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What Is the Millennium?

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By The Village Church

In Revelation 20, John describes a vision of an angel sealing Satan away for a thousand years. He then talks about those who have been martyred for the gospel reigning with Christ for a thousand years. This millennium has been the subject of much debate among Christians for a long time. There are three interpretive views that fall within the realm of historic, orthodox Christianity: premillennialismpostmillennialism, and amillennialism. No matter which view you hold, one thing remains sure: Christ will return and establish His kingdom, and He will reign on earth as He does in heaven.

Premillennialism interprets Revelation 20 to mean that before the final judgment, Christ will return to establish His kingdom and physically reign over all the earth for a literal 1,000 years. Within this view, there is additional debate over when Christ will return to rescue His people from tribulation—either before or after His thousand-year reign.

Postmillennialism interprets Revelation 20 to mean that before Christ returns in the flesh, the gospel will make such progress that societies around the world will be transformed into bastions of justice and peace. The majority of the world will be obedient to Christ, and at the end of this period, He will return to forever reign over the new heavens and new earth.

Unlike the first two views, amillennialism holds that the “millennium” has already begun. John’s use of “1,000 years” is figurative and refers to the present age in which the Church is fulfilling Christ’s reign and will continue until His return. Amillennialism also holds that some of the events prophesied in Scripture have already been fulfilled in the first century following the death of Christ, while some events will not find their fulfillment until the return of Christ.



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