When Christians think about life after death, oft times they think of the new heavens and new earth basking in the light of the heavenly city New Jerusalem. However, prior to that time Christians will return to earth with Christ and spend 1,000 very active years with Him immediately after the tribulation period.
“But hold fast what you have till I come. And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations…” Revelation 2:25-26
The Greek word ‘overcome’ can be translated to prevail, triumph, subdue, or to be victorious.
All who are Christ’s will overcome because that promise is given to all who have been redeemed and whose names are in the Book of Life.
The Apostle John also describes the future reign of those who become Christ followers during the tribulation period and martyred for their stand.
“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God…and they lived and reigned with Christ for the thousand years.” Revelation 20:4-4
There are some who attempt to soften the meaning of the term ‘beheaded’ saying that the word means execution by any means, however, the Greek for beheaded is pelekisowhich means ‘to chop off or behead with an axe’.
Jesus revealed in His letter to the church in Thyatira as noted above that the saints would have ‘power over the nations.’ In the gospel records He told His disciples that they would also judge the twelve tribes of Israel in the millennial kingdom.
“But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed upon Me, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Luke 22:28-30
Recall when Jesus ate the Passover with His disciples He revealed the New Covenant based on His shed blood and announced that He would not drink the fruit of the vine with them again until the coming Kingdom.
“But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” Matthew 26:29
Therefore, God has a wonderful plan for His elect who were created in His own image.
“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” Romans 8:29-30
Subsequently God’s elect are joint heirs with Christ.
As joint heirs with Christ, redeemed man will reign with Him not only over the nations but also over God’s chosen nation of Israel.
That being the case, how is redeemed man preparing for their future role? The Apostle Paul sheds light on training during the present age. It is based on how Christians apply God’s revelations to present day living. For example, consider how the Christian Brotherhood is to relate to non members.
“Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge?” 1 Corinthians 6:1-4
The above profound passage instructs Christians not to look to the world for wisdom in differentiating right from wrong or good from evil. In other words, if the saints are to judge the nations, Israel, and angels in the future, they must apply God’s precepts in the present age in preparation for their role in the millennial kingdom.
It’s called ‘on the job training’.