Premillennialists believe Jesus will return, reign with His saints for 1,000 years, and then after the 1,000 years are completed the final judgment of the wicked will happen.

Matthew 25:31-46 states that "when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them from one another . . . ." The righteous will be sent off into the kingdom, while the wicked will be sent off into Hell. And so "These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

I'm curious how Premillennialists typically explain this passage. At first blush it looks like it's saying the final judgment happens right at the Lord's return -- for both the righteous and the wicked.

  • Is your question really, "What is the basis of the '1000 year reign' belief?" or "How are the '1000 year reign' belief and Matthew 25:31-46 reconciled in the premillennialist/chiliasm tradition?" Jun 26 '15 at 14:20

At first blush it looks like it's saying the final judgment happens right at the Lord's return -- for both the righteous and the wicked.

Matthew 25:32 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:

This division is done between those who followed Jesus under great persecution during the tribulation and those who persecuted them.

Matthew 25:40 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.

Jesus declares that the contempt, hatred, and murderous rage people had against his followers (brethren) during the tribulation is justification for the death penalty and also indicates that at the second resurrection they will face their final judgment.

Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

The tribulation period starts with the death of 25% of the people on earth.

Revelation 6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

A further third of those remaining are killed during the tribulation.

Revelation 9:18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.

The picture painted in Revelation is not one of confusion or mystery. One gets the idea that most people know who God is and why things are happening and instead of sorrow and shame, they shake their fist in the face of God and come together to try to fight him.

Revelation 16:14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

Revelation 16:21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

The judgment is similar to that which will take place at the second resurrection. Those who are judged to have tortured and killed the followers of Jesus (his brethren) will eventually end up in hell. This particular judgment is for death in that they have no role to fulfill in the 1,000 year kingdom.

Matthew 25:34 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:

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