Tuesday in the Fifth Week of Easter

Revelation 20:1-15

The Glorious Reign of the Son

The twentieth chapter of Revelation is the most controversial chapter in the entire book, and one of the most controversial in the whole Bible.  It contains a few verses about a one thousand year reign of Christ on earth.  It has come to be called “the millennium.”  The sticking point is how to interpret what this millennial reign of Christ on earth means.  Many take it symbolically – that we are living in that reign right now as Christ rules in our hearts.  Indeed, this has been the majority view throughout much of Church history, beginning in the fifth century.

But an earlier view from the second century held that the millennial reign of Christ was his literal reign on earth after his coming.  This view has regained much popularity in various forms in the last two hundred years or so, and I confess to leaning towards it, though I will not quarrel.  This view states that upon our Lord’s return, Satan will be bound and Christ will set up a kingdom on earth in which he will indeed rule the nations with a rod of iron.  It will be a kingdom of peace in which righteousness and justice flourish, such as that described in Isaiah 2:1-4 and 11:1-9.  The saints will be raised from the dead, in what is called the first resurrection, and will reign with Christ as is indicated in Matthew 19:28-29 and 1 Corinthians 6:2.

Questions may arise as to why.  Why a reign of Christ on earth with his people?  Why not just go on to heaven?  Because the invisible reign of Christ in our hearts cries out for his visible reign upon the earth.  His kingship and lordship demand vindication from the humiliating treatment he received.  His majesty must be acclaimed by all people (Philippians 2:10-11).  And finally, a kingdom of righteousness and justice is exactly what he promised, which only he can bring.  Such a kingdom would humble the nations and expose them for the imposters they were when compared to his glorious rule.  It will be the fulfillment of all of our hopes and dreams on earth.

But sin lies deep in the heart of man.  Even after a long and peaceful reign of our resurrected Lord, a reign of righteousness and justice, Satan, who is unbound and allowed to roam, is still able to deceive men.  The final battle is described in which God rescues his people.  Then is the general resurrection in which the books are opened.  No one is excluded.  All are judged who were not included in the first resurrection.  The separation is final.  And finally, our archenemy, the devil himself, is consigned to the lake of fire to join the beast and false prophet.  Then, it all really begins!

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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