Q. Are the Christians of today included in the group that will rule with Jesus in the New Jerusalem during the Millennium? It is unclear to me because Rev. 20:4 mentions “beheaded” Christians during the Tribulation period and I’m not sure if when Jesus was speaking to His disciples about them ruling with Him if that includes the Christians of today.
Thank you in advance for your time and any light you are able to shed on this question.
A. Those who will rule and reign with the Lord during the Millennium are all in the Church and will inhabit the New Jerusalem. We are called Kings and Priests in Rev. 5:10.
Rev. 20: 4 says:
I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
The ones who were beheaded, referred to in Rev. 20:4, are called Tribulation saints. By placing the word “and” at the beginning of the 2nd sentence in verse 4, John showed that they are not part of the group seated on thrones in the first sentence.
Since John has already mentioned the 24 elders who represent the Church 12 times, I believe the first group in verse 4 to be the disciples. In Matt.19:28 Jesus promised that at the renewal of all things, (The Millennium) the disciples would sit on 12 thrones and judge the 12 tribes of Israel.
Although the Tribulation Saints will reign with the Lord (and us) they are only called priests (Rev. 20:8) not Kings and Priests like the Church. Rev. 7:14-15 says that Tribulation Saints serve God in His Temple. Only the Church is given the privilege of sitting on the Lord’s throne with Him (Ephes. 2:6) co-heirs in His inheritance (Romans 8:17).