The understanding of Millennial views is always interesting to me especially in regards to discussing all sides of the debate. For those of you who have no earthly idea what I’m talking about it is the discussion amongst christians as to when the return of the Lord Jesus Christ will happen in regards to the millennium spoken of in Revelation 20:1-6. There are three main position which are Premillennialism (Christ returns pre the millennium and sets up a 1000 year kingdom on the earth), Amillennialism (Christ returns to set up the New Heavens and the New Earth after the millennium which means that the 1000 years is symbolic of the Kingdom of Christ that is happening today) or Postmillennialism (which Christ comes after the Millennium to an earth which is saved due to the spread of the gospel).
Leaving postmillennial aside, I wanted to focus upon an argument that I had read in Sam Storm’s new book that I had never honestly considered in the past. The premillennialists have to argue that after Christ returns that physical death will continue on since there needs to be individuals in mortal bodies who take up the rebellion against God in Revelation 20:7-10. These are usually identified with the children of people who entered into the millennium in unglorified bodies. While there will be those who will rebel, there will also be individuals during the reign of Christ upon the earth who will become believers and be Christians. These are those who come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who is amongst them.
The point that Dr. Storms brought out was what happens to these people, who come to faith in Christ during the millennium, after they die? Where do they go? The scripture seems to tell us that when we die we depart to be with Christ and to be away from the body is to be at home with the Lord. If Christ is in fact on earth in physical form then how do they depart to be with Him? Some have argued that these believers are resurrected right away since there is no reason to not have their glorified bodies during the millennium. The reality is however that if this would be the case then we would have perhaps millions of people who are resurrected and given their glorified bodies all in the span of 1000 years. The bible seems explicit to tell us that there will be one resurrection from the dead (not millions) for both the righteous and the wicked.
It seems that no matter how you look at it, getting people into the millennium who have physical unglorified bodies causes all sorts of interpretive problems for our premillennialist friends.