The Righteous Reign with Christ a Thousand Years
God has very definite plans for the righteous in heaven. In the Bible there are many clues showing what these plans are. In Romans and 2 Timothy, we find interesting bits of information.

  • For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
  • For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
  • The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
  • And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Romans 8:14-17.
  • Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
  • It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
  • If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 2 Timothy 2:10-12.

The righteous have now become the children of God by adoption. They were led by the Spirit of God and were able to obtain their salvation through Jesus. So now, they can call God their father or daddy because they have become adopted into the family of God!

In addition, God has allowed His chosen ones to be covered in eternal glory and to live with Him. They will become joint-heirs with Christ and they will actually be glorified together with Christ.

In this amazing experience, the righteous will actually reign with Christ! In 1 Corinthians, we see that the righteous will even act as judges:

  • Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
  • Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 1 Corinthians 6:2-3.

The righteous will judge the wicked, both those who lived on the earth and also the evil angels that had tempted people to go against God.

In Revelation 20, we find that it is during the 1000 year millennium that the righteous live and reign with Christ. It is during this 1000 years that judgment is given into the hands of the righteous. So, it is at this time that they will judge both the wicked angels and people:

  • And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
  • But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finishedThis is the first resurrection.
  • Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. Revelation 20:4-6.

So, the righteous live and reign with Christ for a thousand years. They judge the wicked and they will be priests of God and of Christ. They are blessed and holy because they were raised in the first resurrection. This is the resurrection of the righteous when Jesus came. The wicked will not be resurrected until the 1000 years are finished. That is when the wicked will be judged and they will experience the second death from which they will never live again. They will cease to exist.

The righteous, as it says in verse six, will never experience the second death. The second death is only for the wicked, not the righteous. All through the Bible, the first death is described as a sleep because God will resurrect all people from the grave. (Click on: “What happens when people die?” to better understand the first death that almost all people will experience.) Only those who are living when Jesus comes will never see death.

As we will soon see, it is the wicked, who will not only die the first time, but they will be raised up at the end of the 1000 years to receive judgement and then they will die the second death from which there is no returning. They will cease to exist. But the second death has no power against those who took part in the first resurrection of the righteous, at Christ’s second coming, at the beginning of the 1000 years.