Living in a Perfect World
As we read the Old Testament, we sometimes miss the fact that the Pentateuch was written with a singular purpose: to prepare Israel for Kingdom living. However, from the start, the blessings unilaterally promised to Adam, Noah, and Abraham and his descendants were irrevocably extended to all Gentiles through the Abrahamic Covenant. It is not surprising, then, that the “nations” play an important role in the Millennium. It will be an age of perfection, yet a major issue we face today will remain unchanged.
The world today is under Gentile dominance. Jesus referred to this period as the “times of the Gentiles” (Lk. 21:24). The Millennial Kingdom will reverse this state of affairs. Jerusalem will be the political and religious capital of the world, and Jesus will sit on the throne of David and rule all the nations of Earth with a rod of iron: “The Lᴏʀᴅ shall be King over all the earth” (Zech. 14:9). “Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him; all nations shall serve Him” (Ps. 72:11). God’s promises to Abraham will come to fruition, and all the nations will be blessed.
Jesus will provide not only a perfect government but also a perfect environment:
- There will be no disease. “The inhabitant will not say, ‘I am sick’” (Isa. 33:24).
- Life will be lengthened. “For the child shall die one hundred years old. For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people” (65:20, 22).
- There will be no disasters. “They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth children for trouble” (v. 23).
- The land will be wonderfully productive. “The land shall be turned into a plain” (Zech. 14:10). “The plowman shall overtake the reaper” (Amos 9:13).
- Animals will no longer be dangerous. “I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, with the birds of the air, and with the creeping things of the ground…to make them lie down safely” (Hos. 2:18).
- War will be forbidden. “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isa. 2:4).
Imagine living in a world of unrestrained peace and prosperity—a world needing no doctors because there is no sickness, no funeral homes because almost no one dies. No one goes to bed hungry. Neither is there crime, bad weather, corruption, or war. This is the world that will exist after the Tribulation. We cannot begin to imagine how perfect it will be.
All of these blessings are directly related to promises that God made to Adam, Noah, and Abraham. The seed (Messiah) that would crush the head of the serpent (Satan, Gen. 3:15) was always intended for the entire world.
Called to Serve
That God has chosen to extend these blessings through one nation, Israel, should never be misconstrued as favoritism. The calling of God has always been a call to serve. It has always been a call to consider others more important than ourselves. It has always been a call to walk humbly with our God. The one who would be greatest of all must become servant of all.
During the Millennium, Israel will be God’s servant, continually preaching the gospel of the Kingdom throughout the world:
They shall call you [the Jewish people] the servants of our God (Isa. 61:6). In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you” (Zech. 8:23).
Knowledge and worship of Yahweh will be mandatory even among the Gentiles: “And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lᴏʀᴅ of hosts, on them there will be no rain” (14:17).
Based on these facts, we can assume the various nations will have both autonomy and national identity. Many are identified as existing during the Millennium. For example, Isaiah 19 says Egypt, Assyria, and Israel will be friends, as well as neighbors: “In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria—a blessing in the midst of the land” (v. 24). Each country clearly maintains its national identity and has some form of self-governance.
Thus a viable, identifiable, international community will flourish during the Kingdom Age. For 1,000 years there will be unparalleled peace and prosperity throughout all the earth.
Church Age Believers
Church Age believers will be resurrected, or glorified, prior to the Tribulation (1 Th. 4:13–18). We will return to Earth at the end of that seven-year period to participate in the great marriage supper of the Lamb that opens the Millennium (Rev. 19:1–9). Then we will reign with Christ for 1,000 years (20:4).
Scripture does not specify how Church Age saints will rule in that awesome new world. With perfect weather, unbelievably productive land, and perfect health, the physical needs of this new dispensation will be limited. Our role apparently will be to provide leadership.
Perhaps some resurrected saints will be appointed as governors or mayors. Some may be appointed as pastors and teachers. Still others may become judges. We can assume that all government (legislative, executive, and judicial) will be in the hands of glorified, sinless saints because it is a perfect government.
Clearly, Jesus could handle all administrative “ruling” responsibilities without help. However, God has always seen fit to allow humans to serve in the ministry in as meaningful a way as possible. For example, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead but asked His disciples to move the stone and unwrap the burial linens.
The greatest blessing any person can have is to serve. Jesus said,
You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many (Mt. 20:25–28).
What Stays the Same
While it is true that the Millennial Kingdom will be a much different physical world from the one in which the church ministers now, in many ways the task at hand remains the same. Those born during the Kingdom Age will have the same primary need as people today: a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ.
One would think that, given such incredible benefits, people would be completely happy. But the opposite is the case. True joy can only exist when a person is in a right relationship with God. Man’s real problem has never been his environment. It has been his desire to rule his own life apart from God.
God will infuse the Millennium with unparalleled physical and political blessing. He will provide glorified, perfect vessels to minister to the population, administratively and spiritually. Yet the hearts of these new generations will soon turn away from Him, clearly demonstrating that even if people live in a perfect world with perfect government and perfect spiritual guidance, they will still find a way to reject God.
At the end of the 1,000 years, there will be a worldwide rebellion. Jesus Christ will squelch it immediately and bring all things to a resolution.
The Millennial Kingdom, marvelous as it will be, will prove yet again that living in a perfect world cannot make people good. Only genuine faith in Jesus Christ can change a heart.