10 qualifications for the rapture – Part 4
Rev 20:4 “thrones…they sat on them.” Those who sit upon the thrones are probably the overcomers throughout the church age (cf. 2:7) and may also include the OT saints (see Ezek 37:11-14; Eph 2:14-22; 3:6; Heb 11:39-40). Those who came to life after Christ’s return are said to be the faithful who died during the tribulation (6:9; 12:17). John does not mention the resurrection of the church saints who have died, for this occurred when Christ removed His church from earth and took it to heaven (i.e., the rapture; see John 14:3; 1 Cor 15:51; see article on The Rapture) “reigned with Christ a thousand years.” This thousand-year reign of Christ is sometimes called “the Millennium,” meaning “a thousand years” (mille is a Latin word meaning “thousand,” and annus a Latin word meaning “year”).
The Characteristics Of This Reign Are The Following:
1. It was predicted in the OT (Is 9:6; 65:19-25; Dan7: 13-14; Mic4: 1-8; Zech14: 1-9; cf. Rev 2:25-28); (2) Satan will be bound (see 20:2,3);
(3) Christ’s reign will be shared by the faithful of His churches (2:26-27; 3:21; 5:10; 20:4), and possibly also by the resurrected saints; (4) The people ruled by Christ will consist of those on earth who were faithful to Christ during the tribulation and who survived until the Lord’s coming and those born during the millennium (14:12; 18:4; Isaiah 65:20-23; see Mat 25:1); (5) No unsaved persons will enter the kingdom (see Rev19: 21);
6. Those reigning with Christ stand far above all the nations, for they will minister to and rule both Israel and the other nations (v.6; 3:21; 5: 10; Mat 19:28; see Zeph 3:9-20); (7) There will be peace, safety, prosperity and righteousness throughout the earth (Isaiah 2:2-4; Mic 4:4; Zech 9:10; see Zech 2:5; 9:8,); (8) Nature will be restored to its original order, perfection and beauty (Ps 96:11-13; 98:7-9; Isaiah 14:7-8; 35:1-2,6-7; 51:3; 55:12-13; 65:25; Ezek 34:25; Rom 8:18-23; see Isaiah 65:17-25; Ezek 36:8-15; Zech 14:8).
9. During this reign, the nations are obliged to continue in faith in Christ and obedience to His rule. However, some will choose the way of rebellion and disobedience and will be punished (vv. 7-10); (10) At the end of the thousand years, the kingdom will be handed over by Jesus to the Father (1Cor 15:24); then will begin the final and everlasting Kingdom of God and the Lamb (21:1-22:5)
“Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” (Rev20: 6). This term “the first resurrection” includes the resurrection of Christ and all God’s people, in contrast to the resurrection of the wicked at the end of the Millennium (vv 12-13; Is 26:19-21; Dan 12:2,13; Mat27: 52-53; John 11:25-26; 14:19; 1Cor 15:20,52; see article on The Rapture). The second death is spiritual death—everlasting separation from God (see Rev21:8)
“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb12: 14)
“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness.” Holiness is being separated from sin and being set apart for God; it is to be close to God, to be like Him, and to seek His presence, righteousness and fellowship with all our hearts. Above all things, holiness is God’s priority for His followers (Eph 4:21-24). (1) Holiness was God’s purpose for His people, when He planned their salvation in Christ (Eph1: 4). (2) Holiness was Christ’s purpose for His people, when He came to this earth (Mat 1:21; 1Cor 1:2, 30).
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