Evangelist & Web Minister
Lamb & Lion Ministries
For those who are saved, we're looking at what the events will be after death.
6) Millennial Kingdom
After Jesus ends the Tribulation in victory, He is going to usher in what is called the Millennial Kingdom. During this 1,000 year time period, Jesus is going to physically reign over all the earth. It is going to be a wonderful new era of peace and righteousness and justice. Because of all the destruction from the Tribulation, Jesus will need to cleanse the world of the radiation and poisoning and death, and so all the ecological problems will go away. The Earth will be a beautiful paradise once more, just like the Garden of Eden was.
Jesus in person Himself will rule from Jerusalem. He will rebuild Jerusalem and rule the world from there.
The faithful in glorified bodies — that's us — we will get to reign with Jesus over the people who are still living in earthly bodies. The people who accepted Jesus as their Savior during the Tribulation and survived, they are going to pass through what is called the Sheep- Goat Judgment. They are going to be allowed to live into the Millennium and have children and repopulate the planet. And, we will be there ruling with Jesus and helping those people as their governors and administrators and teachers and jobs like that.
7) Second Gog-Magog Battle
Unfortunately, at the end of the Millennial Kingdom, Jesus will release Satan for one final battle. God allows Satan to lead the people born during the Millennium who wish to rebel against God. They will be given a paradise to live in, but they would rather do their own thing contrary to God's moral laws, and so they will rebel against God. When they rebel against God, again Jesus with so much power just has to say a few mere words and Satan's last army is defeated. I figure the molecular bonds which holds all things together just fall apart at Christ's word, because Revelation 20 describes the battle as if those people just melt. Jesus will defeat Satan and the final remnant of rebellious people, and we will be there, too, to witness the whole climatic conclusion to human history.
8) Great White Throne Judgment
At the end of the Millennial Kingdom, there will be a final judgment for all those who throughout human history have rejected God. This is called the Resurrection of the Unjust. Everyone who has shook their fist against God and raised it up in rebellion will be resurrected. As Philippians 2:9-11 explains, here at this resurrection finally every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord.
And, that will be end to all who have rebelled against God. Not having come to God in faith in life, they will be sentenced to death in Hell. God will have complete and total victory over all His enemies. Period!
After the mess Satan's final rebellion will cause to the planet, God will reform Earth into something much larger and totally free of sin and death. There will be a new eternity after that populated by a people group winnowed throughout all of human history who have loved God and want to live with Him forever. After all, God doesn't want to spend eternity just talking to Himself. Can you imagine the Trinity sitting around saying, "Hey, Dad." "Hey, Son." "Hey, Holy Spirit." No, God created everything because He wants to live in perfect relationships with people who want to be with Him forever, and we will be part of those people.
What is Heaven like? If it is not a ghost town and it's not a place where we play a lot of harps, then just what is it like?
Amazingly, what the Bible teaches concerning Heaven, and this is rarely taught in churches but it's true, is that Heaven will come down to a restored earth. The earth has gone through lots of changes over history. We know that during Adam and Eve's time the earth was perfect in that it was pre-Fall, but when Adam and Eve sinned a curse was put on it and the whole earth changed. After Noah's flood we have what the earth is like today, with its own atmosphere and environment a little different than it was during pre-Flood times. After the coming future Tribulation, Jesus will rebuild the earth and it will last during that millennial time, but that will get trashed, too, at the last battle. For the eternal earth, God will renovate it with fire as 2 Peter 3 describes back into a pre-Fall state. It's going to be a paradise. It will be perfect and there will be no curse on it ever again.
On this eternal earth, Heaven will finally come down to earth. It is a city that Jesus built called the New Jerusalem. As John 14:2 describes, "In my Father's house there are many rooms. If it were not so I would have told you." Jesus continues promising, "I am coming there to prepare a place for you." Now, think of it. God made the whole universe in six days. And, Jesus has been gone for nearly 2,000 years building this place, so can we just imagine how awesome a place this is going to be like? It must be beyond awesome.
Heaven is going to come down to earth, and do you know what? It will be our home. This place here today is our temporary home and we are strangers on this evil world, but what we were destined for, that's our eternal home.
I'll explain a little what this super city will look like. The New Jerusalem is described in Revelation 21.
The city is either shaped like a cube or a pyramid, we cannot be sure. We are told it is 1500 miles wide, long, and high. So, it could be a square, or it could be a pyramid. The mileage would require the city to stretch equivalently from Canada to Mexico and from the Atlantic Ocean all the way to Colorado. It's that big! It's so big in fact that if you figure there will be 20 billion people dwelling in it, each person would get 70 acres a piece cubed — it is that big!
Revelation 21 describes what the New Jerusalem is made out of. God did not spare any expense. The city is not made of gravel, instead it is made of gold, and not just any gold, it is pure gold. The quality is perfect as Revelation 21:18 and 21 tells us.
The city rests on foundations made of twelve layers of precious jewels like emeralds, sapphires, and amethysts. The Twelve Apostles are honored by having their names engraved, one on each foundational layer.
There are twelve gates to this city and they are all made out of a pearl. Some of these angels we read about in the Bible are big guys, so we are not talking about little pearls or little gates. These are humongous gates each made of a pearl. As everyone knows, a pearl is created inside of an oyster. So, if the pearls are that big, then just how big are these oysters? They must be tremendous!
God has His throne in Heaven. The few people in the Bible who have gotten to see it and report back say it looks like an emerald with a rainbow around it. God has four living creatures perched in front of it. They are four angel types that have never been seen anywhere else in the world. There are 24 elders taken from time and they in their own little thrones are circled around God's throne. Millions upon millions of angels fill the chamber worshipping God.
Out of the middle of God's throne is what is called the River of the Tree of Life, and that life is for the healing of the nations. The tree produces twelve crops of fruit. Remember the Tree of Life from the Garden of Eden, well here we see it again. It produces those crops of fruit once every month.
The very Creator Father God Himself lives with us in the New Jerusalem. God is radiantly bright. He is the light source of the city. One of my kids asked me, "If God is the light source for the city, what about the other side of the planet. How are they getting light?" I thought that was a really good question. The answer is the sun and the moon and stars will still be out there lighting the solar system, but it is God who provides the purest of light.
What will you and me look like in the eternal state? Are we going to be ghosts? No, we will have our own glorified bodies, as 1 Corinthians 15:42-50 describes them, "The body that is sown is perishable," in other words can be destroyed, "it is raised imperishable," it can't be destroyed. "It is sown in dishonor," in that our sin weighs us down like we are slogged in filthy mud, "but it is raised in glory," in purity. "It is sown in weakness," in that we get sick and we get tired, "but it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body." We will be in a Holy Spirit powered body. "And we will bear the likeness of the man from heaven," the man from Heaven is Jesus Christ.
And so, our glorified bodies can't be destroyed. We will be immortal. We will live forever. We will be powerful. We will be Spirit controlled rather than sin controlled. We will be tangible, in that you can touch and feel them just as the disciples could touch and feel Jesus after He was resurrected.
You will be recognizable, but your body will be perfect. I am hoping for a few more inches and a smaller nose, but since we are recognizable I guess I am stuck looking like this forever, but hopefully younger. And, we will have no weaknesses. None!
Jesus if you remember did some pretty remarkable things after He was resurrected. He would occasionally appear out of nowhere. I would think it would be so great to just pop in and out without having to travel. Remember how He flew when He ascended to Heaven? Will we also get to fly? If the New Jerusalem is a huge cube or pyramid, you can bet we will need to be flying. Why take an escalator, right, when we can fly?
Think about our bodies now? Our earthly bodies are degraded, so our taste, our touch, our smells, our eyesight (I wear contacts) are all much weaker. But, in Heaven, these senses will be perfected. Think about the colors which we will be able to see. Maybe we will see outside of this light spectrum and into the ultraviolet. Or, what about tastes? You will get to savor certain foods because we will get to eat just as Jesus ate. We will get to savor perfected foods. Smells now, well I'm not big on smelling some things better, but I think it would be wonderful to be able to smell all sorts of different things beyond our limited range.