MILLENNIUM: An Eschatological View

My Eschatological View of the Millennium – by John Dunn

In the OT Scriptures, the vision of the Day of the Lord is often presented as a singular cosmic event, in which Messiah both saves his people and issues cataclysmic destruction upon the wicked. However, the mystery of the New Covenant Age is that Messiah’s coming is fulfilled in two parts. He came the first time in lowliness and servanthood to die on a cross, to save. The second time he will come as a consuming fire to judge and destroy the wicked.

In this way, the Day of the Lord can be understood as an eschatological Age. It has begun in salvation (Messiah’s Incarnation), is presently coming (by the Spirit), and will be finally consummated at Christ’s visible return in fiery judgment. We are living in the age of the Day of the Lord, which is “as a thousand years”, as Peter confirms:

“But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the DAY of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day”. (2 Pet. 3:7-8, see also Ps 90:4)

In this way, I believe the “thousand years” in Revelation 20 is referring to the eschatological age of the Day of the Lord in which we are presently living, an indeterminable period which is “as a thousand years”, and in which the elect are being saved and the ungodly are presently storing up wrath for themselves for the Day of wrath. (Rom 2:4-5)

Jesus himself indicated as much in Luke 4:17-21 when he proclaimed that he had fulfilled Isaiah 61:1-2. But he immediately closed the scroll and sat down in mid-verse, precisely before finishing the rest of verse 2, “ and the Day of vengeance of our God.” The proclamation of the Good News and the Day of vengeance are intimately united in the same eschatological event known as the Day of the Lord. But Jesus indicated here that the vengeance was yet to come. The Day of the Lord has come in Messiah’s full salvation. But the Day of the Lord’s final vengeance is yet future.

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