David Jeremiah - What on Earth is the Millennium?
Almost everyone knows the lyrics to Isaac Watts' famous hymn, "Joy to the World," but few people realize that it is really a miscast hymn. It's not a Christmas hymn, really, at all, even though it's in the top three of the favorite Christmas hymns of all time. Listen to the words and see if you understand what I mean. "Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let earth receive her King". Did we receive the King when Jesus was born at Bethlehem? "Let every heart prepare him room and heaven and nature sing. Joy to the world, the Savior reigns. Let men their songs employ, while fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains, repeat the sounding joy. No more let sin and sorrow grow, nor thorns infest the ground. He comes to make his blessing flow, far as the curse is found".
Has that happened? Did it happen? "He rules the world with truth and grace". I don't think so, not yet. "And makes the nations prove the glories of His righteousness and the wonders of His love". Only during the millennium which comes after the Second Advent of Christ, will the words of "Joy to the World" really be fulfilled. Only during that time we'll be able to sing these words with real meaning in our heart. Now, in your Bibles there is a place to which you should turn which is the central passage for this discussion, and it's the 20th chapter of the book of Revelation. Revelation chapter 20. Revelation chapter 20 introduces the glorious reign of Christ on this earth, which is known as the Millennium. Now, let's take the mystery out of the term "millennium". It is a Latin word which is made up of two words: the words "mille" which mean 1000 and the word "annum" which means years. Mille annum, 1000 years.
So the word "millennium" means 1000 years. And the text of Revelation chapter 20 is the only place in the Bible where that actual word appears. And it appears in the text six different times. If you look down in your Bibles you will notice in verse 2 it says, "He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for 1000 years," for a millennium. Verse 3: "And the nations no more were deceived for 1000 years," a millennium. Verse 4: "And they lived and reigned with Christ 1000 years," a millennium. Verse 5: "And the rest of the dead did not live again until the 1000 years was finished". There it is again. Verse 6: "Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a millennium, 1000 years". Mille annum, 1000 years. Verse 7: "Now when the 1000 years had expired, Satan will be released from his prison".
The Millennium is a period of 1000 years that is going to take place in the future and it is a very important subject for us to discuss. Now, I need to tell you that there is no more subject in all of Bible prophecy that is more controversial than this one. There are, first of all, three perspectives on the Millennium. Roman numeral I, Three Perspectives on the Millennium. Church history has seen the rise of three competing views. Now it may not seem important to you what a person might think about the 1000 years, but it is very important because what a person thinks about that 1000-year period gives away their understanding as to how the Bible should be interpreted. And we're going to see that in a few moments. First of all, there are some people who refer to themselves as post-millennialists.
Now, I'm not trying to get theological with you today and I haven't gone back to review my seminary notes but you need to understand these terms so you will see what I'm talking about. Post-millennialism, let me tell you what that means. That means that a certain group of people believe that Jesus Christ will not come back to this earth until after the 1000 years of kingdom living have happened. And here's how they interpret it. This was invented by a Unitarian minister by the name of Daniel Whitby in the mid 17th century and it teaches that the church, we, the church, will bring about the Millennium through the preaching of the gospel. According his view, as more and more people across the globe are converted, the world will gradually be conquered for Christ. God's justice will prevail across the earth and Jesus will at last return to a Utopian world to take up the throne that was won him by his church.
Now, I need to tell you that view flourished until World War I. At the end of World War I people began to doubt whether this had any credibility or not. You know, World War I, the motto was "Make the world safe for democracy". Well, post-millennialism started to falter a little bit because it became apparent to everyone that the world wasn't getting better and better. Justice wasn't prevailing more and more. And when World War II came, the world war that was to end all world wars, post-millennialism primarily died and it ceases to be a major player on the stage, though it has had a somewhat recent revival under some very strange circumstances. Post-millennialism, which says the world's gonna get better and better and better until ultimately it's so good that it's a fit place for Jesus to come back to. Aren't you glad that isn't true because the signs aren't so good, are they? Jesus may never get back the way we're going, if we believe that. And then, there's another view which is sometimes referred to as a-millennialism. I wanna hear you all say that. A-millennialism.
Now, whenever you put the word "a" in front of a word it negates the value of the word. So a-millennialism means no millennium. And there are some people that take all the passages in the Bible that speak about the Millennium and they say, "Those are all symbolic". Instead, the church inherits the Millennial blessings that were given to Israel. In other words, the events that are in Revelation chapter 20 are happening right now. The church is reigning with Christ over the earth. We are in the Millennium according to a-millennialism. Oh my goodness, I hope not. Don't you hope not? If this is the Millennium what in the world do we have to look forward to? I hope the Millennium is a whole lot better than what we have right now and, of course, anyone who really studies the Scripture and takes it literally would understand immediately that the prophecies of peace and prosperity and purity and all of those things are not being fulfilled today. The exact opposite is being fulfilled.
And the problem with a-millennialism is the only way you can make it work is to spiritualize and symbolize all of the Old Testament Scriptures. Once you start doing that and you get away from a literal interpretation of the Bible, then there is no control on anything and whatever you want the Bible to say, it will say. And then there is the third view which is the view that I believe is the accurate one. And that is what we call pre-millennialism. Pre-millennialism is the oldest of the three views and it believes and teaches that Jesus Christ will physically return to this earth. He will defeat his enemies and there will be a battle that is fought at the end and he will then set up his kingdom on this earth and he will reign upon the earth for 1000 years.
Now, I wanna give you a little visual so you see how this works. Draw a straight line on your paper, all right? Just a straight line. Now, start over here on the left-hand side of the line and put a little parentheses about that wide. In the middle of the parentheses, just put the letters "OT," Old Testament. That's where it begins. Next to the parentheses where you have "OT," put a cross. Just put a picture of a cross. That's a reference to the life of Christ, to his death, his burial, and his Resurrection. Next to the cross, put another parentheses and write the word "church" in it. Just put the word "church" in it. Now you've got OT, the cross, and the church. After you get to the end of the church parentheses, I want you to put an arrow going straight up and one coming straight down, meeting in the middle. Because what happens at the end of the church age is, we have the Rapture. The dead in Christ are raised, and Christ comes back and we all who are Christians go to heaven. After that, put another parentheses and write the word "7 years" in it. This is the Tribulation.
At the end of the Tribulation, in that little parentheses, put another arrow, this one coming straight down. That's the Second Advent when Jesus comes back to take up his reign on the earth. Then put a little bigger parentheses and write the word "1000 years" in it. That's the Millennium and after the Millennium is the eternal state or what we call heaven. Now, I don't have time to go over that again, so I hope you wrote that all down. But I want you to know what we're talking about here. We're talking about a period of time after the Tribulation when Jesus Christ comes back and he literally reigns on this earth. And all the promises of the Old Testament concerning the kingdom are fulfilled in that period of time and the redeemed Jews live in their homeland and the Millennium ends with the final rebellion and the old earth is replaced by a transformed new heaven and new earth, and this is the view that is found in all of the writings of the early church fathers and which is more widely believed by evangelicals than any other view on the Millennium. So we have three perspectives of the Millennium.
Now I wanna give you four purposes for the Millennium. Why do we have to have a Millennium? Somebody says, "What do we need this for? Just so we can have something to discuss in theology"? No, it's very important that there be a period of time like this going forward and I wanna give you just a few reasons and I'm gonna go through some Scripture and I wanna tell you I'm gonna go through these Scriptures fast so if I go through them fast, you watch fast and listen fast and understand fast, all right? Here we go. Ready? The first reason is to reward the people of God. There needs to be a millennial time to reward the people of God. There are scores of promises scattered throughout all of the Bible, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, guaranteeing God's people that they will receive rewards for faithful service.
For instance, Isaiah 40:10 says: "Behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him". "The Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels". When's that gonna happen? The Second Advent at the end of the Tribulation period just before the Millennium. "And He will reward each according to his works". Matthew 25:34: "The King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.'" Colossians 3:24: "Knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord". Revelation 22:12: "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give every one according to his work". The Bible teaches that when we serve the Lord here on this earth as Christians, we are going to be rewarded when we get to the kingdom with the opportunity to serve the Lord in a new and special way.
In the previous message, we talked about the crowns. Here, we're reminded that part of our reward will be to reign and rule with Christ upon this earth and each of us will have opportunities to serve the Lord based upon our faithfulness in serving him right now. 1 Thessalonians 3:13 says that "the coming of the Lord will happen when He comes with all of His saints". When Jesus comes back at the end of the Tribulation period, just before this millennial time, we who were raptured at the beginning, we're gonna come back with him. We're gonna come back to this earth and we're gonna reign upon this new earth that he's created with his righteousness. And Paul told the Corinthians that the saints are gonna judge the world, in 1 Corinthians 6:2. And in Revelation chapter 20 and verse 4 that we read a few moments ago, we read: "And they lived and they reigned with Him for 1000 years".
Who are they? The Christians, the saints, who come back with him. Literally, men and women, there has to be a Millennium so that we can live out our rewards during this 1000-year period of time. In the parable of the talents Jesus taught that our role as servants and rulers will be based upon our faithfulness. Matthew 25:23: "The Lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over,'" what? "Many things. Enter into the joy of your lord". In the Millennium, we will be ruling the earth with Jesus as our King. And we will be serving the Lord, not as a punishment but as a reward. The idea of service as a reward is foreign to a lot of people who don't like their work, who only put up with their work until it's time to retire. We think that faithful service should be rewarded with a long vacation. But God offers us an opportunity very different from work. More responsibilities is his reward. Increased opportunities is his reward. Greater abilities and resources and wisdom and empowerment. We will have sharper minds, stronger bodies, clearer purpose, and unabated joy, and we will serve the Lord for 1000 years on this earth as it is, reigning and ruling with him.
Can you imagine a reign of righteousness with all godly people in every single position, having not had to be elected there but appointed there by King Jesus? Whoa, would that be something? Just imagine it. So in order for there to be a time for those rewards to be realized, there has to be a millennial period. That's when they're to be carried out. Number two, there must be a Millennium to respond to the prophets' predictions. The prophets of the Old Testament predict such a time. The Old Testament Scriptures are absolutely totally un-understandable if there is no such period as the kingdom because most of the prophecies of the Old Testament, in fact, Dwight Pentecost who was a tremendous scholar of prophecy said, "There is more information about the Millennium in the Bible than any other prophetic event in all of the Scripture".
We push it off to the side, nobody wants to talk about it, it's sort of controversial so we avoid it. But the Bible says in the Old Testament that such a time is coming. Now I don't have time to give you the myriad of verses that talk about it but I'm gonna give you a bunch of 'em just one right after the other, rapid-fire, right on the screen, and you listen to what the Scripture says. Psalm 72:11: "All kings shall fall down before Him; all nations shall serve Him". Isaiah 9:7, once again often referred to as a Christmas verse but only part of it is a Christmas verse. The other part is a kingdom verse: "Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the hosts of the Lord will perform this".
Isaiah 60:21: "Also your people shall be righteous; they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified".
Zechariah 9:10: "I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem; the battle bow will be cut off. He shall speak peace to the nations; His dominion shall be 'from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.'"
Luke 1:32-33: "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end".
Without the kingdom, without the Millennium, none of those could be fulfilled. Those prophecies all say there's coming a day when King Jesus is going to rule over this earth as it is now with his saints as co-regents with him. And it's going to be a rule of righteousness and peace that will last for 10 centuries, for a millennium. Why does there need to be an earthly kingdom? Because Christ will come back and triumph on the very earth where he was seemingly defeated by his enemy. His rejection by the rulers of the world, remember, he came unto his own and his own received him not. He will come back to the very earth where he was rejected and this time there will be no rejection and it will be when he comes again to rule this world in righteousness. He will at last pick up his inheritance and he will be the King everyone had hoped he would come to be when he came the first time.
Do you remember when Jesus came at Bethlehem and he started out and his disciples began to realize who he was in some fashion, they wanted to know, is the kingdom gonna be now? They weren't really interested in Christ being the ruler of the world. They wanted to get the Romans off their back. They wanted him to come and set up the kingdom but Jesus said, "Not now, but someday". And it's in this period of time that that's going to happen so there needs to be a Millennium to reward the people of God and to respond to the prophets' predictions. Here's an interesting one that's just really simple. And that's to receive the answer to the disciples' prayer. Do you remember the disciples' prayer? "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven".
Has that ever happened? Has his kingdom ever come and his will been done on this earth as it is in heaven? Not yet. But it's going to. One day when Jesus returns, his kingdom will come and his will will be done on this earth, even it is now being done in heaven. When the disciples prayed that the kingdom would come, they were looking forward to this very time we're talking about this morning called the Millennium. So the Millennium is necessary to reward the people of God and to respond to the prophets' predictions and to receive the answer to the disciples' prayer. And finally, the kingdom is necessary and I want you to listen carefully because I don't want you to lose this. It is necessary to re-emphasize man's depravity and the necessity of Christ's death.
Let me show you what I mean. The Bible says that at the end of this 1000-year period of time when Jesus is running the whole world, and Satan, if you remember, he's bound for 1000 years. Do you remember reading that in Revelation 20? Satan is bound for 1000 years. He's incapacitated. But if you read the text it says at the end of the Millennium he's gonna be released and there will be one final rebellion. You say, "Well, where's the ungodliness gonna come from"? Well, only godly people will go into the Millennium, but guess what? They're gonna have kids. How many of you know righteousness is not inherited? How many of you know God doesn't have any grandchildren? He only has children.
So the kids born to the righteous people in the Millennial and some of them will become unrighteous and at the end of the millennial period, in spite of all that has happened during the reign of Christ on this earth, in spite of all the righteousness that has been legislated, at the end of the millennial period, there will be a final rebellion against God. What does that say? It says that our problem is not our environment, amen? Have you ever hear anybody ever tell you that the problem we have in our world is our environment? If we could just educate everybody and get everybody straightened out and change the environment, everybody would be better? Well, I wanna tell you something. God put two people in a perfect garden and they rebelled. And at the end of the world, he's gonna run a world for 1000 years in peace and righteousness and at the end there'll be a rebellion there. Why? Because the heart of man is evil and it's not a problem of our environment, it's a problem of our nature that we inherited from Adam when he sinned against Almighty God.
So the Millennium will prove once somebody will stand before God at the Great White Throne Judgment and say, "Lord God, I just didn't have the right environment". And the Lord's gonna say, "I gave you 1000 years of perfect peace and righteousness and you still rebelled. Depart from me, I never knew you". All right, we've had three perspectives on the Millennium, four purposes of the Millennium, and now we have to really move: five profiles of the Millennium. What's it gonna really be like on this earth? And all I can do here is just tell you what the Scripture says. What will it be like and can you imagine in your greatest fantasy what it would be like on this earth if all sin were removed, if all rebellion were removed, if all unrighteousness were removed, from what you know of the earth as it is today? First of all, it will be a time of great peace. A time of great peace, that's the first profile.
As you know, this is kind of a joke to me but when I see it, did you know that right across the street from the United Nations building there is a statue and on the statue are these words: "They shall beat their swords into plowshares". The United Nations is supposed to make that happen. Not. It's not gonna happen through the United Nations. That will really only happen when Christ rules the earth. That which the world has longed for for so long will become a reality. Only then will the angels' message be fulfilled that he gave to the shepherds on that night outside of Bethlehem: Peace on earth, good will toward men. All manmade implements of mechanized warfare will be eliminated, even the natural kingdom will be at peace.
Now, are you ready for a scriptural tour? Here we go. Hang on. Psalm 72:7: "In His days the righteous will flourish, and abundance of peace, until the moon is no more". Micah 4:2-3: "Many nations shall come and say, 'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the Lord of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we will walk in His paths.' And out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore". Isaiah 11:6-9: "The wolf will also dwell with the lamb".
This peace even extends to the animal kingdom. "And the leopard will lay down with the young goat, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; the young ones will lie down together; the lion will eat straw like an ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra's hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper's den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea". It will be a time when war will be utterly unknown. Not a single armament plant will be operating. Not a soldier or sailor will be in uniform. No military camps will exist. Not one cent will be spent for armaments of war. Not a single penny will be used for defense, much less for offensive warfare.
Can you imagine such an age when all nations shall be at perfect peace and all the resources of the earth will be made available for enjoyment and all industry engaged in the manufacture of the articles of a peaceful luxury? That's the way it will be. It will be a peaceful time. I know everybody says, "Is that possible"? Not here, not now, not 'til Jesus comes and sets up his rule on this earth. And then it'll be a time of prosperity. Everybody's into prosperity, at least that's what I've observed by watching television. Everybody's into prosperity. Well, this will be a time of prosperity like you cannot imagine. Once again, listen to the Word of God. Ezekiel 34:26-27: "I will make them and the places all around My hill a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season; and there shall be showers of blessing. Then the trees of the field will yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase. And they shall be safe in their land; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke and delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them".
Ezekiel 36 again: "I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations. The desolate land will be tilled instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass by. So they will say, 'The land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden.'" Amos 9:13: "'Behold, the days are coming,' says the Lord, 'when the plowman shall overtake the reaper,'" in other words, the cycle of reproduction in terms of the harvest will be so short that while the guy's out there harvesting, the plowman will be right behind him planting. It will be just one internal and eternal production of food. "And the treader of grapes him who sows seed; the mountains will drip with sweet wine, and the hills will flow with it".
Zechariah 8:12: "The seed shall be prosperous, the vine shall give its fruit, the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give her dew". Isaiah 35: "The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as a rose. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water". The Millennium will be a time of peace, a time of unbelievable prosperity. And then it'll be a time of purity. Sin will be kept in check, and disobedience will be dealt with. Christ's kingdom will be a holy kingdom. Isaiah 11:9: "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea".
Isaiah 25:9: "And it shall be said in that day: 'Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.'" Isaiah 66:23: "'And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me,' says the Lord". Zechariah 13:2: "'It shall be in that day,' says the Lord of hosts, 'that I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, they shall no longer be remembered. And I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to depart from the land.'" It will be a time of peace. It will be a time of prosperity. It will be a time of purity.
Now, here's one I like. It's gonna be a time of prolonged life, you know, prolonged life. People are gonna live longer. You know, if you study the Old Testament and I have a chart in my Bible, maybe you have one in yours too that shows how before the flood, people used to live to be really old. But when you get to the flood in Genesis chapter 6, something happens. Nine hundred doesn't happen anymore. It starts going down and down and down until you get to kind of where we are now, 130 was old then as it would be today. Many people believe that the flood changed the nature of the earth so that the canopy that protected us from the ultraviolet rays was contaminated and so our ability to live long on the earth was destroyed. But in the Millennium, the period of time that we're looking forward to in our message today, everything that happened before the flood in terms of the longevity of humanity will return. Let me just give you one verse that's amazing. Isaiah 65:20: "No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; for the child shall die 100 years old".
Now just get that last phrase. When you are 100 years old, if you die, they will say, "He was a child". All of you who are working on 100 right now, doesn't that feel real good? Someday I'm gonna be called a child again, and I'll be 100 years old and people will live to be 700, 800 years. Some of them will live a great portion of the millennial period under the reign of Christ. Prolonged life. And finally, it will be a time of personal joy. The Millennium will be an exhilarating era of happiness and contentment and joy. It will be the answer to many of the anguished prayers of the Jews and many of the heart's hopes that are represented here today. Once again, just a multiplication of Scriptures. Are you ready for this stream of Word of God coming to you from the Old Testament?
Listen to this. Isaiah 9:3: "You have multiplied the nation and increased its joy; they rejoice before You according to the joy of harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil". Isaiah 12:3: "Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation". Isaiah 14:7: "The whole earth is at rest and quiet; they break forth into singing". Isaiah 25:8-9: "He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all of their faces; the rebuke of His people and will take away from all the earth; for the Lord has spoken". Isaiah 30:29: "You shall have a song and in the night when a holy festival is kept, and gladness of heart as when one goes with a flute, to come into the mountain of the Lord, to the Mighty One of Israel".
Isaiah 42:10-12: "Sing to the Lord a new song, and His praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, you coastlands and you inhabitants of them! Let the wilderness and its cities lift up their voice, the villages of Kedar inhabitants and the inhabitants of Sela sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory to the Lord, and declare His praise to the coastlands". From several passages in the Old Testament and these are just representative few, you get this impression that the millennial time is everything we have always heard it would be, even if we didn't know the Bible. A time of great joy and prosperity and purity and a time of peace and prolonged life. And King Jesus will be reigning and ruling on the throne of David which will be in the city of Jerusalem. And out of Jerusalem will flow this wonderful reign of peace over all the world as we know it today.
Can you imagine? Whoa! Isn't it interesting to see what God has planned? And listen to me now. Here's the kicker in the whole deal. You ready for this? This is just the prelude to heaven. This is the overture of heaven. You know when you go to a concert or to a big symphony, the orchestra plays an overture at the beginning and it has a little snippet of all the different songs that are in the program and you sit there and the orchestra's put this thing together and it gives you sort of a picture of what's to come.
Well, the Millennium is an overture of heaven, and it gives you just a little picture as you study it of what heaven will be like and where we will be now, not just on this earth but on the new heaven and the new earth that we talked about last week. And the same King Jesus will be in charge and all sin and all death will be eliminated and everything that's true about the Millennium will get kicked up another level and into the eternal state we go, celebrating forever and ever with King Jesus, amen? That's all right, isn't it? All right. Now, it's interesting, isn't it, that Jesus came the first time to become our Savior and he's coming the second time to become our King. The coming of Christ to set up his kingdom will be so much different than the first time that he came. He entered the world the first time in swaddling clothes. He will reign the second time in majestic purple. He came the first time as a weary traveler, he will return the second time as the untiring God.
Once when he came he had nowhere to lay his head; when he comes back he will be revealed as the heir of all things. Once he was rejected by tiny Israel; when he returns he will be accepted by every single nation. Once he was a lowly Savior acquainted with grief; then he will be the Mighty God and anointed with the oil of gladness. Once he was smitten with a reed; then he will rule the nations with a rod of iron. Once wicked soldiers bowed the knee in mockery; then every knee will bow and every tongue confess that he is Lord. Once he received a crown of thorns; then he will receive a crown of gold. Once he delivered up his Spirit in death; then he will be alive forevermore. Once he was laid in a tomb; then he will sit on a throne. King of kings, Lord of lords, that's Jesus. And that's the Millennium. And it's a fact that will be impossible for us to mistake if we read the Scripture.
Do you remember the commercial, I think it was for some kind of an oil filter. And the guy got on the screen and he said, "You can pay me now or you can pay me later," and they showed the engine kind of coming unglued because he hadn't taken care to make sure the oil was clean. So you can pay me now or you can pay me later. Say that. Pay me now or pay me later. Well, I wanna tell you something. Almighty God has put together a program just like that. Do you know what it says in Philippians chapter 2? Look up on the screen with me for just a moment. Philippians 2:10-11. This is what it says.
Let's read it out loud together. "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father". What does that say? It says one day in the kingdom and before the White Throne Judgment, the Bible says every single knee of every single person on this planet will bow their knee before God and say for the final time and without any hope of the future, "You are Lord and you are King and you are worthy and you are who everybody said you were when I was going to church back at Shadow Mountain, when I was on earth. You're exactly who they said you were". But by that time, it'll be too late. When you get to that place in the prophetic scheme of things, it's beyond hope. You cannot become a Christian. Your opportunity is over.
Now here is the "pay me now or pay me later" application. Jesus says, "One day everyone's gonna bow". You have no choice as to whether or not you will bow before the Lord. You will either do it now, voluntarily in obedience and in humble humility or one day you will bow before him and you will acknowledge that he is King. How much better it would be for all of us, were it be true for us that we have said, "Lord God, I believe who you are. I believe your Son Jesus is the Savior of the world. I accept you as my Savior. I bow before you as my Lord. I receive you into my heart. I bow my knee to you, Lord Jesus". When you do it now, you will never have to be forced to do it later because it will be the most natural and normal thing that ever comes to your life, to love and worship and adore him.