What Will the Saints Do In the Millennium?
What will the saints do in the millennium, is a question asked by many people, even with differing views on the millennium itself. Some hold to different views on the literalness of scripture while others question if the millennium will be a spiritual or literal state in which the saints will live. Whatever the case may be we do see the importance of the millennium in the simple fact that all the apostles spoke of the millennium at least once in their writings. Many questions can be asked on the subject of the saints in the millennium, but none of more curiosity then what will the saints do in this glorious time. In this paper you will find researched answers to some of the most thought of questions among us in the church age. For example, who enters into this seventh dispensation or messianic kingdom, do we as saints run freely and do as we please; what can we expect to see and do in this time of glorious reign by the Lord Jesus Christ? As these questions do not pose the answers to all questions one may have for the millennium it will show clear and distinct details to what a person, who is saved by grace through faith will have to look forward to as the Bible’s prophetic events unfold in the near future history.
In researching what the saints will do in this one thousand-year period, I think it most appropriate to first consider who if any will inherit this messianic kingdom and by what means. There are three groups that enter this one thousand-year period of rule by the Lord Jesus Christ. The first group of people will be that of the raptured saints. These saints have a promise from the Lord to not go through the tribulation period. They are raptured before the tribulation and will be with Christ at His second coming (1 Thessalonians 5:9). They will be in the millennial period. All those reading this paper that are saved by God’s grace and through their faith in Him are in this category or group of saints. These saints after being resurrected at the time set by God will be judged according to their service and quality of service as believers, and given rewards (1 Peter 5:4). The saved in Christ Jesus will be resurrected at the time of the rapture, so there is no judgment as to their salvation. These saints will not be judged on the basis of their sins for to do so will as Pentecost says “deny the efficacy of the death of Christ and nullify the promise of God that “their sins and iniquities will I remember no more” (Heb. 10:17).
The second group of believers is two-fold. Those having been saved by grace through faith, and will inherit this beautiful kingdom will be that of the Old Testament and tribulation saints. Since there are both the Old Testament and tribulation saints spoken about, I will first examine the Old Testament saints and their judgment. The Old Testament saints will be resurrected saints at the time of Christ’s Second Advent. As prophesied in Daniel 12: 2 “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some shame and everlasting contempt.” All those in the Old Testament will be resurrected at this time of Christ’s second coming. Their basis of judgment we see again is their service for Christ. Only the saved by grace through faith of the Old Testament are resurrected and rewarded.
The tribulation saints are those who lived through the tribulation period. Again broken into two differing groups, that of the nations (Gentiles), and that of the nation of Israel (Jews) will be judged before entering the kingdom. We see from scripture that the nations are judged by their works, which reflect their internal state (Revelation 12: 13-16). This internal state is either saved by grace through faith, or not. If not then they will not be permitted to enter the millennial kingdom, but rather enter into eternal punishment. The nation of Israel will be judged on the basis of their service for the Lord. Israel will also be saved by the grace of God by faith in Him. The Lord in Ezekiel 20:38 speak of the ones who will enter the kingdom, and those who will not by saying “I will purge the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the country where they dwell, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord.” The Jew and Gentile saints that were part of the tribulation period, but died during the tribulation will be resurrected and judged. Paul Benware quotes Ryrie who states it best by saying “For a Gentile to treat any Jewish person with kindness during the tribulation will place his life in jeopardy. No one will do this merely out of a beneficent attitude, but only out of a redeemed heart….Those whose good deeds prove the presence of saving faith will enter the kingdom.” (p.327, Benware). Seventy-five days after the judgment of these Old Testament and tribulation saints the Lord will set up His theocracy, and all saints will enter into this blessed and glorious kingdom.
As seen previously of the saints who will enter into the kingdom and by what means, we now turn to the governing of the saints. You did not think that we saints would be roaming freely doing as we please did you? We see clearly in the Word of God that Christ will be King of kings and Lord of lords, and head over all things. To Him all worship is given. This was predicted at the birth of Jesus Christ in Luke 1:32-33 “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” We the resurrected saints will rule with Christ at this time. The resurrected saints will be those of the raptured, Old Testament, and tribulation saints that have received glorified bodies. We will reign with Christ for the thousand years, Revelations 5:10 “And have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.” We are not told exactly what type of reigning we have as saints. However we do know that it is dependent on how faithful to God we are in our mortal bodies and with the gifts given us by the Lord for the ministry. The ruling we have with Christ will be over the nation of Israel, and also the Gentiles who have entered this golden age in their mortal bodies. There will also be others that we will see that are reigning under the Lord. David will be prince in this kingdom where he will answer directly to the Lord for the things done under his authority, Ezekiel 34:24 “And I, the Lord, will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them; I, the Lord, have spoken.” We will see also the twelve apostles reigning over the twelve tribes of Israel as predicted in Matthew 19:28 by the Lord Himself saying, “So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the generation, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” What a sight it will be to the saint’s eyes to see these things and take part in them.
As you can clearly see we have so much to do and see in this golden age for the saint. It only continues to get better as we look more into the Word of God, and hold onto the promises and truths He gives us. We see that we have glorified bodies. As it says in Philippians 3:21 “who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” Those who enter the millennial kingdom in their earthly bodies will not have their resurrected bodies until the end of the thousand years. These bodies are perfect and holy as well as powerful and incorruptible, First Corinthians 15:42; 43 “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:” There in the millennial kingdom will be a clear and set aside purpose for the nation of Israel. We will all see the fulfillment of the unconditional and eternal covenants to the nation of Israel. In response, the nation will be as originally appointed by the Lord, lights to the world; in which the born and in need of salvation will come to the Savior through Israel. We will also see and participate in the Passover of the lamb, because the way of salvation is like that of todays in the death of the Lamb. This Passover will be a memorial of the death of Christ and also sacrifices will be offered for the same reason Ezekiel 43: 19-27. Horatius Bonar writes in response to animal sacrifices, “The temple, the worship, the rites, the sacrifices have their centre in the Lamb that was slain. To Him they point, and to Him they speak…They are commemorative, not typical. They are retrospective then, not prospective as of old.” We will also see the removal of the curse on the earth so all will prosper (Isaiah 62:8-9). Because the lift of curse on the earth the mortal saints will live long lives, as in the days of Moses (Isaiah 65:20). Animals will be changed to eat plants and dwell along side saints (Isaiah 11:6-9). Peace and justice will be manifested due to the righteous Lamb of God ruling over all (Isaiah 9:7). Sickness will be gone, due to the King as a healer (Jeremiah 30:17). We will have a unified language and unified worship to praise our God as Messiah (Revelation 5:9-14).
There are many other scripture passages that give light to what we as saints will see or do in this glorious kingdom that awaits us. This paper was to show some major aspects of the millennium that we as saints will do or see. Run the race; keep the faith (Hebrews 12:1).
Benware, Paul N., Understanding End Times Prophesy. Chicago: Moody Publishers 2006.
Jordan, Joe, Countdown to Armageddon. Oregon: Harvest House Publishers 1999.
Pentecost, Dwight J., Things to Come. Grand Rapids: Dunham Publishing 1958.
Ryrie, Charles, Ryrie Study Bible NASB. Chicago: Moody Publishers 1995.
Scofield, C.I., Scofield Study Bible NKJV. New York: Oxford University Press 2002.
Walvoord, John, The Millennial Kingdom. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing 1959.