Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.—Acts 3:20-21 (New American Standard Bible, NASB)
In this series of posts on “The Coming Restoration,” I have shared how “the period of restoration of all things,” of which the Apostle Peter spoke, includes the 1,000-year reign of Christ also known as “The Millennium.” It will commence when Jesus returns from heaven to earth and sits upon the throne of his glory (Matthew 25:31) ruling the world as “King of kings and Lord of lords,” (Revelation 19:11-16). According to Revelation 20:1-6, Christ’s reign will be a literal duration of 1,000 years.
We have already examined that during his 1,000-year reign, Jesus will change the world and restore it as God planned even before his creation of Earth: “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world,” (Acts 15:18, King James Version, KJV). Even though sin and death have reigned on the earth from the time man disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden (Romans 5:12-21), Jesus will come to reign in his Kingdom. His ultimate goal? To establish God’s Kingdom on the earth and permanently remove the curse of sin and death.
To meet that goal, Jesus will rule over the nations with all power and authority during his Millennial reign (Psalm 2:8-9; Revelation 2:27; 19:15). And, just as I’ve been pointing out in my recent posts, nothing will be the same as it is now. For the restoration will include “all things,” just as Peter stated.
For example, Christ’s Kingdom will be over the entire earth as the waters cover the surface of sea (Habakkuk 2:14; Isaiah 11:9). It will, therefore, be global since all people, nations, and languages will know the Lord,” (Isaiah 2:1-3; Daniel 7:14).
And, as I’ve also demonstrated, an amazing transformation will physically and literally take place on this planet in the process of his reign:
+The first resurrection and the change from mortality to immortality for all believers (the church) will take place as Jesus’ coming (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58).
+The church will be granted co-ruler positions as kings and priests with Christ (Revelation 1:6; Revelation 5:9-10).
+Israel will finally be converted to accept Jesus as the Messiah and Savior when he returns (Amos 9:14-15; Zechariah 12:10; Matthew 23:39; Romans 11:26-27; Revelation 1:7). And Israel will be exalted and honored among all nations, bringing God’s blessings of justice, truth, and prosperity like a shining light for all to follow (Isaiah 60:1-3; 61:1-3).
+Earth’s environment will be clean and pristine for all things will be made new (Revelation 21:5). And it will be restored to its Edenic beauty and fertility (Isaiah 35:1, 2, 7; 55:13; Ezekiel 36:33-35).
+There will be world peace when Christ rules as Prince of peace (Isaiah 2:4; 9:6-7). It will be a period when the forces of evil and deception (“the dragon,” “Satan,” Rev. 12:3; 17:3, 9-13) will be prohibited and prevented (“bound”) from taking place (Revelation 20:1-3).
+The animal kingdom will also be transformed: Deadly, ferocious animals will become harmless and tame (Isaiah 11:6-9; 65:25).
+People will live in perfect health, many times longer than the average lifespan today with no more diseases. pandemics, and physical defects (Isaiah 33:24; 35:5-6; Isaiah 65:17-19).
In the context of all these renovations that will take place after Christ comes, it’s important to point out that they will never come to an end. Christ will not rule for a thousand years, and then everything goes back to the way it was before he came. Rather, it will go on into eternity.
God’s plan is not that this planet will ever be annihilated and replaced by a new one. God has promised that the earth will remain forever (Psalm 104:5; Ecclesiastes 1:4). Although there will be destruction on the earth, it will undergo cleansing or purging by fire. It will result in newness, restoration like new again (Isaiah 65:17; 2 Peter 3:11-13).
Therefore, it stands to reason that if God intends for the earth to remain forever, and that his plan is to keep it continually clean like new, then the work Jesus accomplishes during the restoration period will continue to go on, too. “Of his Kingdom, there will no end,” (Luke 1:33).
After the 1,000 years are complete, there will be a series of judgments that will transition the restoration period into the final state of God’s Kingdom.
Following the 1,000 years, the Bible says there will be a “little season” or short time in which evil forces and deception (“Satan”; Rev. 20:2; 12:3, 9) will once again be turned loose upon the existing nations, but only temporarily. There will be one last attempt of the nations to revolt against Christ where he reigns in Jerusalem. But before they can even carry out their devious plan, they will be completely destroyed when fire will come down from heaven to devour them. And, therefore, they will be consumed forever and ever in the lake of fire—the same place of judgment the beast and false prophet were sentenced to before the 1,000-year reign (Revelation 19:20-21; 20:7-10).
Next, the Bible says, “the great white throne” judgement will take place (Revelation 20:11-15). This will mark the final end of all wickedness upon the earth. Here is the Apostle John’s account of his vision concerning that time:
“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (English Standard Version, ESV).
The destruction of the wicked is the complete punishment that will await them in the lake of fire. This is described as “everlasting” and “unquenchable” fire because the wicked will never be allowed to exist; their wickedness will cease permanently. Their death will be final. They will perish (Matthew 13:42; John 3:15-16; Romans 1:18; 12:2; Psalm 37:9, 10, 38; Obadiah 16; Malachi 4:1, 3).
It’s important to remember that the eternal God is Holy. He does not and cannot tolerate sin. He must completely cleanse the earth of sin and all those who persist in ungodliness. Revelation 21:8 says,
“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (New Inernational Version, NIV) (See also 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:21; Rev. 22:14-15).
The hope of believers is to be spared the second death by receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Jesus died for our sins, that whoever accepts him will receive eternal life (John 3:16), to live forever in the Kingdom (“…on such, the second death will have no power,” Rev. 20:6).
As it says in Revelation 20:14, the very last judgment that will come is the end of death and the grave (“hades”). Death is “the last enemy” that will be destroyed. In First Corinthians 15:25-26, the Apostle Paul wrote,
“For he [Jesus] must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death,” (New American Standard Bible, NASB).
After death is abolished, Christ will present his Kingdom to God. In First Corinthians 15:24, 27-28, Paul wrote,
“…then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power…. For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, ‘All things are put in subjection,’ it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all,” (NASB).
Once the last enemy, death, is destroyed, God, himself, will down come to earth. Jesus will hand over his Kingdom to God his Father and be subject to him.
God will then bring in the New Jerusalem with him when he enters the restored Earth. And he will dwell among those who are living eternally in his Kingdom. From that time forward, there will be no more sorrow, suffering, or death. Here is the way John saw it:
“And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away,” (Revelation 21:2-4).
The curse of sin and death will be removed for good. God will literally illuminate the world with his righteousness, purity, and perfection forevermore. In fact, those who are in his Kingdom will actually be able to see God face to face, (Revelation 22:1-5)—something no mortal person could ever do before (Exodus 33:20).
Believers’ expectations of the future is bright because God’s Kingdom will last forever. The coming restoration will not come and go over time like human kingdoms and nations. In that Day, “the throne of God and of the Lamb,” will…
+Never end (Isaiah 9:7);
+Stand forever (Daniel 2:44);
+Be an everlasting dominion (Daniel 7:14);
+Have no end (Luke 1:33);
+Last forever and forever (Revelation 11:15).
As we look ahead to that coming restoration, all believers can say along with the Apostle Paul, “For I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day,” 2 Timothy 1:12, NASB). Those who believe in that Day are committed to seek first his Kingdom and righteousness. It is our highest priority.
Good News to YOU!
Pastor Michael Brown
P.S. Here’s Robin Todd singing, “Kingdom Long”: https://youtu.be/9CStgV0QHtY