22 1000 Years of Peace and the Final Judgment
Studying Revelation is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. The more we correctly complete, the easier the rest becomes. If we have put together some parts incorrectly we can find it difficult trying to get every part to fit.
Studying this chapter gives fresh meaning to many other parts of Scripture; that's why we will look at many other texts to help us get an overall picture.
As we develop this chapter we will:
- Have a clearer understanding of what happens after the return of Jesus to this world.
- Understand more clearly what happens after death.
- Gain a greater appreciation of the vindication of God as revealed through the judgment.
- Discover the final fate of the devil and his angels.
- Explore how it is that God intends to restore this world to its original purpose following Creation.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Hi Graeme, You and Jon explain that in Revelation 20:10 the use of the term for ever and ever does not actually mean forever. What about all the other times in Revelation that the term is used, like Revelation 22:5 "There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever." Does this mean that we will only reign with Christ for a certain period of time?
The words translated “everlasting” and “forever” do not necessarily mean “never ending” The Greek language used in the New Testament for these words is a noun aion or the adjective aionios. The same word is used for both the righteous and the wicked in Matthew 25: 46 to describe both everlasting punishment and everlasting life.
The word when used seems to indicate duration as long as the nature of the subject allows.
Liddell and Scott’s Greek Lexicon lists the principle meanings of aion as follows:
A long space of time
This present life
In Philemon 15 we can see the word aioniov) is used to describe Philemon as possessing his slave Onesimus forever “or “eternally”: the obvious meaning is” for the rest of his life”.
On the other hand Jude 7 tells us Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed with eternal fire (aionios): the obvious meaning is the effects were eternal but not the fire.
Numerous examples could be cited to show the word gains its meaning from the subject it is addressing whether never ending or of limited duration.
In short I would say the word when applied to the destruction of the wicked is of limited duration: we can gain this concept from the fact that the fire which destroys them is followed by the recreation of the new earth. We can say when the word is used of the reward of those faithful to Christ we can see it in the light of the many promises of eternal life given throughout the Bible. There is nothing in the Bible that in any way suggests something beyond “eternal life”. Thus the “forever” there is of more permanent duration than the “forever” of destruction followed by re-creation.