It’s easy to see why people look at the world and tremble about the future. There is a visible deterioration occurring in the environment, including the weather patterns and all aspects of nature, as well as in every expression of human life. The Holy Spirit gave us a clear picture of what is happening. “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:22-23). The perfection of the earth — as it was created — has slowly descended downward to the point that only a Divine intervention can save it from utter destruction.
Of all people, Christians should understand the wild dreams of the environmentalists. This crowd either knows nothing of God’s great truth or has a misdirected view of Eschatology. Pre-Tribulation and Pre-Millennial Bible believers should actually be standing on their tiptoes watching every sign of God’s developing plans. Our future is star-studded. I believe the great saints of the ages are standing at Heaven’s balcony awaiting the moment to come with Jesus Christ for us. They are coming for the living saints and to get their resurrected bodies. As you may know, a number of these saints received their glorified bodies when Jesus Christ was resurrected. He, along with these saints, is called “The First Fruits of the Resurrection.”
The Biblical understanding of the Millennium demands that the Rapture and The Great Tribulation occur first in preparation for the one thousand year reign. The saints of God that have passed away must come back with Christ to get the living saints. This multitude of the righteous dead is asleep in death but consciously present with the Lord. The Spirit tells us, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him” (I Thessalonians 4:14).
The raptured multitude will ascend up into Heavenly Jerusalem, where the Temple of God is the center of this majestic city. We will join their worship and this company of saints as we honor the precious Lord. This is the first opportunity that the entire Church of Jesus Christ will have to give Him the glory due His Name. “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou was slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing” (Revelation 5:9-12).
When the sounds of worship in this Pearly White City begin to subside, the Father and our Lord will organize the saintly elders and the Great Tribulation will begin. The Lord Jesus Christ alone is worthy to take this Book of Redemption and to open its seals, “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals” (Revelation 6:1a). The process will continue for seven years until the moment that the Heavens open again for the King of Kings to return to an earth that has been utterly judged and prepared for its Creator. “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war” (Revelation 19:11).
The truly righteous saints have long lived for the day when we will reign with Him over this earth. The idea of a theocracy is only ugly when carnal men are in charge. The earth will be ruled by the King of Kings and His glorified saints will be His kings and priests. It will be a just and righteous kingdom, “for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9b).
Nothing is more striking about this moment than the capitol city, ancient but renewed and redeemed Jerusalem. This city will be the central city of the entire earth and will grow to a city that is sixty square miles in dimension. The entire topographical contour will be changed into a plain or lush valley of perfect beauty. A river will flow out of the Temple and the Mount of Ascension that waters the entire landscape. The riches of the world will flow into this beloved city. Finally, Jerusalem will become the city it was chosen to be.
Every kingdom of this earth, both past and present, will become the one single kingdom of the crucified but resurrected Lord. Daniel saw this picture in the great dream of Nebuchadnezzar, “Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and break them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth” (Daniel 2:34-35).
The glorified saints will be His perfected government and His righteous rulers will fill the earth with peace. The present evil regimes of selfish men will be history. Every glorified saint will have their new body that knows none of the previous effects of sin. We are created to live in perfect union with our Creator. The spirit of man is akin to God and, with our new temple house; we will be perfect specimens of eternal life. There will be no such thing as a dark moment, an unhappy emotion, or tear-filled eyes. The human family will be powerful rulers of this universe, wealthy beyond understanding, and living in pure fellowship with each other. When the Millennium is finished, it will only get better.
Joseph R. Chambers