September 22, 2022 | Silver Spring, Maryland, United States | Ted N.C. Wilson, President, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Hello, friends. As we see tragedies, heartbreak, wars, disasters and more taking place all around the world, have you ever wondered if there ever be an end to sin and suffering and sorrow? 

The answer is a glorious yes! One day, all of this will come to an end forever! But, you might wonder, how will that happen? 

As we know from Scripture, Christ will come again to this earth to take His children to heaven. After the Second Coming, there is a 1000-year time period called The Millennium in which all the believers will live in heaven until Satan and sin is forever destroyed, and the Earth is made new again.  

Our Seventh-day Adventist Fundamental Belief #27 explains it this way: 

“The millennium is the thousand-year reign of Christ with His saints in heaven between the first and second resurrections. During this time the wicked dead will be judged; the earth will be utterly desolate, without living human inhabitants, but occupied by Satan and his angels. At its close, Christ with His saints and the Holy City will descend from heaven to earth. The unrighteous dead will then be resurrected, and with Satan and his angels will surround the city; but fire from God will consume them and cleanse the earth. The universe will thus be freed of sin and sinners forever.” 

The book of Revelation gives us a clear description of how this thousand-year period will unfold: 

“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while” (Rev. 20:1-3). 

This thousand-year period takes place between the first and second resurrection: the resurrection of the righteous and the resurrection of the wicked. It begins with Satan being locked up in a pit, along with all the angels who chose to follow him. 

So where is this pit where Satan is to be locked up so he ‘might not deceive the nations any longer’? Though the Bible doesn’t specifically state it, we can infer this pit refers to the earth after the resurrection of the saints.  

All the righteous have already been taken to Heaven to live with Christ, and the wicked are still sleeping in their graves. There is no one on earth for Satan to deceive. The entire planet is empty, left in ruins, without a single human being. 

The believers will “reign with Christ for a thousand years,” spending the millennium in the joys and wonders of heaven.  

What will reigning with Christ entail? First Corinthians 6:2-3 offers this insight: “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?” 

During the Millennium we will be allowed to go through the records God has been keeping since earth began. You can read more about that in Revelation 20:12. God is going to read the records and judge the case of every person who has ever lived, and we will be able to review those records. We will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God truly is a good and righteous judge. 

And what will Satan and his angels be doing during the thousand years? The Bible tells us that they will be stuck on earth with no one left to deceive.  

But the question still remains, how will sin end? God’s word assures us that sin will one day be destroyed and the earth will be made whole again, just like it was in the Garden of Eden. The book of Revelation tells us exactly how it will happen. We read in chapter 20, verses 7-10: 

Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” 

When God returns to earth to cleanse it, He begins with the second resurrection—the resurrection of the wicked. This is when all those who rebelled against God, who refused Jesus and sided with Satan, will be brought back to life to be judged. 

When Satan sees all these people, he tries one final deception. He urges all the wicked to turn and attack the Holy City, claiming they can conquer it and take it as their own. 

Satan and his army march up to the Holy City and prepare to attack, but their rebellion is short-lived. Fire falls from heaven and burns them up, leaving nothing but ashes. Satan and his followers are utterly destroyed. 

Those who chose the side of sin and rebellion will be consumed in an instant. Satan however, the one responsible for this whole deception, will be thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur. Revelation says that Satan will burn forever and ever. This, however, does not mean that Satan will be spending all of eternity burning in torment.  

Satan is not immortal, nor would God leave him in a state of constant torture for all of eternity. Scripture says that only the righteous will have eternal life.  

However, Satan’s punishment will be forever in the sense that it will be permanent. Once Satan is destroyed, nothing in all creation can bring him back. And with Satan’s ultimate death, evil dies too, releasing the hold it once had on our world. 

This is what Scripture means when it talks of the “second death” — a permanent destruction from which there can be no resurrection. Those who experience the second death are gone forever, including Satan. If you would like to learn more about the millennium and the end of sin, I invite you to visit the URL at the bottom of the screen. [INSERT: www.adventist.org/millennium-and-the-end-of-sin/

John the Revelator describes what happens after Satan is destroyed: 

“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’ 

Then He who sat on the throne said, ’Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” (Revelation 21:1-5) 

This may be the most beautiful passage in all of Scripture. It holds Jesus’ ultimate promise, that one day He will come back for us and make everything right again. All wounds will be healed, all losses will be restored. We will be His people, like we were always meant to be, living in joy and peace with Him for all eternity. What a glorious day that will be!  

As we consider the wonderful things God has in store for us, I invite you to pray with me just now. Father in heaven. Thank you for unfolding to us in the Book of Revelation and elsewhere the wonderful plan that you have for restoring this Earth to complete harmony and peace all through the blood of Jesus Christ, through the power of God. Thank you for the privilege that we will have of living with you throughout eternity, with never a fear of temptation or of anything from Satan again. Thank you for the promise of the destruction of sin forever. Now we entrust our lives into your hands through the powerful name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

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