Will people sin during the Millennium?
You have asked an interesting and important question. The Millennium, which is the one-thousand-year reign of Christ on earth after the great and awful tribulation period and His coming back to earth (Revelation 20:1–6), is often referred to as a righteous reign. But the reign is righteous because of Christ’s righteousness (Isaiah 9:6, 7), not because of the people during it.
The Bible says that Christ will rule with a “rod of iron” (Psalm 2:9; Revelation 12:5), meaning that He will be in total control of all things. As a result, everyone will experience all kinds of blessings during the Millennium: world peace, restoration of Israel and God’s promises to the nation, perfect justice, universal prosperity, calmness in nature as manifested in animals’ losing their ferocity, perfect climate, and more (Isaiah 2; 11; 35; 60–62; Ezekiel 40—48; Micah 4; and many other passages).
All of the people who enter the Millennium will be believers (Hebrews 8:11); however; they will have children during that time, which may result in quite a population boom. Because of the ideal environment, the earth will be able to accommodate the increase in population, thus shattering the present myth about future overpopulation (Isaiah 65:20–25).
Many of these individuals will not follow the Lord Jesus in spite of the numerous blessings of that wonderful time. The seed of sin and rebellion will be in their hearts. (Various passages speak of Christ’s enemies during this millennial reign and imply that some people will feign obedience; examples are Psalms 110:2 and 72:9.) Satan will be bound during those thousand years (Revelation 20:1–3). But at the end of the thousand years, he will be loosed to test humanity. Many will follow him; Revelation 20:7 and 8 compare their number to “the sand of the sea.” Much of the outward evidences and expressions of sin during the thousand years will have been restrained because of Christ’s iron rule. This rebellion at the end of the Millennium will demonstrate that unregenerate people still have a sin nature; they will follow it and go with Satan when given the opportunity in spite of the wonderful conditions they have lived in.
The Garden of Eden and the Millennium exhibit parallels. Both prove that an improved, yes even a perfect, environment is not the answer to the problems of humankind. Similarly, in both places we see rejection of a perfect environment because of sin. During his temporary release at the end, Satan will undoubtedly come with attractive but deceptive promises that many people will fall for (just as he did in the Garden), despite what they have experienced during Christ’s reign. Thankfully the release of Satan and subsequent events including his final state are all under God’s control. As in the Garden, God will deal with Satan in the Millennium (Genesis 3:15; Romans 16:20; Revelation 20:10).
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