If I remember correctly, there will be those that can still die during the millennium reign of Christ. What happens to them if they die believers? Do they just pop back on earth with resurrection bodies? I’m sure I’m missing something easy here.
Excellent question, and one that I puzzled over for many years before coming to a tentative conclusive. The reason I call it that is because the Bible never explicitly says what happens to those who die in the Millennium - only that they do (Isaiah 65:20-23). So the only answer I can offer you is admittedly speculative, but it is consistent with what happens to those who die in every other age throughout the Bible. Assuming that God never changes in His dealings with men, then this would seem to me the most likely answer.
First, for the sake of those who may be unaware of the issue, we should point out that during the Millennial Kingdom the world that was devastated by the seven years of Tribulation will be repopulated by the survivors of that nightmare - notice the “offspring” in verse 23 of the Isaiah passage. The Tribulation survivors will be purged of all unbelieving Jews (Ezekiel 20:34-38) and Gentiles (Matthew 25:31-46).
So only the believing survivors will enter it - but their offspring will still inherit the sin nature just as all of Adam’s issue ever have, and they too will need to be born again by faith in the nail scarred Messiah who sits on the throne in Jerusalem. Tragically, though, a great many of them never will - Revelation 20:7-10. (As for why people born in the Millennial Kingdom would reject the Christ Whom they can clearly see, let me avoid that rabbit trail until it comes up in a separate question.)
So these are mortals being born into the Kingdom, and while they do enjoy lifespans like trees, as those before the Flood did, many of them, believers and unbelievers alike, will die at various points during the 1000 years.
So do they get a Rapture, or a resurrection - or what?
Based upon what happens to believers who die in every other age, I offer the following:
Believers are resurrected at the end of whatever age they died in provided the blood of Christ has been shed for them by then.
So those who died before the Flood, for example, or during the times of the patriarchs could have risen at the end of those ages if Christ had died for their sins by then - but since He hadn’t, they had to wait until He did (Hebrews 9:13-17 - especially verse 15).
And when He finally did die and rise for their sins, they also arose (Matthew 27:51-53).
Now we live in the Church Age after the death and resurrection of Christ. So at the end of this age, we’ll be raised in glory immediately.
So I suspect that believers who die during the final age of the Millennial Kingdom will be raised up in a final resurrection at the end of time.
Now, to keep this simple, I did skip over some issues. So if you have any questions about this, feel free to ask, and I’ll answer as best I can.
I hope this makes sense to you.
Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my question. This all makes me ponder a number of things I hadn’t before. So, believers that die during this time will go to heaven with God and then receive resurrected bodies with every other believer on the New Heaven and Earth?
Yes - actually, saints today will get their resurrected bodies at the Rapture at the end of this church age, as saints of former ages did in Matthew 27. But as you say, believers in the Millennium will get theirs at the end of the Millennium so that all believers of every age will have resurrected bodies in the new creation.
Awesome, thanks again!
So, @jlyons, does that mean that all the believers who were looking forward to the coming Messiah have already had their physical resurrection?
Excellent question, @AnnaLinzey!
I would say that many of them did, but not all. I would think that believers prior to about the time of the Exodus would have been included in that resurrection with Christ in Matthew 27, because their eras of biblical history had already ended, so all that was left was for the atonement of Christ to be made for them. Once that was done, they were able to enter their inheritance - which included their glorified bodies.
But those under the Old Testament’s Mosaic Covenant did not arise because their age has not ended yet.
Now that may surprise many people, because it’s commonly assumed that the Old Testament ended when the New Testament began.
But I think it would be more accurate to say that the New Testament interrupted the Old rather than saying the New replaced it. The Old Testament has not actually finished yet. It still has seven more years to complete everything that God had said He would do under it. I believe that’s why He starts the evangelism during the Tribulation off with Moses and Elijah - the Law and the Prophets that the last three verses of the entire Old Testament closed with.
Where does this idea come from? This idea that there are still some things that the Old Testament has left unfinished and must still be accomplished under the Old Testament economy?
From Daniel 9:24-27. Verse 24 lists six things that God said He would accomplish over the next 490 years. Some things in that list were accomplished over the next 483 of those years - some partially, some not at all. The last seven years under the Old Testament economy will play out during the Tribulation, and all of God’s listed projects will be fulfilled by the end of it. And then, the rest of the Old Testament saints - including those of the Tribulation - will be raised at the end (see Revelation 20:4).
I hope this helps you with your question - although I can see that it might raise additional questions. That’s fine - feel free to ask about anything you like. I think this is a very fascinating area of study!
That makes so much since! I had not considered that the Church age is an interruption to the Old Testament, or how the stages of the different resurrections would happen, but that makes since!
In your first post on this thread, you mentioned another “rabbit trail” that caught my attention, and I wondered how I would need to ask the question for you to explain your thoughts on it?
The Lord has been doing so much in my heart lately, and I am very much interested in learning more about this fascinating, yet much needed topic! (Hosea 4:6a) I know there is so much that we need to be instructed in and to be aware of, not to the neglect of occupying till Christ comes, but for the effectiveness of our investments of thought and actions until He comes.
Thank you for sharing your insights into this! I have been looking for an opportunity to learn the questions that I want to ask, but don’t really know how… I will definitely be revisiting this topic!
While the Bible doesn’t specify why those who grew up under the perfect reign of Christ would come to the end of the Millennium without ever having trusted Him as their Savior, I can certainly picture how such a thing could happen.
For men to be saved, they must first recognize that they need salvation. They that are whole have no need of a physician. So men who do not see themselves as sinners do not see any need for a Savior.
Now imagine people who were born into a perfectly peaceful kingdom - no wars, no want, no false religions, no devils - their lives incredibly prolonged, a very moral society, Christ and His apostles and the resurrected saints enforcing His law throughout the world.
And all the while, they hear the stories of how horrible the world had been before Christ came to rule. They are shocked by tales of wars, of monstrous crimes, of severe judgments.
And they think to themselves something like, “Wow! I’m sure glad that people in the Kingdom of our time are not as bad as they were before! We’re so much better now than our savage 21st Century ancestors! They definitely needed to repent and be saved back in the days before we were born. I thank Thee God that I am not as those barbarians were before You returned to rule!”
Even today, we see people all the time who assume that because they grew up in a Christian home or a Christian culture (I live in the heart of the “Bible Belt”), then that just sort of makes them automatically Christians too. They live like a Christian because they were raised that way. Who needs a new birth when you were already born and raised in a good church going home to start with? All that stuff about needing your life transformed is fine for the really bad sinners - but good folks like us are okay!
If we can see that problem in the more Christianized parts of our own culture, then we should have no problem imagining it among sinners born into a world of saints.
And without the Holy Spirit bracing their minds against demonic deceptions when Satan is released from his prison, many in these lost but moral populations will be defenseless against his infernal seductions.
I hope this makes sense to you.
It totally makes since! I think you highlighted a key point regarding their minds not being braced by the Holy Spirit against Satan’s attacks when he is let out for that season afterwards. What an ideal world, yet there is no real ”utopia” on the outside until there is Christ in the inside.
I am trying to just put this in simple order. Please help and correct my understanding.
I apologize, there are a lot of questions I have wondered for most of my life, thank you for taking the time to answer them.
Let’s say the “end” happens next year. 2021
What is the first step? Does Jesus return?
And if so, what happens next, a 1000 years of his reign?
I understand I will live longer if I am still alive, correct? What about my physical issues? Like bad sight, loss of hearing, maybe senility, etc? Will that be fixed or will I just live longer with the painful and bad issues I have right now?
Or does a rapture happen first and then I return with a better body for 1000 years, but will probably die after a couple hundred years, b/c I know we live longer?
Do Christians live through the tribulation or are we brought to heaven for those 7 years and then returned for 1000?
Do people in heaven now come to earth for the millennium or do they still hang out in heaven ?
And if we die during the millennium, where do we reside until it’s over?
I have read over and over again, and I am confused about the order of the “end times”.
Those are a lot of excellent questions - and I’ll admit from the start that if you ask six Christians, you’ll probably get seven different answers to most of them!
But here are mine - and I think they are largely mainstream views among evangelical Christians today.
They are certainly very easily supported throughout scripture:
If Jesus returned in 2021, all of Christ’s followers (including you), alive and dead, would be caught up in the air (not heaven) with Christ (I Thessalonians 4:13-18) in an event that is commonly called the Rapture.
The souls of those who’ve already died would return with Him and be reunited with their resurrection bodies as they rise from the earth. The living will receive their resurrection bodies, bypassing death entirely.
So all the saints, alive and dead, will live on forever in immortal and glorified bodies like the body Jesus was resurrected in - incapable of pain, possessing miraculous abilities (Philippians 3:20-21; I John 3:2).
Then follows a seven year Tribulation which would begin with no believers in the immediate aftermath of the Rapture. But God will send two prophets who will set in motion the re-evangelization of the world from scratch - Revelation 11:3-13.
At the end of the Tribulation, Jesus will destroy the antichrist at Armageddon (Rev. 19:11-21), He will cast Satan into the Bottomless Pit (Rev. 20:1-3), purge the Tribulation survivors of all the remaining unbelievers, and the marriage supper of the Lamb will be a sort of “inaugural ball” for the Millennial Kingdom that follows. For 1000 years, the saints will return with Christ to this world where we will reign with Him over the mortal survivors of the Tribulation and their descendants (Rev. 20:4-6).
The souls of saints who die during the Millennium will presumably ascend to heaven to await a resurrection at the end of their age - as described earlier in this thread.
At the end of the thousand years, Satan will be loosed from the Pit to deceive the final unbelievers at the end of the final age of this fallen creation. But the last rebellion will be put down by God at the end (Rev. 20:7-10).
Then follows the Great White Throne judgment of all the lost of all the ages (Rev. 20:11-15) - then the new creation unstained by sin where all the saved of all the ages will live in the presence of God forever (Rev. 21).
Well, that’s a brief sketch of the end time scenario, anyhow. I hope it will give you a framework to make sense of things by. Rapture - Tribulation - Millennial Kingdom - Final Judgment - New Creation.
If you have any other questions, feel free to ask, and I’ll be glad to offer what I hope will be helpful thoughts.