Why are present day Christians so enamored over the idea of an earthly, physical reign of Christ upon David’s throne in Jerusalem? Previously in [cref the-thousand-year-reign-of-christ] we showed from the Bible that there is no such physical reign. Our Lord ascended back into heaven and will return again in the clouds where we (the faithful) will be with him forever (1 Thessalonians 4:17). The idea of a literal thousand year reign is especially odd since it comes from a passage filled with fantastic figurative language (Revelation 20:1-6). It is a gross error of the principles of Biblical interpretation to cherry-pick a term or phrase from a figurative passage and suddenly declare it to be literal.
Christians come from the world. We bring our own baggage and past issues with us when we come to Christ. While we seek to walk, talk and think like our Lord we sometimes often fail. John tells us that even while we are walking in the light, we are still in need of forgiveness (1 John 1:6-10, esp. vs. 7). Some of the baggage we bring with us is the fleshly, temporal desire for wealth, power and comfort. I believe that such an outlook lies at the root of our longing for a literal palace to live in after becoming victorious over our enemies.
“Chiliasm” is the term academics and theologians give to the materialistic view of the return of Christ. It has been around for many years and has undergone some change through time but remains essentially the idea that Jesus will return just before the evil forces of Satan gain global victory and will defeat him and his minions. The victorious Lord will claim his throne in Jerusalem where he will rule over a period of Christian peace for 1,000 years.
Notice the deep materialistic view.
- Victory or revenge over our enemies;
- Jesus is visible and faith gives way to something more tangible;
- The righteous enjoy immeasurable wealth in the kingdom of the Lord.
It may be that the materialistic, physical view is so popular because we are unable to get our minds around the glorious thought of eternity. Vengeance is handled by the Lord – he has repaid (Romans 12:19). The beautiful New City of Revelation 21 is so magnificent that we can not fully appreciate it. It outshines anything that has ever been upon the earth or ever will be. It is not the earth for the earth has passed away (2 Peter 3:10).
Let us release our earthly bonds and look not to physical Jerusalem but to the New Jerusalem where nothing that defiles can ever enter (Revelation 21:27).
Your thoughts and comments are always welcomed.