Q. God’s promises for the Millennium are Edenic. “They shall no more hurt or destroy…;” lion and lamb; lion eats straw; child plays with viper, etc. “No more” sounds like “never,” so the promised Edenic environment is permanent. On the other hand, we are told of sin increasing generation after generation during the Millennium. Is it possible that the two Millennial views will be contemporaneous?
A. Both Matt. 19:28 and Acts 3:21 speak of a restoration or renewal at the time of the 2nd Coming. This means Earth will be returned to the condition it was in when God created it. The curse will be lifted, and peace will flow like a river. Ancient Israel got a taste 0f this from time to time, but always lost it due to disobedience. This time they will remain faithful and obedient for the entire 1,000 years.
But within a few generations, increasing unbelief, social disorder, and sin will characterize conditions in the Gentile nations, even though at the outset they will all be believers living in the same Edenic environment. Envy and hostility toward Israel will grow, just like it always has. Within a few more generations there will be two opposing societal “types,” separated geographically. One obedient; the other increasingly rebellious. So yes, both conditions will exist at the same time during the Millennium.
Man’s final rebellion will be an attack by unbelievers from the Nations on the Kingdom of Israel, having needed only Satan’s release to provide the organizing, consolidating power behind it.
This overview is supported by Rev. 20:9. At the end of the Millennium, these rebellious unbelievers from the Nations will march against Israel in a repeat of the Armageddon scenario. Speaking of this John said, “They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them.” End of story.
After that, all believers will enter eternity and mankind’s rebellion against God will finally be a thing of the past.