The Millennium: Same Or Different?

Q. I have two questions regarding the millennium. If “the former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind” (Isa. 65:17) is spoken at end of the
millennium and refers to eternity, does this mean the people of the nations will remember their loved ones and friends during the millennium? And secondly, I think Micah 4:5 is speaking about the millennium when it says, “all the nations may walk in the name of their Gods, but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever.” I understand that all who enter the millennium will be believers, but I assume that over time they will begin to seek and follow their own “gods.” Is this correct?

In the light of these two passages it just seems that the millennium, for the nations, will not be much different than it is now. Is this correct, and will the millennium only be strikingly different for the church and Israel? I’m sure that I am missing something here, because I always thought the millennium would be different for everyone.

A. Isaiah 65:17 begins a passage that’s obviously Millennial in its focus (Isaiah 65:17-25). Since Rev. 21:1 is a quote from Isaiah 65:17 some scholars incorrectly conclude that the Isaiah passage must be referring to eternity when the reverse is true. Rev. 21 describes the Millennium. Micah 4:5 also has a Millennial focus.

Following the judgments that take place just after the 2nd Coming, all unbelieving Tribulation survivors will be taken off the planet. These judgments are summarized in the Olivet Discourse parables beginning in Matt. 24:45 and continuing through the end of Matt. 25. So on Earth the Millennium begins with no unbelievers among the population. But after a period of time the children and grand children of surviving Tribulation believers will begin rejecting the Lord and rebelling against His rule. The ultimate effect of this will be the battle at the end of the Millennium spoken of in Rev. 20:7-10. This is God’s 7th and final attempt to live in peace with natural man and like the other 6 it will end in failure. The lesson of the Millennium is that there is simply no set of circumstances that will permit sinful man to dwell in peace with our Holy God.

For Israel and the Church it will be a radically different story. Israel’s Kingdom Age will be the long awaited fulfillment of God’s promise to return and dwell among them forever (Ezekiel 43:7). The land will flourish as never before (Isaiah 35) and the people will finally dwell in peace there with no one to make them afraid (Micah 4:4). For the Church it will be the fulfillment of the Lord’s promise to take us to dwell with Him in His Father’s house (John 14:2-3) which we call the New Jerusalem from its description in Rev. 21.

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