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13.4 Judgment in the Millennium
Divine Justice and the Clarification of All Questions
Read Revelation 20:4-6. What do the righteous do during the 1000 years, and why is this important?
Revelation 20:4-6 reads: “I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.”
Activities of the Righteous During the Millennium:
During the Millennium, the righteous are entrusted with a significant task: they participate in the judgment. They are given the responsibility to review and understand God’s righteous and loving handling of sin and sinners.
Importance of This Task:
  1. Understanding Divine Justice and Love:
    • Examination of God’s Decisions: The righteous have the opportunity to review God’s decisions regarding the fate of individuals. This allows for a deeper understanding of His justice and love. Questions they had about God’s actions in their lives and throughout history can be clarified.
    • Revelation of Truth: During the Millennium, the righteous can see that God’s judgments are just and that He did everything possible to save each person. This insight leads to greater trust and deeper love for God.
  2. Clarity About the Fate of the Lost:
    • Understanding the Lost: When the righteous realize that loved ones or friends are not in heaven, they have the chance to see that these individuals consciously rejected Christ. This understanding shows that the loss of eternal life is a result of personal decisions against God.
    • Divine Fairness: This understanding helps eliminate any doubt about God’s fairness. It becomes clear that everyone had the opportunity for salvation and that the lost missed out on eternal life due to their own choices.
  3. Preparation for the Final Judgment:
    • Conclusions and Confirmations: During the Millennium, the insights and judgments of the righteous prepare for the final judgment. When the 1000 years end, the final judgment—the second death—will be executed. This period of investigation ensures that the judgment of the lost is thorough and just.
    • Final Destruction: After the Millennium, God brings about the final judgment on the lost, which results in the second death and eternal destruction. This marks the end of the sin problem and restores eternal justice.
During the Millennium, the righteous play a central role in the judgment. They examine God’s actions to fully understand His justice and love. This phase is crucial to ensure that God’s judgments are recognized as just and fair. It provides the redeemed with the opportunity to find answers to their questions and understand the full extent of God’s efforts to save humanity. This strengthens trust and love for God and prepares the way for the final judgment and the restoration of perfect justice.
Read Revelation 20:7-9. How do the 1000 years end? What is the fate of Satan and his followers?
Revelation 20:7-9 reads: “When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them.”
The End of the Millennium:
After the 1000 years, Satan is released from his “prison.” This means that the wicked dead are resurrected to face their final judgment. Satan now has people to deceive again, and he uses this opportunity to gather the nations for one last great rebellion against God. These nations are referred to as “Gog and Magog,” symbols of the unredeemed nations of all time.
The Fate of Satan and His Followers:
  1. Gathering of Followers:
    • Deception and Rebellion: Despite his previous defeats in the great controversy, Satan is determined to continue his rebellion. He deceives the resurrected wicked into making one last attempt to overthrow God and establish their own kingdom. This vast multitude, as numerous as the sand on the seashore, advances against the “camp of the saints and the beloved city” (the New Jerusalem).
  2. The Final Judgment:
    • Fire from Heaven: When the wicked surround the Holy City, fire comes down from God out of heaven and devours them. This is the final judgment, in which Satan and all his followers are destroyed. This destruction is complete and symbolizes the total end of sin and evil.
Importance of the New Jerusalem:
  • Descent of the New Jerusalem: At the end of the Millennium, the New Jerusalem, the holy city, comes down from heaven to earth (Revelation 21:2). The redeemed, who have lived and reigned with Christ in heaven throughout the Millennium, are now in the city along with God, Jesus, the angels, and all the redeemed.
  • Site of the Final Battle: The last great battle of the great controversy takes place outside the gates of the New Jerusalem. This marks the final confrontation between good and evil, ending with the complete destruction of evil.
Why is this important?:
  1. Final Eradication of Sin:
    • End of Rebellion: The end of the Millennium marks the final end of Satan’s rebellion and the total eradication of sin. The destruction of Satan and his followers ensures that sin and rebellion will never arise again.
    • God’s Justice: The fire from heaven that devours the wicked is an expression of God’s final justice. It shows that God will not tolerate evil indefinitely and that it will ultimately be completely eliminated.
  2. Confirmation of Divine Sovereignty:
    • Triumph of God and the Righteous: The final destruction of Satan and his followers confirms God’s sovereignty and the righteous judgment of sin. It shows that God’s plan and rule over the universe ultimately triumph.
    • Safety and Peace: With the eradication of sin, the universe becomes a place of eternal peace and justice. The redeemed can be assured that evil will never arise again and that they will live in eternal fellowship with God.
The end of the Millennium marks the last rebellion of Satan and the final destruction of all the wicked. These events demonstrate God’s justice and His ability to ultimately conquer evil. The descending holy city, the New Jerusalem, symbolizes the final reign of God and the eternal home of the redeemed. The complete eradication of sin ensures that the universe continues in peace and justice, marking the triumphant conclusion of the divine plan of salvation.
What does the timing of the final judgment reveal about God’s character?
The timing of the final judgment reveals several essential aspects of God’s character:
  1. Justice and Fairness:
    • Thorough Examination: God’s decision to hold the final judgment after the Millennium shows His justice. It gives the redeemed the opportunity to review His judgments and ensure that all decisions are fair and just.
    • Accountability: God leaves no questions unanswered. By allowing the righteous to understand His judgments during the Millennium, He shows that He is accountable and makes His justice transparent.
  2. Patience and Longsuffering:
    • Second Chances: The long period before the final judgment shows God’s patience and longsuffering. He gives people ample time to repent and accept His salvation.
    • Tireless Efforts: God’s patience also shows His tireless efforts to save every person. He gives many opportunities for repentance before the final judgment is pronounced.
  3. Love and Mercy:
    • Salvation of the Righteous: God’s love and mercy are evident in His plan to save the righteous. He ensures eternal life for those who believe in Him and accept His salvation.
    • Revelation of Truth: Through the judgment, God reveals His love by showing that He did everything possible to save people. The righteous recognize the depth of His love and His efforts to reach even the lost.
  4. Ultimate Justice:
    • Perfect Justice: The final judgment ensures that justice is served for all. The wicked are held accountable, and the righteous are rewarded.
    • Eradication of Evil: God’s justice includes the complete eradication of evil. This shows that He is not only just but also determined to rid the universe of all wickedness.
  5. Sovereignty and Omnipotence:
    • Control Over Time: God’s setting of the timing for the final judgment shows His sovereignty and control over time. He determines the timing according to His perfect plan, showing that He holds all of history and the future in His hands.
    • Enforcement of His Rule: The final judgment demonstrates God’s omnipotence and His ability to enforce His righteous rule and ultimately defeat evil.
  6. Wisdom and Understanding:
    • Wisdom in Planning: God’s plan for the final judgment reveals His infinite wisdom. He has a comprehensive plan that considers all aspects of justice, mercy, and love.
    • Understanding Human Nature: God’s plan also shows His deep understanding of human nature and the need for a complete and transparent judgment process to remove any doubt about His justice and love.
The timing of the final judgment reveals God’s just, patient, loving, sovereign, wise, and understanding character. It shows that He has done everything to save humanity and that His judgments are fair and just. God’s patience and longsuffering provide people with many opportunities for repentance, while His justice and sovereignty ensure that evil is ultimately defeated. These attributes of God offer believers comfort and security, affirming their trust in His perfect justice and love.
  1. Encouragement to Build Trust:
    • God is Just: Knowing that God will hold a just and fair judgment at the end of time strengthens our trust in His justice. In everyday life, we can trust that God, in His wisdom and justice, will work all things for good, even if we don’t understand the reasons for certain events.
    • God’s Transparency: The fact that God allows the righteous to review His judgments during the Millennium shows His transparency. This strengthens our trust that God has nothing to hide and that His ways and decisions are always just.
  2. Responsibility for Our Actions:
    • Accountability: The role of the righteous in the judgment reminds us that we are accountable for our actions. Our life of faith should be characterized by an awareness that our deeds have consequences and that we will ultimately give an account to God.
    • Conscious Living: This awareness encourages us to live a life that aligns with God’s commandments. We should strive to reflect on our decisions and actions in light of God’s justice and love.
  3. Encouragement and Comfort:
    • Clarity About God’s Plan: During the Millennium, the righteous will gain clarity about God’s decisions. In everyday life, this hope can comfort and encourage us, especially when we face unexplained difficulties and losses. We can trust that God will ultimately reveal and explain all things.
    • Hope for Justice: The promise of the final judgment gives us hope that injustice and evil will not persist forever. This hope can carry us through difficult times and encourage us to remain steadfast in faith.
  4. Recognizing God’s Love and Efforts:
    • God’s Tireless Efforts: During the Millennium, the righteous will recognize God’s tireless efforts to save humanity. This reminds us in daily life how much God loves each of us and how intensely He works to save us.
    • Gratitude and Worship: Understanding God’s love and justice should evoke deep gratitude and worship in us. This gratitude can shape our daily lives and motivate us to live in close relationship with God.
  5. Motivation for Evangelism:
    • Seriousness of Salvation: Knowing about the coming judgment and the final decision over each person’s eternal fate motivates us to share the gospel. We should strive to tell others about God’s love and plan of salvation so that they too have the opportunity to be among the righteous.
    • Compassion and Effort: The understanding of sin’s consequences and the fate of the lost should instill deep compassion for others and drive us to actively work for their salvation.
The activities of the righteous during the Millennium and the understanding of the final judgment have a deep connection to our everyday lives and faith. They encourage us to live a life of trust, responsibility, and hope. The certainty of God’s justice and love strengthens our faith and motivates us to proclaim the gospel and live in close relationship with God. Through this connection, we can find comfort, encouragement, and a clear orientation towards God’s eternal plan in our daily lives.

God’s just judgment at the end of time strengthens our trust that all things will ultimately be made right, and motivates us to live each day in the light of His love and justice.

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