Q. My question is this. During Jesus’ Millennial Reign on earth, will there still be sin and if so how will that sin be handled by Jesus at that time? Also, since Jesus will be ruling, will people still have to accept His gift of salvation to be forgiven?
A. While there will still be sin on Earth, the Bible is largely silent on the subject of salvation during the Millennium. It being the time when Israel’s kingdom promises are fulfilled, the focus will understandably be on Israel. The Age of Grace clearly ends with the Rapture of the Church, and the means by which gentiles become saved in the Millennium and stay that way is a mystery. We know the nations will be repopulated solely by Gentile believers who survive the Tribulation judgments (Matt. 24:31-46) but a large number of their descendants will rebel with Satan at the Millennium’s end (Rev. 20:7-10). From this we can assume some will be saved while many will not, just like it is now. How the Millennium devolves from all believers to mostly unbelievers is not explained.
In Israel it’s a little clearer since they’ll have a working Temple with a priesthood, animal sacrifices, Holy Days, etc. to deal with sin. I think Millennial life in Israel will be similar to the Old Testament, saved by faith in the Redeemer as evidenced by obedience to the Law. I believe because of its history, Israel will remain faithful to a much greater extent than the gentiles.
Lately I’ve had the suspicion that a third testament may emerge for the Millennial Age, just like a second one emerged for the Church Age. There are simply too many unanswered questions. One thing is certain, however. Whether for Jew or Gentile, salvation will only come through the acceptance of the Lord’s death as payment for one’s sins.