Wednesday, December 1, 2021

68. The Revelation: The Millennium - Overview (Revelation 20:1-10)

The millennial kingdom is called by many names in Scripture. In Matthew 19:28 Jesus calls it “the regeneration.” Acts 3:19 describes the kingdom as “times of refreshing,” while verse 21 of that chapter calls it “the period of restoration of all things.” The apostle Paul refers to it in Ephesians 1:10 as “an administration suitable to the fullness of the times.” The Bible’s teaching on the kingdom is not confined to the New Testament. The kingdom is an important theme throughout Scripture; it is the goal toward which all of redemptive history progresses.

Taking the text of Revelation 20 (and the numerous other biblical passages that speak of the earthly kingdom) at face value leads to a premillennial view of eschatology. That is, Christ will return, and then establish a literal kingdom on earth, which will last for a thousand years. There are two other major views of the millennial kingdom: postmillennialism and amillennialism. The three views are summarized on the next page. At the heart of the debate over millennial views is the issue of hermeneutics. All sides in the debate agree that interpreting Old Testament prophecy literally leads naturally to premillennialism.



Through Christian influence, society will continue to improve until it reaches a utopian-like state. Thus it is believers who will bring in the millennial kingdom. Christ will return after this general period of peace and prosperity has been established.


The millennial kingdom is not a future, thousand-year kingdom on earth. Rather, it is a spiritual kingdom that refers to Christ’s rule in the hearts of His people during the church age.

Some amillennialists believe the millennial kingdom is a literal kingdom in heaven, where Christ’s saints rule with him. But they reject the notion of a future, physical kingdom on earth.


The millennial kingdom refers to a future, physical kingdom that Christ will establish at His return. The kingdom, which will be centered in Jerusalem, will last for one thousand years, after which this world will be destroyed and replaced by the new earth. This view is the most natural way to understand Revelation 20–22.

Though not an exhaustive description of the earthly kingdom, Revelation 20:1–10 caps off all the biblical revelation about the millennium by revealing four essential truths about it.