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September 3, 2020 7:00 pm
Dr. Sam Horn continues a doctrinal series entitled, “Return of the King” and the scripture is Revelation 20.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927 by the evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Senior's intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything, so he established daily chapel services today.
That tradition continues with fervent biblical preaching from the University travel platform today on The Daily Platform were continuing a study series entitled return of the King which is a study of the second coming of Christ. Our message today will be preached by Dr. Sam Horn, who recently became president of the Masters University and seminary in Santa Clarita, California, to ask you this morning to turn to Revelation chapter 20 as we continue in our series return of the King. One of the central components of the Christian faith is the confident expectation that Jesus is coming back to rain on the earth. That's what our whole series has been about believers throughout the history of the church people like you. People like me have endured intense suffering enormous affliction, relentless persecution, and even at times, ruthless martyrdom in the midst of all of it had been comforted by the hope that Jesus is coming to put all of this right so the promise of Jesus coming back is not a minor component of our faith is central to what you and I believe as Christians, and it is thoroughly attested to in the New Testament we give you some examples. Jesus himself announced that he would be coming back just before his crucifixion in John chapter 14 verse three he said I will come again after his resurrection and just before his ascension. Angels confirmed it. Actually, after the ascension in acts chapter 1 verse 11 by reminding the disciples that this Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you saw him go into heaven, and the rest of the New Testament writers. The apostles preached this and they proclaimed it. For example, Peter preached in acts chapter 3 verses 19 to 21 Rattan at the times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord and that he may send Christ appointed for you whom they have and must receive until the time for the restoring of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets. This is very early on in the beginning of the Christian church and Peter is already talking about the fact that there is a time coming when God will send Jesus to restore all things.
Paul reiterates this in numbers of places in his writings. For example, first Thessalonians chapter 9 chapter 1 verses 9 to 10. He talks about a group of believers who have come to believe the gospel, who have turned to God from idols and then he describes them as waiting for the coming of his son from heaven, and that, of course, John speaks about it in the text before us, but he also speaks about it in first John chapter 3, and in a very familiar text verses two and three. We know that when he Christ appears, we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is a tax that may not be as familiar to you is a quotation in the little book of Jude verse 14 where Jude quotes a prophecy that Enoch way back to the beginning the seventh from Adam made when he said, behold, the Lord comes with 10,000s of his holy ones to execute judgment on all, and to convict all of the ungodly of their deeds among ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way that if and if that weren't enough, the early church longed for this coming and they prayed for, and you pray for it as well. Everything you articulate the Lord's prayer.
Thy kingdom come, the early church said it this way in first Corinthians 16 verse 22 Maren NAFTA which means our Lord come.
It is an appeal.
It is a prayer. So as we come to this part in our series. I want to speak to you about the primary passage in our Bible that speaks to this return and it is speaking particularly to a period of time that is referred here in the text is a kingdom that will last for a thousand years, and so what will this time be like and what are the details around its inauguration. So let's begin by acknowledging some things that all believers are most believers agree on and I would say this way. Most all or almost all believers agree that Jesus Christ will physically return visibly to the earth. One day in the future. I don't think there would be anybody in our group here who's a believer who understands the Scripture who would deny that in the face of verses like the ones we just looked at. Secondly, we all agree that there will be a bodily resurrection of all people who have ever lived. Some people believe that there will be more than one resurrection, but everybody agrees that there will be at least one resurrection of all people would ever lived. All of us agree that there is coming a time when Satan will be defeated constrained and eternally punished for his crimes against God, and then finally we all agree that there will be a final judgment of some sort where believers will enter into the joyful presence of the Lord and unbelievers will be eternally separated from God. In the passage were looking at is ground zero for all of those beliefs. However, as you look at Revelation chapter 20 and like your eyes just kinda glanced through the 15 verses that make up this passage. They also speak very directly about details that go beyond these four agreed-upon ideas they specifically talk about Jesus raining for a thousand years. That's, that's the idea behind the word millennium.
It's a word that means a thousand so thousand years in the passage describes believers raining with him in that kingdom in this thousand year reign is precisely the point of debate in eschatology. What will this millennium be like will be an actual thousand year reign on the earth. What is the nature of the binding of Satan that is talked about in the first three verses of chapter 21 of these drones that are being set up and who will sit upon and what will they do while they sit upon those through are the events in these verses symbolic of great spiritual realities or are these verses describing literal events that will physically take place on the earth, and that is the question that we want to answer this morning as we make our way through these this tax that speaks about the millennium. I want to do it in four ways and I would give you a lot of Scripture today will put as much of it up on the screen as you can and some of it will be bolded so your I will go right where where it needs to go in those text but because of the complexity of this. I want to make available to you. The manuscript of the message today.
If you would like it and I would be willing to sit down and talk with those of you that are interested and and explain further. As we as we get into the text. Why hold certain views. So let's begin by noting the importance of the millennium, and the importance of millennium arrests in part of God's character. The Scriptures repeatedly remind us that God cannot lie and that his word is fully trustworthy, and his second printing chapter 1 verse 20 the apostle Paul reminds us that all the promises of God in him in Christ are yes are you gay and in him a man, verily it will be so unto the glory of God by us and so Paul is reminding us again that that God is fully trustworthy and that he will actually accomplish promises that he is made and he's going to a prom culminate and fulfill those promises in the person and through the work of his anointed, appointed Messiah who you and I have come to know as Jesus Christ. And so as we think about the importance of the millennium. Let me give you very quickly six promises that God is made that are going to be fulfilled in chapter 20. Promise. Number one was a promising God made Adam and Eve and you know this promise in Genesis 3 verse 15 where God promises to Adam and Eve that there will be a seed, a son, and he looks at the serpent was identified in verses two and three of chapter 20 and he says you will strike his heel. But he is going to crush your head, there is military imagery. There you are going to be fully and finally defeated and that promise was made at the very opening of our Bible and the initial fulfillment of that. The first stage of that took place at the cross where our Messiah at his heel struck just like God predicted and God said what happened in Genesis 3 and the final end of that promise. The crushing of the head of that serpent is going to take place in chapter 20 of the book of Revelation. This is also a chapter that fulfills a promise made to Abraham and you know the promise made Abraham recorded three times in our Bible in Genesis 12 in Genesis 15 and again in Genesis 17. But notice the way that it's described in Genesis 17. I will establish my covenant between me and the die seat after the in their generations for an ever lasting covenant and then later in the text. I will give him to the and to thy seed after the, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan and then here's the text for an ever lasting possession. He made similar promises to David in first Samuel chapter 7 the Davidic covenant is unfolded. It's repeated after the captivity, as the Israelites come back and they are reminded by the chronicler of these great promises made earlier to David and in first Chronicles 17.
The writer reminds the the restored Israelites that God said I will ordain a place for my people Israel and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place, and shall be moved no more than a little later in the text. I will subdue all thine enemies. There is a promise that was made to David. There is also promise was made to the nation of Israel and this is throughout the Old Testament. You can see it in Isaiah 44 in Jeremiah 31 but look at the text in Ezekiel 36 and I give you summary of verses 24 through 38. Notice what God says to this nation that will happen in the future I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all the countries and will bring you into your own land. Little later in the verse, a new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you. I will put my spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes. You shall keep my judgments, and do them, and you shall dwell in the land that I gave your father and you will be my people and I will be your God, and they shall say, this land was a desolate was desolate. It is become like the Garden of Eden then goes on to talk about the increase of this nation.
None of this has happened.
The fifth promises a promise that God made was son sound. Chapter 2 we heard a message earlier in our series, but here's the here's the relevant phrase God said to his son I will give you the heathen for thine inheritance the nations for thine inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession leases later that he would raise up the tribes of Jacob in Isaiah 49 and restore the preserved of Israel, and I will give you for a light to the Gentiles, that thou may has been my salvation unto the ends of the earth and then at the end of that passage came shall see and arise. Princes also shall worship that is never happened yet in relationship to God's anointed champion our Lord Jesus Christ, and then finally they were promises that God made to you and me that will be fulfilled in Revelation chapter 22nd Timothy chapter 2 verse 12 if we suffer, we shall also reign with him.
Revelation 2 he that over, think even my works and of the end, to him will I give power, authority over the nations, and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers. Even as I received of my father.
So when we come to Revelation chapter 20 whatever is going on in this passage is a supremely important concept because it rests on the idea that God is fulfilling immense promises that have been clearly repeatedly and directly given in the word of Scripture from Genesis all the way up through the book of Revelation, so whatever's going on here about the millennium is a Supreme Court importance that brings us to our second question this morning. What are the options that faithful Christians have held regarding the millennium are we supposed to take. Revelation 20 and there are basically three positions in and their nuanced in numbers of different ways, but there are basically three positions that people have taken when it comes to Revelation chapter 20. Particularly, the first 10 verses and specifically with regard to the nature of this 1000 year reign or kingdom that is being described here position number one is a position called premillennialism of the word millennial just means thousand and so this position would argue that the events in Revelation chapter 20 are coming after the Lord Jesus Christ returns Revelation 19 depicts the coming of the Lord is like Judah said he would come with his holy ones and he is standing on the earth and Revelation chapter 20 begins to explain to you the events that are initiated upon his arrival. So premillennialism is arguing that this kingdom that is in Revelation 20 is actually a literal thousand year kingdom on earth that will be ruled over by Messiah with his people who have returned with him and in this particular view, there is a future for national Israel. You heard a sermon earlier in the series about national history. This is where that comes into play, and he will reign with his saints over the earth over the nations for a thousand years. So premillennialism argues that whatever this kingdom is it is a literal thousand year reign and it starts after Jesus returns a second view that held a lot of popularity, particularly in the last hundred or so years is a view called post-millennialism, which argues that this thousand year reign is actually taking place in the church age. So the church age is been going on for 2000 years, and it ends with the coming of Jesus, but a pulse millennialist is going to argue that as the power of the gospel expands and is energized by the Holy Spirit moving through believers to share the gospel around the world, the gospel and the nations are actually going to become Christianized and and the ideas that are in Revelation 20 and in the Old Testament passages that describe this kingdom are actually going to be sort of symbolically lived out by the wonderful state in which the gospel will bring the earth, and it may be the last thousand years of the church age, or it may just be way of talking about the church age.
The last part of the church age itself but but when that happens, when the gospel has completely transformed the nations so that they are fearing God and worshiping him in this golden age of of gospel Christianity reigns on the earth. And Jesus will come back as King and he will then turn the kingdom that has come in over which he has now taken possession back to his father in this particular view. The church replaces Israel so that the promises that were made to Israel are now being fulfilled in us in the third view would be somewhat different.
In this sense, it's arguing that there is no millennium at all millennialism is the idea that there is really no millennium, and that what is happening in Revelation 20 is just describing the church age itself, and that when Jesus Christ came the first time he actually felt the deathblow to Satan, and bound him, but the final victory of that isn't going to be fully affected until he comes back in Revelation chapter 20 and so there is really no real thousand year reign. This is a symbolic sort of metaphor to help you understand what is going on in your life right now that evil is waxing more and more there. There's in this view, there's no sort of idea that the earth is going to be Christianized in society is to be transformed by the gospel. It's just reminding you that you live triumphantly in a very wicked world because of the power of the gospel in the death of Christ that bouncing and the next thing that is going to happen is not the evangelization of the world. The next thing that is going to happen is the coming of Jesus.
So, in this view, millennialism, the millennium is really not a reality.
It symbolizes what is actually happening right now.
So how we need to figure out which view to take and I would suggest to you that you have one of two options you can either read the text.
Normally or normatively and let the text just unfold or you have to come to text like this and you don't have to assign symbolic or allegorical ideas to the things that are here and so I want to just very quickly as as we sort of wrap up today. I just want to walk you through the that the texts that deal with this Celeste. Thirdly, talk about the nature of this millennium that is described here and let's see where it leads us. One of the things that we immediately discover as you think about all of the texts that that speak to this is that the millennium is characterized as a political kingdom on earth. Its location is terrestrial, its duration is a thousand years, its orientation is enforced righteousness. There's a rod of iron that is is absolutely enforcing righteousness globally and it's initiated by the seal of the Lord. That's what Isaiah 9 verses six and seven passenger talks about the government being on the shoulders of this individual and at the end of that text we are told how this will be initiated. The zeal of the Lord of hosts. The wrath of the Lord of Army's will perform this and if you read Revelation, you started chapter 6 and you go all way to chapter 19 you are reading about the zeal of the Lord the wrath of God being poured out in 21 judgments before you get to chapter 90 and then you have the inauguration of the kingdom. This kingdom is characterized by righteousness, peace and joy and for sake of time, let me just mention a few verses, Isaiah 32 one behold, the King shall reign in righteousness and princes rule in judgment. Isaiah 32 and the work of righteousness shall be peace in the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.
There will be joy filling the earth. Isaiah 12 talks about drawing water out of the well of God salvation with joy and in Isaiah 55 you will go out with joy and you will be led in peace. So this kingdom is characterized by peace and joy it's characterized by unparalleled blessing. There is global prosperity in Jeremiah 33 verse nine, the entire earth will fear and tremble for all of the goodness and all of the prosperity that I procure unto it.
And then there's a reversal of the curse in this great chapter in Isaiah 65 verses 20 to 25 human physical condition goes back to endemic conditions to to look the way people lived in Adam's day. The land is his abundantly few fruitful animal kingdom is no longer in enmity with humanity that is characterized by Israel's restoration exultation and domination over all of the other nations. Zephaniah 3 verses 19 to 20 really makes is clear, I will make you a name and a praise among all the peoples of the earth. Ezekiel 47 talks about God doing this for the sake of his name, and in Romans nine, 10 and 11.
This is affirmed by New Testament writers, and that it is a time characterized by global worship in Isaiah 66.
All flesh will come to worship before me set the Lord and I would just say to you, none of this is happened yet and that brings us finally to how does the Bible account. Describe the start of all of this in the start of all of this comes after a time of global tribulation.
We noted that Revelation 6 to 19 speaks about that. It it starts with the binding and the confinement of Satan. There are six different verbs used in Revelation 2133 the talk about the fact that our ancient enemy is going to be bound at the command of God by a mere angel we think about the humiliation of this the one who used to be the Archangel is now being cast in confined to a pet by mere angel and is happening in the presence of all the nations that he is deceived throne's are set up and saints are resurrected in verse four and you can see that really quick. Clearly these drugs represent authority and those who sit on them are given authority to rule and they are resurrected saints who will serve as priests of God date they will represent God to the nations, and they will rule with God over those nations.
They will reign over nations of non-glorified humans who live in a new earth under endemic conditions using how the world are you to have glorified people and non-glorified people living together in the same kingdom you've already seen that in the New Testament Jesus in his glorified body actually sat in a room with people and their non-glorified bodies, and it worked great. So when you come to a passage like this and you read about glorified people who are living and raining on an Earth full of non-glorified people you've already seen that in the Lord's own ministry, and then you'll know that righteousness is enforced in Revelation 20.
This authority is going be exercised with a rod of iron. There will be no adultery, no murder, no line, no theft, no wickedness. Nothing evil, celebrated or practiced or tolerated, and for the righteous people who have embraced God, he will be glorious but for the people who have it. It will be miserable and that's why at the end of this. After a thousand years Satan will be released and all of those people will gravitate and he will lead a final rebellion against God. That will be crushed definitively and then in Revelation 20 verses 11 through 15. The rest of the dead are raised in this resurrection is not a resurrection to life. It's a resurrected judgment because what happens next is a great white throne, a blazing throne of of the fire of a holy God is when you evaluate these people and those who belong to him are going to enter into his joy in those who don't are going to be eternally separated from him. So what you do with the text like this. I would suggest you as we close that unnatural reading of this text leads you to the conclusion that the millennium starts after Jesus comes in. That's a premillennial position and addresses we leave today that you will pray for the coming of this kingdom you will prepare yourself for the coming of this kingdom and that you will when others to that kingdom. Father, thank you for our time together. I pray that the truth that we have heard today would help us in Jesus name, amen. You been listening to a sermon preached at Bob Jones University by Dr. Sam Horn, who recently became president of the Masters University and seminary in Santa Clarita, California.
This is part of the study series about the second coming of Christ.
We hope you'll join us again tomorrow as we continue the series here on The Daily Platform