What is millenarianism?

Christian millenarianism is the belief that Jesus will reign on earth for 1,000 years. It is based on Revelation 20:4–6, which says, "Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also, I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years."

According to a literal interpretation of Revelation 20:1–6, at the end of the seven-year tribulation Jesus will come to earth a second time. He will defeat the beasts and their armies, throwing them alive into the lake of fire. Anyone who has not chosen to follow Christ will be killed as well. Then Satan will be bound in a pit for a thousand years so that he cannot deceive anyone. After this all the Jewish and Gentile believers who are still living along with believers who have been resurrected will reign with Christ on earth for 1,000 years. It will be a time of peace and joy as people live righteously under Christ. During this time the people who survived the tribulation will have children. These children must still choose to accept Christ as their Savior, but they will not be under the influence of Satan's deception. At the end of the 1,000 years Satan will be released for a short time, during which he will deceive many people and wage war against Jesus and the believers. However, Satan's army will be consumed by fire and then all the dead will be judged for their sins. Satan will then be thrown into the lake of fire. At this point sin will be defeated forever and a new heavens and earth will be created.

Premillennialists believe in the literal interpretation of Revelation 20:1–6. They believe that Christ's second coming will usher in the 1,000-year reign. Postmillennialists believe the 1,000 years will happen before Christ's second coming. Christ will rule spiritually through the Church and the world will progressively become more Christian. In the postmillennial view the 1,000 years may or may not be literal years. Amillennialists believe the 1,000 years is symbolic for perfection or fulfillment. This period is already happening right now as Christ is alive in the hearts of people. Satan has some influence, but he cannot prevent the spread of the gospel.

While all of these views are accepted by the Church, many believe the premillennialist view is best supported by Scripture and is generally what is meant when people talk about millenarianism or millennialism. The number 1,000 is mentioned various times in reference to Christ's reign on earth. It is important that Jesus physically rules the earth while Satan is unable to interfere in order to fulfill the covenants God made with Abraham, David, Israel, and the human race as a whole. In God's Land Covenant with Abraham He has already brought him to the Promised Land and given him many descendants, the nation of Israel. However, God still has to fulfill His promise of giving Israel all the land mentioned in Genesis 15:18–20 and Numbers 34:1–12. Under Jesus' reign He, as king of Israel, will possess all this land. In God's Davidic Covenant He promises that the throne of Israel will belong to King David's heir (2 Samuel 7). Jesus fulfills this as the Messiah and an heir of King David's by both His parents' genealogies, but in the 1,000-year period He will actually be on the physical throne as a leader of Israel. In the New Covenant Jesus died and was resurrected in order to defeat sin and reunite us with God (Luke 22:20). During the 1,000 years Israel will be able to worship their Messiah in the holy city. Finally, God will restore His creation from its sinful nature and live among His people on earth again (Isaiah 2:2–4; 11:6–9).

Related Truth:

What is the Millennium / Millennial Kingdom?

What is the reason for the 1000-year reign of Christ?

Is the millennium literal or figurative?

Who will be present in the millennial kingdom?

Premillennialism - What is it?

Return to:
Truth about the End Times

Subscribe to the CompellingTruth.org Newsletter:

Preferred Bible Version:

CompellingTruth.org is part of Got Questions Ministries

For answers to your Bible questions, please visit