Revelation it seems pretty clear that this 1,000 year reign of Christ takes place on this earth after He returns and victoriously defeats the Beast, the kings of the earth, and the armies that have gathered against Him. (Rev. 19:19) At that time, the Beast (a term for the coming world ruler who will exalt himself as God) and the false prophet (who calls people to worship the Beast), will both be thrown into the everlasting lake of fire. Satan will then be bound and imprisoned as Christ begins His earthly reign. There are probably many questions we have about this future reign of Christ, and perhaps some things we misunderstand. I remember hearing of someone's reaction to this truth by blurting out "Where does all the water go?" As if it was to rain for 1,000 years! That is a silly illustration of many misunderstandings that some Christians have regarding this prophetic truth. So why do some Christians reject the idea that this 1,000 year reign of Christ will actually take place on this earth, after He returns? First of all, the very fact that this is a future prophecy makes it subject to speculation and critique. Believers before the first coming of Christ certainly had a difficult time sorting out the meaning of all the prophecies regarding His first arrival. The same now holds true regarding His second coming. Sometimes antisemitism also causes Christians to reject any teaching that Christ will reign over this world from the throne of David in Jerusalem. But it seems in many cases this teaching is rejected by people who just can't make sense of it. It is because they can't see the purpose of such a kingdom, and because it presents questions they cannot answer, and because it is inconsistent with beliefs they already hold, that they simply reject it. In future posts we will answer the objections that some Christians raise against the biblical teaching that Christ will reign on this earth for 1,000 years. As we do, our hope is that our confidence in the plain, literal teaching of God's Word is reinforced. It will require diligence, but will certainly yield blessings. It would be a mistake to dismiss such a prophecy as insignificant. The book of Revelation is a message directly from our Savior to those for whom He is returning. He wants to show us what is to come, and although the picture He shows us may not be as clear as we would like, it demands our steady inspection and deep appreciation.