The thousand years of Revelation are the kingdom of Jesus at the end of time , before the great final judgment. The thousand years are mentioned only in Revelation 20 . There is much debate about what the millennium of the kingdom of Jesus will be like.
In Revelation 19: 11-13 Jesus comes to fight against God’s enemies. The beast and the false prophet are thrown into the lake of fire and their army of followers dies. Jesus defeats his enemies.
See here: what will the second coming of Jesus be like?
Then an angel comes and traps the devil in the Abyss , where he remains for a thousand years without being able to deceive the nations ( Revelation 20: 1-3 ). People with authority to judge sit on thrones and martyrs resurrect and reign with Jesus for a thousand years. The other dead do not rise again until the end of the millennium ( Revelation 20: 4-5 ).
At the end of the thousand years, Satan is set free, deceives the nations and gathers everyone to fight against the people of God. They surround the saints but are destroyed by fire from heaven. The devil is cast into the lake of fire , where he receives eternal punishment ( Revelation 20: 9-10 ).
All the dead rise and are judged for their actions. All those who do not have their name in the book of life are thrown into the lake of fire. Then new heavens and a new earth appear and all the saved live forever in the presence of God, without further sin, suffering or death ( Revelation 21: 1-4 ).
See also: what is the Last Judgment?
What is the meaning of the millennium?
There are many different interpretations of what the thousand years of Revelation mean. In general, there are two major interpretations of the millennium:
- Literal– Jesus will establish a kingdom that will last exactly a thousand years, before bringing the final judgment; some think that this kingdom will be on earth, that it will enjoy exceptional peace, with the saints as rulers; others think it will be in Heaven
- Symbolic– Revelation is a very symbolic book and God has a different notion of time than us ( 2 Peter 3: 8 ); the thousand years represent a long time; the kingdom of Jesus may be spiritual or represent the spread of the gospel that is currently taking place
The Bible does not give a clear explanation of the visions in the book of Revelation, so we cannot say with certainty what the thousand years will be. All interpretations are just theories. We will only know after it happens.
But the millennium of Revelation has a very important message: Jesus is going to return ( Revelation 22:12 ). And when he returns, Jesus will defeat all his enemies, bring judgment for sins and lead the saved to eternal life. Nothing can stop Jesus from reigning and establishing peace and justice!