The churches of Christ Greet You (Romans 16:16)
Millennium signifies a period of one thousand years. Millennialism, a1so known as chiliasm, is the belief that our Lord Jesus Christ will visibly reappear on the earth a thousand years before the end of the world. At His appearance He will raise His saints (those who died in the Lord) from the dead, and with these and the believers who are still living at that time reign on earth personally and in great glory for a thousand years. At the expiration of the 1,000 years, all those who have died in unbelief will be raised from the dead and the final Judgment will be held.
This definition, however, presents only a general idea of what the great majority of the believers in a millennium are agreed upon. They differ among themselves with regard to many details of their belief. The Premillenarians, for instance, place Christ's visible appearance both before and after the millennium; but the Post-millenarians accept only one such appearance, namely, after the end of that glorious era. The former teach a resurrection of the believers at the beginning, and a resurrection of the unbelievers at the end of the millennium, while the latter believe only in a general resurrection at the end.
The Premillenarians hold that the millennium is a period of world‑wide righteousness introduced by the sudden, unannounced visible advent of Christ. They teach that the righteous, the believers in Him who is our Righteousness, will then be raised from the dead and reign with Christ on earth. Additionally, they say that (1) all Israel will acknowledge Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah; (2) that Satan during this period will be bound and locked in the abyss, but after this will be loosed and make a final but vain effort to destroy Christ's kingdom; and (3) that soon after this attempt he, his angels, and all unbelievers (who are then raised from the dead) will be judged and hurled into the lake of fire to suffer eternal torment.
The Post-millenarians hold, in the main that (1) through Christian agencies the Gospel will gradually permeate the entire world and bring about political peace and welfare among the nations; (2) that all the Jews will be converted to Jesus; (3) that after the thousand‑year period there will be a brief apostasy, a falling away from the Christian faith, followed by a dreadful conflict between Christian and evil forces; and (4) that finally and simultaneously there will occur the visible coming of Christ, the resurrection of all the dead, and the judgment of all men, after which the world will be destroyed and a new world will be created. The Post-millenarians, we see, accept only one visible reappearance of Christ, namely, at the end of the millennium.
There are those among the millenarians who take
such as Isaiah 11:7: "…The lion
shall eat straw like the ox" and Isaiah 65:25, "The
wolf and the lamb shall feed
together," in a literal sense. They believe that during the
there will be peace not only among men but also among the animals, so
will neither kill nor hurt one another. Some hold that
But all who hope for a millennium assert that the church of Christ during that period will no longer be a kingdom under the cross, but a kingdom of glory ruling over all nations - i.e., either converting or subduing all enemies of Christ, abolishing all wars and all implements of war (taking Isaiah 2:4 literally), and making all Jews Christians (supposed to be found in Rom. 11:25‑31 and Luke 21:24).
All millenarians base
their teachings chiefly on Revelation 20:1‑10.