I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.Revelation 20:4 NIV
The millennium kingdom; Christ’s reign with tribulation martyrs for a thousand years. The major categories of how people understand the end times are identified by how one understands these 6 verses. Is it a literal 1000 year reign of Christ on the earth that happens after his second coming? A spiritual reign on earth leading up to his return? Something else altogether? Or is it really all that important what we believe it to mean? Personally, I tend toward the second and fourth views. I do believe that Christ is reigning over his kingdom now. And I do not believe this is a passage that is core to our faith as believers.
What Is Important?
What is important? Christ is returning to claim his chosen ones, including those who have physically died while waiting for his return. And we will be with him forever. Those who have not come to Christ in faith will face judgment and eternal destruction. Just how a millennium kingdom might be wedged into that is unknown to me. I tend toward not taking it as a literal 1000 reign on earth because 1) I don’t find it taught elsewhere in Scripture, 2) I understand Christ to be reigning now, and 3) it is hard for me to picture what purpose it would serve. But at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter what I believe about it. God will do what he has planned. So thankful that he is in charge and not me.