A while back, a reader asked for my thoughts on who will populate the earth during the Millennium Kingdom. This is an important topic because many Rapture debates can hinge on this issue. For instance, many Pre-Trib supporters believe that Post-Trib supporters can’t answer this question. As a result, they dismiss the Post-Trib position.
Given the topic’s importance, I will explain who will populate the Millennium Kingdom in this article.
The Millennium Kingdom
The Millennium Kingdom is a 1,000 year kingdom that will take place after the tribulation. At that time, Satan will be in prison and Christ will reign over the kingdoms of the world (Revelation 20:1-6).
Even though Satan will be in prison, sin will still exist during the Millennium. We know that sin will exist based on these facts:
- Death will still exist (Isaiah 66:20).
- Some kingdoms may be punished for not observing the Feast of Tabernacles, which means they will disobey Christ (Zechariah 14:16-19).
- At the end of the Millennium, the kingdoms of the earth will attack Jerusalem in the Gog-Magog war described in Revelation 20:7-9.
The presence of sin means that not everyone alive at that time will have a glorified body. Who are these people?
The Resurrected Saints
The righteous who take part in the Rapture will be around during the Millennium. They will serve in various administrative and priestly roles (Luke 19:16-19, Revelation 20:5-6). However, it is unlikely that the righteous will take part in the repopulating the earth. They will have transformed bodies that will make them like angels:
“For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.” (Matthew 22:30)
They will not be part of those who will sin during the Millennium. Their glorified bodies will not come with the problems that our mortal bodies have (1 Corinthians 15:42-53).
The Saved Remnant of Israel
The saved remnant of Israel will be part of the Millennium Kingdom. These are the people of Israel who will survive the horrors of the tribulation and will trust Christ as their savior when He comes to save His people and destroy the wicked.
The Surviving Gentiles
The Bible indicates that a group of surviving Gentiles will be on the earth during the Millennium:
- Isaiah describes how the surviving nations will help escort the surviving remnant of Israel to the land of Israel (Isaiah 49:22, 60:3-4, 9, 66:19-20).
- Zechariah describes the surviving nations being required to take part in the Feast of Tabernacles each year during the Millennium (Zechariah 14:16-19).
I will explain where this group of survivors comes from next.
Survivors of the Harvest
The third angel of Revelation 14:6-11 warns the people of the earth that dire consequences will come for those who accept the Mark of the Beast:
“(9) And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, (10) The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: (11) And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” (Revelation 14:9-11)
This announcement suggests that not everyone will possess the Mark of the Beast at that time.
- The angel warns those who will listen to stay away from accepting the Mark of the Beast.
- Beyond the angel’s warning, it is likely that some will refuse to join the Mark of the Beast system because of a mistrust of authority or a desire to be self-sufficient.
The angel warns that those who accept the Mark of the Beast will be punished in the presence of Christ and His angels. The time of their punishment will coincide with the end time harvest of the earth referred to in the Parable of the Wheat and Tares:
“(40) As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. (41) The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; (42) And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (43) Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:41-43)
The Parable of the Wheat and Tares and the third angel of Revelation 14:6-11 describe a common fate for those punished. Given this parallel, we can deduce that those who “offend, and them which do iniquity” in the Parable of the Wheat and Tares represent those who will take the Mark of the Beast.
I believe Gentiles who refuse to take the Mark of the Beast and do not take part in the Rapture will be exempt from the harvest of the tares. These people will await their fate at the Sheep and Goat Judgment.
The Sheep and Goat Judgment
The Sheep and Goat Judgment will take place before the start of the Millennium. Christ will judge the surviving Gentiles for how they treat His people during the tribulation:
“(31) When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: (32) And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: (33) And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.” (Matthew 25:31-33)
The “sheep” are those who treat Christ’s people well (think of a tribulation version of Oskar Schindler). They will be eligible to enter the Millennium:
“(34) Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: (35) For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: (36) Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. (37) Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? (38) When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? (39) Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? (40) And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:34-40)
The “goats” are those who did not treat Christ’s people well. They will be condemned:
“(41) Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: (42) For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: (43) I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. (44) Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? (45) Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. (46) And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Matthew 25:41-46)
I believe the Gentiles who survive the Sheep and Goat Judgment will accept Christ as their savior. They will enter the Millennium as saved people. But they will have their mortal bodies since they did not take part in the Rapture.
A Fourth Group in the Millennium Kingdom?
So far, we have seen that these groups will be present in the Millennium Kingdom:
- The Resurrected Saints
- The Saved Remnant of Israel
- The Surviving Gentiles Who Survive the Sheep and Goat Judgment.
I want to mention briefly a fourth group of individuals who also may populate the Millennium at the beginning: young children.
There will be young children on the earth during the tribulation. Some of them may survive to see the end of the tribulation. I don’t rule out the possibility that these survivors may populate the earth at the start of the Millennium. Only God truly knows the answer and knows the best ways to deal with children who will be too young to understand what took place around them.
The Millennium Kingdom will be populated by the resurrected saints, the saved remnant of Israel, the Gentiles who survive the Sheep and Goat Judgment, and possibly young children who survive the tribulation.
Remember, sin will still exist on the earth at that time. As a result, later generations may not adhere to the faith like people will do when the Millennium starts. Eventually, many will rebel. Satan will lead them in the Gog-Magog war of Revelation 20:7-9.
I hope you found this article insightful. I do not believe the question: “Who will populate the earth during the Millennium Kingdom?” should be used to discredit the Post-Trib position. The answer I gave you fits in a Post-Trib framework.
In contrast, the Parable of the Wheat and Tares cited in this article needs to be accounted for by supporters of the Pre-Trib Rapture. I explain why this parable presents issues for the Pre-Trib position in my article: “Luke 17:37: The Most Overlooked Bible Prophecy Verse in the Bible”. I invite you to check out that article.
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