What happens to unbelievers when Jesus returns?
What will happen during the Millennium?
"During the millennium there is no world empire of peace on earth, but a world cemetery."
Many Christians are of the opinion that after the return of Jesus a 1000 year long time of peace (millennium) would dawn because Satan was bound and could no longer deceive people. This theory varies depending on the denomination (e.g .: only Jehovah's Witnesses populate the earth; the Jews convert and proselytize the world, while the Christians are already in heaven; the Catholic Church, under the leadership of the Bishop of Rome, establishes an empire of world peace ). With all these or similar interpretations a lot has to be speculated, because the "1000 years" are only mentioned in Revelation 20 and nothing is said there about a world peace or about paradisiacal conditions.
In Revelation 20: 1-2, John simply states: Satan is bound for 1000 years. What significance this has for people and the earth becomes clear only through the context of the text: Before the millennium begins, Jesus will first come again and raise his followers from the dead.
Let us consider some statements in the New Testament about this:
1 Thessalonians 4: 15-17 - When Christ returns, the dead believers will rise first. Then the living believers are transformed and both groups are brought together towards Christ. After the return of Jesus there are no more people who believe in Christ on earth.
Luke 17: 26-30 - All wicked will die at the return of Jesus (see also Revelation 14: 14-20; 19: 11-21; Zefaniah 1: 2, 3).
At the second coming of Jesus there are only two groups: the believers who are living or who have already risen and the unbelievers who are still living or who have died. Nowhere in the Bible is there any mention of a third group that, although not yet converted at the return of Jesus, is somehow neutral and therefore has a special chance.
The death of the wicked is also portrayed in connection with Revelation 20. The direct context of the text is particularly important here (Revelation 19: 17-21 - it is not about a limited army, but about all free and slaves, small and large; verse 15 - ruling with an iron rod is parallel to the sharp sword with whom he beats the peoples, cf. Isaiah 11: 4).
In general, Revelation only knows two groups of people who lived shortly before the coming of Jesus: "inhabitants" of Jerusalem or Babylon, Christians or Antichrists, sealed or bearers of marks, worshipers of God or the beast, followers of the Lamb or the dragon The final events described in Revelation will polarize the world.
According to Revelation 20: 4-6, believers come to life at the beginning of the millennium (this is parallel to 1 Thessalonians 4: 15-17) and reign with Christ for 1000 years. Your resurrection is called first resurrection designated. Those who participate in it are blessed (that is, saved and thus happy) and holy (that is, they belong to God in order to serve him). The second, eternal death has no power over him.
If there is a first resurrection, there must be a second. Because all believers were taken to heaven at the return of Jesus, this can only be about the ungodly. Their resurrection will not take place until after the 1000 years (Revelation 20: 5). It is the resurrection for judgment (cf. John 5:28, 29), because these people are not "blessed and holy", but succumb to the second death (verse 6).
Let us now come to a conclusion: If all believers are accepted into heaven at the return of Jesus (1 Thessalonians 4: 15-17), then all living wicked die (Luke 17:26-30) and if the wicked only after the If you rise from the dead 1000 years (Revelation 20: 5), the earth will be depopulated during the millennium. With this, Satan's hands are - symbolically speaking - tied. He can no longer deceive anyone (Revelation 20: 2-3). In addition, the earth was badly devastated by God's last judgments and the seven plagues (Revelation 16).
But when the ungodly dead are resurrected after 1000 years, Satan is no longer condemned to inaction. The wicked of all times (as much as the sand by the sea - Revelation 20: 7, 8) are seduced by him to storm the new Jerusalem, which came down to earth with the believers and Christ (Revelation 21: 2 - Hebrews narrate not necessarily everything chronologically exactly one after the other, as other biblical passages show. John often finishes one important thing in order not to confuse the central theme, but then adds important details and explains them in more detail. This style is typical of the Bible. Also This becomes clear in the following verses of Revelation 20: Verse 9 tells of the destruction of the wicked if they attempt to storm Jerusalem. Verses 11-15 go back again to describe the last judgment on the wicked in more detail).
The context of the text shows that during the millennium there was no world empire for peace, but a "world cemetery". During this time, Satan can see day by day where his rebellion against God and his own rule will ultimately lead.
This interpretation of the Millennium is not based on speculation that Old Testament prophecies are mixed with Revelation 20, which actually refer to a happy time for Israel if they had accepted Jesus as Messiah. It only refers to the statements of the chapter, the context of the text and the statements of the New Testament about the events at the return of Jesus.
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