Question:

I don’t even know what to teach my children. Do I tell them “no heaven isn’t for you ... you’ll reign on earth after sleeping for a million years or so”?

I’m starting to feel like Christianity is all about feelings. We have been taught what makes us feel good.

Our minds can’t fully grasp no longer existing. I know I can’t. The idea of no longer being in a conscious state scares me so much.

I hate it so much that we were born just to fight to earn more life or escape torture. I hate that we’ve been taught for years to believe people are already in heaven when Jesus tells us that souls are sleeping waiting to be resurrected. It makes me cringe with anxiety thinking about being asleep for a million years hoping to be woken up one day. My chest is aching thinking about it. What if we don’t resurrect? What am I fighting for? So I have to have faith in this life and then hope that faith lasts when my souls and body die and hopefully be brought back to life.

Living is so hard when death is always on your mind. Thank God this hasn’t happened, but it makes me want to live in a bubble to escape being harmed in any way so I can try to be alive when he comes to escape the sleeping period. Think about all those that have died thousands of years ago. They’re still asleep in the grave.

Why don’t churches teach about the millennial period and what occurs during that time? What happens after that time? How can I find peace with the present when I have an appointment with death that I can’t avoid?

Answer:

Your note presents a hodge-podge of various beliefs blended in odd ways. I'm left puzzled how you came to these conclusions because they certainly don't come from the Bible.

First, the book of Revelation uses "a thousand years" as a symbol of Jesus' reign. In symbolism, a thousand is used to represent all of something. "For every beast of the forest is Mine, the cattle on a thousand hills" (Psalms 50:10). This is saying that all beasts belong to God. It is not saying that there are 1,000 hills where God keeps His cattle. Thus, the thousand-year reign of Christ means he is reigning all the remaining years of the earth -- however long that may be. "For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death" (I Corinthians 15:25-26). His reign is not in the future, but currently occurring. It is not that Jesus will be Lord. He is the Lord. "And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth'" (Matthew 28:19).

Death is abolished at Jesus' second coming. "Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment" (John 5:28-29). Until that time, those who have died wait for the resurrection in hades. It is not an unconscious waiting. Nor is it a state of non-existence. When Jesus talked about it in the story of the rich man and Lazarus, both the rich man and Abraham were conscious and we can assume that Lazarus was aware as well (Luke 16:19-31).

The world hasn't existed for millions of years that is merely the tale told by those believing in evolution. See How Old Is the World? I highly doubt this world will continue for a million years. When Jesus returns, that will be the end of this world. "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells" (II Peter 3:10-13).

Thus, Christians will not be reigning on a non-existent world after Jesus returns. Instead, the Bible talks about the Christian's current reign. See The Christian's Reign.

Faith is having full trust in what you believe. "And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6). You seem to believe in God, but you don't have faith that God keeps His word. You need to work on that.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email