The Glory of Christ in the Eternal State (1)
The reign of Christ for a thousand years (Rev. 20:4) over a purged and subjected earth, from which the devil has been banished and shut up in the abyss, and every outburst of insubjection and lawlessness of unregenerated man checked by summary judgment, although a period of wonderful peace and blessing, such as the Adamic world has never known since the day of Adam’s fall and man’s subjection to sin and Satan, will not be a perfect condition of things. A “reign of righteousness” (Isa. 32:1) in which power in the hand of Christ will repress evil, and cause the righteous “to flourish” (Ps. 72:3) is not to be regarded as a condition in which all is of God, or in which “old things” have completely “passed away.”
Although we may rightly assume that all who are of Israel are truly born again, ere they enter the kingdom of God (John 3:3), and that all are “righteous” (Isa. 60:21) as individuals and as a “righteous nation” (Ps. 118:20) there will be generations born to live on the earth during the millennium who will not all be truly righteous, or actually born of God. And the human heart in that day will be no better than it is now, for mankind at no period of their history and under no dispensational distinction, be it conscience, law, government, grace, or glory, has been, is, or can be subject to God or His rule (Rom. 8:7) apart from being born again. In the millennium, children will be born as now with natural hearts at enmity with God, with minds insubject to His will, and ready to join the ranks of open rebellion against Christ, if they can, or dare. But so well are they kept in hand under a “reign in righteousness,” and by “princes ruling in judgment” (Isa. 32:1) that many will yield a “feigned obedience” (Ps. 18:44, margin). Accustomed to view the “open heavens” and the manifested “glory of the Lord” (Isa. 35:2), which will then be revealed and its knowledge cover the earth (Heb. 2:14).
Yet the unrenewed nature of the natural man will continue to be as it now is. And the reign of Christ will prove that under the very best conditions of life and environment, man in nature, unregenerate and without Christ is a sinner and a rebel against God. How all this goes to show the fallacy, so widely held in honour by the world’s religious leaders and statesmen, that if better conditions were provided for the submerged masses, and more healthy environment surrounded them, they would rise in the moral scale of living, make better citizens and cause the world to be a better place for all to live in, and all this apart from redemption by the blood of Christ and regeneration by the Spirit of God.
But this will never be, for even in the bright and peaceful years of the millennial reign of Christ, and after they have shared the earthly blessings He bestows, immediately the devil is let out of his prison and men are free to join his train, the whole Gentile world will gather from the four quarters of the habitable earth to rally around him, and join in the last great rebellion against God and His Christ in numbers like “the sand of the sea.” But only to meet the summary, swift and final judgment of God by fire from heaven which will instantly devour them. The final judgment of “the dead” (1 Chr. 20:12) at the hand of the Son of Man (John 5:27-28) follows, and the heaven and earth flee away, “the elements melt with fervent heat” and depart, so ending in judgment the history of man on this earth.
Article series: Our Glorious LordThe "Parousia" and "Epiphany" of the Lord The Glory of Christ in the Eternal State (2)