The Millennium is an intermediate kingdom of 1,000 years before the establishment of a final, eternal state (heaven and hell). Is this period a literal 1,000 years? I believe so. Every time Scripture uses the term “year,” it seems to mean a literal time period. Take a moment and read Revelation 20. We will cover it more in-depth on Sunday. Perhaps you noticed something. Satan is released from prison for a short period at the end of the Millennium.
Why was Satan released after the Millennium? This release demonstrates that 1,000 years of confinement does not alter Satan’s plans. His time in prison changes nothing. People will also choose rebellion, even in a near-perfect environment with no Satanic temptation. After the Millennium reign of Christ concludes, there is one final rebellion. Gog and Magog in Revelation 20 reference Ezekiel 38-39 and represent God’s enemies among the world’s nations.
But they are quickly defeated, and Satan is thrown into the lake of fire (hell).
Revelation 20 continues the pattern of judgment and salvation found throughout the book. Are you on the path to the lake of fire? Or are you in the Book of Life? The bottom line is we need Jesus to defeat evil and to save us! You can’t defeat evil alone, and you cannot save yourself. Look at verses four through six. This section reveals a group of believers martyred for their faith in Jesus during the tribulation. This group was previously mentioned in both Revelation 6 and 13. They experience the worst of the tribulation. They do not worship the Antichrist and are killed for their faith.
Have you ever wondered if God cares about His children who go through “the worst of it?” Some Christians seem to experience horrific hardships. Jesus cares deeply. In fact, He offers a special reward for endurance through suffering. In Christ, suffering has a point. Pain can be used by God for His glory. When you suffer for Christ, you will be rewarded. Indeed, it is the cross that shows us how the greatest evil can be used for the greatest good. Perhaps R.C. Sproul said it best: “Why do bad things happen to good people? That only happened once, and He volunteered.”