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1. How many people will see Jesus when He comes? Matthew 24:30, 31 NKJV
“Then the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
The millennium begins with Jesus’ return in an unavoidable, obvious, public event since He comes with “power and great glory,” accompanied by “all the holy angels” (Matthew 25:31). The whole world will see Him (Revelation 1:7). There is nothing secret about Jesus’ return.
2. How will Jesus’ “power and great glory” appear to those watching? Psalm 50:3-5 NKJV
“Our God shall come, and shall not keep silent; a shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous all around Him.”
“Our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29). Anything infected with sin cannot stand in His presence (1 Timothy 6:16). As Jesus enters this earth’s atmosphere the elements ignite from His intense brightness. God has removed the protective veil that has existed between us and Him since sin began. Now we get to see Him as He is in glory (1 John 3:2). Only those who have accepted Him as Lord and Savior will survive His brightness.
3. What will the lost do when they see Jesus? Revelation 6:14-17 NKJV
They “hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?’ “
No one can hide from God even though they might try. Isn’t it a pity these people run from Jesus? They could have come to Him in full surrender when they had an opportunity. He would have gladly accepted them. Now it is too late. This is why it is vital to ask Jesus to forgive our sins now!
4. What does the fire of Christ’s glory do to those unprepared for His coming? 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 NKJV
“When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”
The glory of Jesus’ presence, which brings hope and eternal life to the obedient believer, spells everlasting destruction to the disobedient who reject Jesus’ Lordship.
5. What happens to Christ’s true followers at His return?
a. “When He comes, in that Day, to be in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe.” 2 Thessalonians 1:10 NKJV
b. “And the dead in Christ will first. Then we who are alive
and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17 NKJV
As the lost are destroyed by Jesus’ bright glory, the saved are glorified and receive their change from mortality to immortality. The resurrected dead in Christ and the living believers are caught up together to meet the Lord in the air. Jesus doesn’t set a foot on earth. He takes all the saved, both the living and resurrected, to heaven.
6. What will earth look like at this time?
a. “And there was a great such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And great from heaven fell upon men.” Revelation 16:17-21 NKJV
b. “The elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be up.” 2 Peter 3:10NKJV
c. “I beheld the earth, and indeed it was without form, and ; and the heavens, they had no light…. I beheld, and indeed there was no ,… and all its cities were broken down at the presence of the Lord, by His fierce anger. For thus says the Lord: ‘The whole land shall be desolate.’” Jeremiah 4:23-27 NKJV
It’s a bleak picture! The greatest earthquake of all time shatters the planet; mountains disappear; islands are swallowed by the sea; over sixty-pound hailstones rain from the sky; earth’s elements melt. Simply put, the whole earth will be desolate and destroyed. All the wicked are dead and the righteous are in heaven. Earth is emptied of all human life.
7. What happens to Satan when Jesus returns? Revelation 20:1-3 NKJV
“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and put a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished.”
When Jesus returns, Satan is put ‘out of business’. He has no one to tempt for 1,000 years because all the lost are dead and the saved are in heaven. Peace reigns on earth because no one lives here. And the saved enjoy eternal peace in the pure atmosphere of heaven.
The earth, destroyed at Jesus’ return, is the “bottomless pit” where Satan is confined. The Greek word for “bottomless pit” is abussos, or abyss. This is the same word used in the Greek Old Testament in Genesis 1:2 for “deep” to describe the earth when it was “without form and void” and “darkness was upon the face of the deep.” This totally dark and destroyed earth is exactly the condition of the planet as Jeremiah describes it after Jesus’ return (Jeremiah 4:23).
While it is true no literal chain can hold a supernatural being such as Satan, God’s Word confines him to this planet. With no one to tempt and nowhere to roam, Satan is bound by the chain of circumstances to contemplate the destruction his sin caused. Can you imagine the torture this will be for him? He has busied himself with the rise and fall of empires and ruining the eternal destinies of individuals for thousands of years, but now the signs of defeat are painfully obvious.
8. What do God’s people do in heaven during the 1,000 years? Revelation 20:4-6 NKJV
“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and was committed to them… And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years… Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”
God’s people will be in heaven participating in the judgment of the wicked angels. “Do you not know that we shall judge angels?” (1 Corinthians 6:2, 3). As the victims of Satan’s cruelty, they now get their day in court to testify against him. There will also be opportunity to review God’s decisions regarding the lost. Questions about why certain people we expected to be in heaven, but are not, will be answered. (Perhaps we’ll even question how others even made it to heaven!) This is a time when the saints review the judgment books and have all their questions answered. They will see the lost shut out of heaven because of their own choices not to surrender completely to Christ. The execution of God’s sentence against the lost will happen at the end of the millennium and God wants everyone to understand why each lost person and the devil and his angels will be cast into the fires of hell.
9. What happens at the end of the 1,000 years that frees Satan? Revelation 20:5-7 NKJV
“But the rest of the dead [the lost] did not again until the thousand years were finished… Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be from his prison.”
At the end of the thousand years, God brings the heavenly New Jerusalem down to this planet (Revelation 20:9 and 21:10). In it are all the saved, Jesus, and God Himself. At this time, God resurrects the lost for the final phase of the judgment—the execution of the sentence.
10. What is the difference between the first and second resurrections? John 5:28-29 NKJV
“The hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of , and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of .”
The “dead in Christ” are brought to life in the first resurrection at Jesus’ return at the beginning of the 1,000 years. John says, “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power” (Revelation 20:6). God’s resurrected saints will never die a second time. But the wicked come up in the second resurrection of condemnation at the end of the 1,000 years. They are brought to life to face their second death.
11. Does seeing the Holy City change anything for the lost? Revelation 20:7-9 NKJV
“Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to the nations. … They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.”
Satan deceives the recently resurrected lost people, leading them to think they can take the city by force. Nothing has changed for them—or for Satan for that matter. They still are deceived and rebellious, and they array themselves against God and the city. It is at this point, when the universe clearly sees that sin and sinners will never repent, that God rains down fire and brimstone on them.
12. Why does God resurrect the lost only to destroy them? Revelation 20:11-13 NKJV
“And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and the books were opened. … And the dead were according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.”
First, the lost need to personally appear before the judgment seat of God to see the evidence in heaven’s books that record the reason for their being outside the city. With the facts before them, they will acknowledge God is righteous and true in all His judgments (Romans 14:10-12; Revelation 19:2). The second purpose benefits the saved. They will witness that even when their lost loved ones see the evidence of God’s existence and power, it does them no good. They still rebel against God. There is nothing more that can be done to save them.
Third, this second resurrection allows the universe to see just how far Satan and sinners will go. With full knowledge that God sits on the throne, the wicked seek to destroy Him and all the righteous. It is obvious to all—if the lost are allowed to live they will jeopardize life itself.
With this final demonstration, it is seen by all that God is merciful and just to destroy Satan and sinners. Now the redeemed and the rest of the universe will be forever secure and “affliction will not rise up a second time” (Nahum 1:9). We can thank the Lord for that!
13. How can we be assured that we will be inside the New Jerusalem at the end of the 1,000 years, and not outside with Satan? Revelation 22:14 NKJV
“Blessed are those who do His , that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter through the gates into the city.”
No one is saved by their works. The Bible is explicit about this. But it is also just as definite that those who are saved love Jesus so much, and are so completely loyal to Him, that they will keep His commandments (John 14:15). This concept is expressed in some Bible versions of verse 14 as they have “washed their robes.” Either way, the people who are allowed back into the city to partake of the tree of life, have learned what Adam and Eve didn’t—they have learned to take God at His Word and to trust and obey Jesus.
14. Are you making plans to be in the city at the end of the 1,000 years?