By Dr. James & Natalie Ricks
Christ Reigns for One Thousand Years
A future age of judgment is revealed in the Bible. In the book of Revelation this age is described as the “great white throne judgment period.” All who have ever lived will get a chance to understand God’s will, repent of their sins and live in obedience to Him. Then they too will have the opportunity to have their names added to the book of life. If they refuse, they will simply be resurrected to then go into the lake of fire. All men suffer the first, physical, death but are then given a chance to avoid the second, spiritual death in the next life.
Today is not the only day of salvation. Most of mankind have lived in utter paganism, superstition or secular decadence and deception. Our loving God will give everyone a chance to repent and be added to the Family of God.
The second coming of Jesus will mean peace and prosperity for the planet. Earth will experience prosperity and truth for the first time. Christ and the resurrected saints, the new sons of God, will create a paradise and knowledge of the true God will flow from it like the water of the sea.
Isaiah 11:4-9 “…but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth; and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his waist, and faithfulness the girdle of his loins.
“And the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea.” (ASV)
The Second Resurrection
Since there is a “first” resurrection it stands to reason that there would be a “second” resurrection. When the Bible talks about a “second death” then certainly all must have a chance to live again––a second life. The billions who were not included in the first resurrection, who have lived and were never fully given an opportunity to be saved, will come alive again.
The Bible will then be fully opened to their minds. Most will learn, repent, and be written in the Book of Life. The majority will be saved in this wonderful period of God’s grace and righteous judgment.
Revelation 20:11-13, “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat upon it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne; and books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead that were in it; and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.”
The Book of Life
Finally, mankind will get a chance to truly know God. Obviously, in this age of Satan, most of mankind has never really gotten to know the true God. Why would God open the Book of Life during this judgment period if he was only going to burn all those who were not saved in their first life? Our age is NOT the only age of salvation! A new age, or judgment period, is coming when all will get an opportunity to really understand the gospel and the Bible. They will get a chance to repent and be saved.
Matthew 12:32, “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.” (NKJV)
Note that the self-righteous will have a harder time learning to repent than the more obvious sinners in the age or world of judgment to come.
Matthew 11:20-24, “Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent: ‘Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.”
Christ will be harder during this judgment period on the self-righteous people of Israel who heard the preaching of Jesus and his disciples and utterly rejected it. However, the sinners who never before heard God’s truth will repent faster and more deeply than many of these self-righteous ones.
Satan’s Last Deception
At the end of this thousand year period, God will release Satan and his demons from their spiritual jail. They will attempt to seduce and deceive those who, at end of the millennium, remain in bad attitudes and in hatred for God’s people and God’s ways. Many will be added to God’s family during the millennial reign of Christ, but the second resurrection will include many vulnerable people who have never had their faith tested by the Devil.
We can assume that some will be loyal to God; however many fall for the spirit of sin and unrepentant hatred of God and His people. These hopelessly deceived nations will ultimately attempt to attack Jerusalem in a spirit of rebellion and hatred of God and Israel!
Revelation 20:6-10, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: over these the second death hath no power; but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
“And when the thousand years are finished, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall come forth to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to the war: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up over the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where are also the beast and the false prophet; and they shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”
Of course, God cannot be defeated. The attacking armies will be completely destroyed by God’s miraculous salvation. This story is elaborated in the book of Ezekiel, chapters 37 and 38. Satan will again be restrained––this time for all eternity.
The Final Death
Revelation 21:7-8, “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
All those who fail to repent after being given a second chance will face the second death. People who have committed the unpardonable sin or refused to obey God only to become defiant sinners, will simply have their existence ended. If they do not appreciate the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, they will face the lake of fire. They will become ashes and will no longer cause themselves or others to suffer. They will not be tortured for all eternity as some claim; that is cruel and sadistic, even to us imperfect humans. The Bible tells us what He will do:
Malachi 4:1-3, “‘For behold, the day is coming, Burning like an oven, And all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up,’ Says the LORD of hosts, ‘that will leave them neither root nor branch. But to you who fear My name, The Son of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings; And you shall go out and grow fat like stall-fed calves. You shall trample the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day that I do this,’ Says the LORD of hosts.”
The fate of the unsaved is one of kindness. Human beings, with the help and grace of God, through His Holy Spirit, will learn to behave in a proper manner or they will no longer exist.
Revelation 20:14-15, “Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”
The future sons of God will be able to live and thrive for all eternity with no issues or problems. Why? Because God will have taught us all humility and certain basics of loyalty to God and orderly behavior.
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 21:1-5).