Study 9 EARTH’S GOLDEN AGE
In the last book of the Bible, we read of a time that is coming when our Lord Jesus Christ will reign on the earth for a thousand years. This will be Earth’s Golden Age, or the Millennium – look up Revelation 20:1-7. In scripture this 1000-year period is also described as “the world to come” (Hebrews 2:5), “the kingdom of God” (Mark 1:14), “the last day” (John 6:40), “the renewal of all things” (Matthew 19:28), “the times of refreshing” (Acts 3:19), “the restitution of all things” (Acts 3:21), and “the day of Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:8; 5:5; 2 Corinthians 1:14; Philippians 1:6). For 6000 years of recorded history, men have tried all sorts of schemes and laws and regulations for improving the lot of mankind; they have striven for peace and prosperity – but all man’s efforts have failed. There is universal unrest and distress, and conditions are only getting worse. Man’s endeavours to produce a Golden Age of peace and prosperity have failed! But God has promised to establish His rule and reign of righteousness upon the earth. It is for this we pray when we say, “Your kingdom come” (Matthew 6:10); and His kingdom will only come when the King Himself comes. That He must come before the Millennium, in order to usher it in and establish it, is obvious. We are not in the Millennium now; we cannot produce or bring about the Millennium; only the Lord can do that – and He will! What will the Millennium be like? “What will it be when the King comes?”
1. It will be a time when Satan is bound and cast into the bottomless pit.
There can be no permanent peace and prosperity while Satan is at large – look up Revelation 20:1-2. Potentially he was defeated at Calvary (1 John 3:8); but what relief and release will come when he, the arch-enemy of God and the enemy of mankind, is bound and cast into the bottomless pit! No longer will he be on the rampage like “a roaring lion” (1 Peter 5:8); no longer will he deceive men and appear to them as “an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14).
2. It will be a time during which the Lord Jesus will personally and visibly reign upon the earth.
Look up Luke 1:31-33, and carefully note the six “wills”. His kingdom now is a spiritual one, as He reigns in the hearts of His people (Luke 17:21), but then it will be a literal kingdom – look up and compare Psalm 2:6; Isaiah 24:23; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Daniel 7:13,14; Zechariah 9:10 and 14. It will be a reign of righteousness (Isaiah 9:7; 11:1-5); there will be universal peace (Isaiah 2:4; 54:13; 55:12; 60:18; 65:25; 66:12; Hosea 2:18); there will be abundant joy (Isaiah 35:10) and prosperity (Isaiah 65:21-23; Micah 4:4; Amos 9:13).
3. It will be a time when the saints will rule with Christ.
Look at Revelation 20:4; 3:21 and compare Matthew 19:27-28. What an amazing privilege and responsibility this will be!
4. It will be a time when sickness will practically disappear from the earth.
We learn this from Isaiah 33:24 and Zechariah chapter 14.
5. It will be a time when the power of death will be restrained and destroyed.
Look up Revelation 20:14, and compare Isaiah 65:18-20 and 1 Corinthians 15:15. During the Millennium death will not be prevalent; indeed, it will be inflicted only judicially. It would seem from scripture that those who share in this wonderful period of a thousand years will live right on through the entire period.
6. It will be a time of blessing even for the animal creation.
Look up Isaiah 11:6-9 and 65:25.
7. It will be a time when war and want will be abolished.
Our Lord predicted that war and unrest would characterise the present age – look up Matthew 24:6; but from Isaiah 2:2-5, Joel 3:10 and Micah 4:3 we learn that when the Lord Himself reigns there will be no more want and no more poverty.
8. It will be a time of wonderful blessing for Israel and for the Gentile nations who have survived the battle of Armageddon.
Here we need to turn to Isaiah 27:6; Zechariah 8:23; 12:10; 13:1; Romans 11:26 – compare Matthew 5:35.
9. It will be a time when righteousness will be everywhere triumphant.
During the present age, God’s people are called upon to suffer for righteousness’ sake; but see how different it will be during Christ’s reign – look up Isaiah 1:16-18; Jeremiah 33:15; Habakkuk 2:14.
10. It will be a time of unified worship.
All will unite in the worship of the Lord – look up Isaiah 45:23; 52:1,7-10; 66:17-23; Zephaniah 3:9; Malachi 1:11; Revelation 5:9-14.
11. It will be a time when the curse is removed.
The original curse placed upon Creation will be removed (Genesis 3:17-19), so that God’s presence will be fully realised and fellowship with Him will be experienced to an unprecedented degree (Ezekiel 37:27-28; Zechariah 2:10-13; Revelation 21:3).
12. It will be a time which finally merges into eternity.
Although so blessed, the millennial state will not be one of perfection. Some will die and some may rebel against the authority of the King. After the 1000-year Golden Age, Satan will be loosed for a short time, before he goes to his final doom in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:7-10); the earth will be purged with purifying fires (2 Peter 3:10), and it will then be glory and blessedness for ever! Then will come to pass the complete fulfilment of those wonderful words in Philippians 2:9-11. This is the glorious prospect of every believer, of every Christian! Only those who belong to our Lord Jesus Christ, and own and honour Him as Lord and Saviour, will share in the blessedness of being with Him throughout the endless ages of eternity.