Dr. C. S. Lovett
MARANATHA FAMILY NEWSLETTER
CAN ANYONE BE SAVED DURING THE MILLENNIUM?
A dear lady wrote stating that she was reading an article on prophecy in which the author said he thought more people would be saved during the millennium than were saved during the 2000 years of the church age. He gave a reason—the population explosion that will occur when there is no death and no crime, and the earth explodes with food. She was puzzled by his remark. Not knowing how to handle it, she felt led to see if I thought he was on target.
HE WAS PARTLY RIGHT
In my view, he’s right about the population explosion. With the curse removed and no pain in childbirth, the population will snowball. If all a man has to do is harvest the abundance of the earth, having babies could become the chief enterprise of the kingdom. Even though only a few survive the plagues of god’s wrath (Matt. 24:22), masses of people will be born into the millennial kingdom. They should number in the billions. We note that when Satan is loosed at the end of the millennium, his army covers the earth (Rev.20:8-9). That part of the article was clearly on target.
But when the writer speaks of people being saved during the millennium, that is another matter. On the surface, one would suppose that with the Lord on earth and His glory obvious to all, the masses of people would flock to Him for salvation. But something strange occurs when 1000 years have passed. Satan is released from the abyss where he’s always been confined, and he goes out to deceive the nations once more.
The reason God did not send the devil into the lake of fire, as He did the beast and the false prophet, was because He had one more task for Satan. The unregenerate population of the earth had yet to be tested. So when Satan is released to wield his beguiling deceptions again, he finds the masses ready for him. He has no trouble rousing the nations to “march across the breadth of the earth” to wage war against the Lord (Rev.7-9). With their number as “the sand of the seashore,” the whole non-Christian world is ready to turn against the Lord and follow the devil.
WHY IS SATAN INVOLVED?
One would think there would be no place for Satan in God’s plan once Jesus assumes control of the world. With people responding to Jesus’ presence as the “King of kings,” and the earth filled with the knowledge of the Lord (Isa. 11:9), it must be asked, “Can mere knowledge of the Lord make men godly?” That’s why Satan is needed—to answer that question. An expert in bringing out the evil hidden deep in men’s hearts, Satan will provide the perfect test for the inhabitants of Jesus’ kingdom. Not the Christians, of course. Their testing is behind them. With their God-given righteousness, they will be part of Jesus’ government.
After men have lived under the righteous reign of Jesus for 1000 years, we need to see what effect the ENVIRONMENT has had on them. Some believe that given the proper environment, people will love righteousness and hate evil. The devil’s work answers that question too. What we find is that 1000 years of living under the personal reign of Jesus cannot make a man righteous. No amount of exposure to truth transforms an unregenerate man into a child of God.
SO WHAT’S WRONG?
Where is the harvest the writer spoke of? Where are all those who are supposed to come to the Lord during the millennium? It would seem the opposite is true. Satan reaps the harvest and not one single person is saved. Why not? Here’s a solid truth from the Word of God. To get into God’s family, people need to be BORN AGAIN. The only way anyone can have the life of God is to be born of God. At the physical level, a father passes his life on to his offspring. The same is true at the spiritual level. The way a person can receive life from another is to be born of him. Life can only be passed on by the birth process. So how is spiritual life passed on during the millennium? Here is the shocking truth—IT IS NOT!
There is no way for people to be born again during the kingdom. Therefore, there is no way for people to be saved during the millennium. Does that surprise you? While you may not hear this truth preached very often, it stands out clearly in God’s Word.
LET’S TAKE IT IN STEPS:
1. Jesus announced this truth to His disciples. When He was instructing them concerning His return and the need to be ready for it, He gave them the parable of the Ten Virgins (Matt. 25:1-13). Five were ready for the master’s return and five were not. Those who were ready went into the wedding banquet with Him and the door was shut. Those who were not ready found the door slammed in their faces when they arrived later. There was no second chance for them. The master denied ever knowing them.
When He gave the parable, the Lord said, “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like…” letting us know that this will be the situation when He returns. That door is never opened again. With the Lord appearing in the sky at the last trumpet, we understand the salvation door to be closed at that moment.
2. Once Jesus appears and “every eye shall see Him,” the program shifts from FAITH TO SIGHT. People on earth will see Jesus coming in His glory, “And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Luke 21:27).
If salvation is by faith, as the Bible insists, and faith is no longer needed once Jesus appears, it is obvious people cannot be saved after that point. As Paul says, “Hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees?” (Rom. 8:24). Once Jesus is visible to all, the faith method of saving men is over. During the millennial kingdom, Jesus will be visible for 1000 years.
3. To be saved, people have to be born of the Spirit. Jesus said this was an absolute requirement: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). What is more, Jesus said that no one could come to Him unless he were drawn by the Spirit (John 6:44). And He added, “It is the Spirit that gives life” (John 6:63).
But is the Holy Spirit operating in the kingdom? No. Jesus made it very clear that while He was on earth in a body, the Spirit could not come (John 16:7). It was necessary for Jesus to leave before the Holy Spirit could come and minister to men. Why? The Spirit is the Spirit of Christ operating in the hearts of men. It had to be one way or the other. Jesus had to be either in bodily form or in the Spirit, but not at the same time. Since He is returning in a body that is visible to all, He will not be operating in the Spirit. That being the case, it will be impossible for people to be born of the Spirit during the kingdom.
WHY DO IT THIS WAY?
Why have a 1000-year kingdom on earth during which no one is saved?
The answer: The millennial kingdom is not evangelical. It is not to win souls. That program is finished when Jesus appears in the sky. The Lord won’t return until His family is complete. He will not appear until the last man to be saved has said yes to His invitation. Consequently, the millennial kingdom is a totally different program, one that accomplishes remarkable things. With my space almost gone, I can only offer a sketchy list:
1. The kingdom is Jesus’ inheritance. The angel told Mary that her son would sit upon the throne of His Father David. This kingdom is His reward for faithful obedience as a man.
2. The kingdom is a transition school where you and I will learn to handle authority and perform in jobs that we will have in eternity. We will possibly learn some aspects of omnipotence and omnipresence.
3. The kingdom will show that God was just in closing the salvation door when Jesus appears. It will be seen that all those coming into the kingdom after surviving the bowls of God’s wrath, as well as those born into the kingdom, care nothing for righteousness. They prefer to go with Satan rather than Jesus.
4. God made promises to Israel that He must keep. Those promises were both physical and spiritual. Since the spiritual promises are all IN CHRIST, the Jews by rejecting Jesus, forfeited them. Of course, any Jew today can have them by accepting Jesus. The physical promises, on the other hand, will be fulfilled in the millennium. Israel will be exalted above all other nations as the empress of the world. God keeps His Word.
I have presented them to you because it does so much for your spirit to know what’s coming. It gives you an opportunity to consider getting ready to meet Jesus in the air. The best thing the Word of God can do for us is to help us prepare to stand before the Lord. Now you know why I write as I do. I want you ready for that Day!
(Come, Lord Jesus)
C. S. LOVETT
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