Who will be present in the millennial kingdom?
Revelation 20 describes a millennial kingdom, a 1,000-year literal period during which Jesus will reign from His throne in Jerusalem. Who will occupy this millennial kingdom?
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In some cases, it is clear who will be with Jesus in this millennial kingdom. First Thessalonians 4:17 notes that believers in Jesus Christ who join Him during the rapture will be with Him forever. Therefore, every Christian from the time of Jesus on earth to the rapture will be in the millennial kingdom.
Second, there will be those who are resurrected after Christ returns to earth. Revelation 20:4-6 describes these individuals. Verse 4 notes, "Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years." This includes people who will come to faith in Jesus after the rapture and die during the tribulation period.
Third, Ezekiel 37:12-14 appears to note that believers in the Lord prior to Jesus' death, resurrection, and the start of the church on the Day of Pentecost will dwell in the Promised Land with the Lord.
Fourth, it appears that those people who become believers during the seven-year tribulation who do not die will enter the millennial kingdom alive (Matthew 25:31-46). These believers will live long lives, marry, and have children (Isaiah 65:20-25).
All of these people will live with the Lord during this time period. During this time Satan will be bound, offering a time of peace in the Promised Land. Though the curse of sin will not completely be removed until the new heavens and new earth (Revelation 21—22), many of the effect of sin will be changed, as people live longer life spans, peace exists, and Satan is bound during this time.
Though many aspects of life during the millennial kingdom are unknown or are not completely clear, it is comforting to know that all of God's people will dwell with Him in safety and peace during this time. The best preparation on our part today is to make certain we know Christ (John 3:16; 1 John 5:13), that we live for Him, and share Him with others.
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