Jesus loves us enough to tell us how this will occur. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4: 16, 17).
Why would the redeemed ascend to heaven first at the beginning of the Millennium? The Bible gives us the answer, “I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them … and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4). The redeemed of all ages will get a chance to see God’s judgement during the Millennium. They will examine the heavenly records of the wicked during this time and see God’s justice upon the wicked before the Lord actually destroys the evil doers with fire at the end of the Millennium.
At the resurrection of the righteous some of them may wonder why their loved ones are not in heaven. Others may wonder why some of the people they thought should not be in heaven are actually there. This period of investigation will allow the righteous to find the answers to all their questions and thus all doubts will be erased concerning God’s justice before the judgement sentence (Daniel 7:9, 10; 1 Corinthians 6:2, 3).
At the close of the 1,000 years, Jesus will come down from heaven with the saints and the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:2, 3; Zechariah 14:1, 4, 5, 10). Then, God will resurrect the wicked (Revelation 20:5, 7, 8), thus Satan will be loosed from his bonds and will attempt to attack the Holy City with his followers. But God will send down His fire to consume them and purify the earth from all sin (Revelation 20:9, 10; 21:8). After that, God will create a new earth where the saints will live forever in peace (Revelation 21:3-5).
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In His service,
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