A thousand years now

I am relieved that I chose not to read Revelation as a timeline because if I did then this would get really complicated! The Revelation isn’t a list of what happens next but what John saw next.

John sees Christ reigning for a thousand years. Not literally a thousand surely because we know Christ reigns eternally. Since the start of the Revelation we read how it came from “him who is, and who was, and who is to come” (1:4). Throughout the New Testament we see that Jesus already reigns and that he has all authority in heaven and on earth.

“I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They 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 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 are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.” (Revelation 20 v 4-6)

Those that were beheaded are the martyred family of God, you and me are part of that family whether we are beheaded or not (hopefully not!). We have a testimony of what Jesus has done for us, we carry the Word of God as a guide to our life and our nature is fashioned after Christ and not the corruption of our world.

We came to life. Didn’t we come to life when we were born again? John in his gospel says Jesus gives life (5:21) and again that he gives eternal life (10:28). Right now are we not reigning with Christ? Paul would say we are seated with Christ now! (Ephesians 2:4-6) This is the first resurrection isn’t it? We were once dead but He made us alive. Of course we all face our death, a second one. The first was when we were dead to Christ but this second one is when we die in our body. But our physical death has no power over us because of our first resurrection for we are priests of God who reign with Christ.

What marvellous encouragement this is to the churches John oversees and to us today. Sometimes our circumstances dictate our lives to the point that we feel reigning is the least we are doing. But this is not true at all. We were once dead but we are now alive and we were once defeated but we are now reigning! This is why we are blessed and what we are separated for.

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