Jesus millennial reign and the NGC Strategy
Since there appears to be so many indicators for the end times period I have been paying close attention, in a WWJD sense, to how Jesus is likely to rule in the post-tribulation millennial period. I’m assuming there is some immanency to that period. In a sense Christian have always thought that way as they sought to apply God’s commands in a Christianised culture. The NGC Strategy is very much about turning from ‘present age’ to millennial age thinking. What will Jesus do in the Millennium? We know he will be ruling and reigning with those caught up to him – the Church, his bride.. How will he exercise his kingship. I address this in my book NGC:
“In his millennial reign Jesus will surely concern himself with the application of the five core principles. Will he not allow people to exercise their free will (1) – within his just boundaries? They will have the right to choose from the repertoire of ‘rightness’. If they don’t they will be subject to that other core principle – love God by obeying his commands (2). People will discover Jesus takes his commands very seriously and rules with a “rod of iron” (Rev 2:26-27; 12:5). He will expect thm to exercise individual responsibility (3). He will have them love their neighbour (4) and he will see that they have every opportunity to achieve their made in God’s image potential (5). Hence the NGC model’s close ties to God’s economy – to his way of doing things.” (NGC: Next Generation Church: A Church Resolved to Grow Expansively and Spark the Restoration of Western Civilisation- available free from www.lastpost.net).
A NGC stands against the anti-Christ forces at work by aligning with God against the things he hates, in our love for our neighbour and God’s commands. The two giants of liberalism and global corporatism now executing the whole anti-Christian agenda in our times have to be confronted, because that is what Jesus would and will do. We don’t do this to inaugurate a ‘kingdom on earth’, but to save souls by re-awakening people to Christianity to increase the pool of those interested in the faith. The NGC Strategy is a four stage process: Stimulate much greater community interest in the Church using the 12 Reforms. Use those same reforms to pivot conversations with the unsaved to the 5 core Christian principles behind the reforms. Then transition naturally from there to the gospel. The appeal is straight forward. If the Church can apply its major principles to formulate ground-braking civilisational reform how much more can the gospel transform individual lives? I’ve used stages 2-4 in conversations, confirming it makes moving a conversation to the gospel more naturally seamless and easier than most evangelistic practices used by contemporary Christians.
I’m convinced the pre-millennialist position is correct. Jesus will rule with a rod of iron for a thousand years. The references to a literal 1,000 years are obvious (c.f. Rev 20) It seems reasonable to think about how he will do that, especially as we are told we will reign with him (2 Tim 2:12,). I’m also mindful of the fact that while we are not saved by works we are judged according to them (1 Cor 3:12, 2 Cor 5:10). I don’t know about you but I want to take my place in the millennial kingdom as one judged as precious metal, not hay and stubble. The NGC Strategy is founded on this aspiration. That is why it focuses on maximising opportunities for the two great commands, because that is WJWD. We will almost certainly be judged by God according to how closely we loved God by obeying his commands. A NGC will by definition come to explicitly revolve all it is around those two great commands. The 12 Reforms and the five core CWV principles are both the practical and spiritual prime-movers for doing so. That is not to say that relational activity within the ‘church life’ context is not important. But it cannot rank as highly as the works which bring the salt and light of God’s biblical principles and statutes to bear on the anti-Christian forces blinding the un-regenerate to truth (2 Cor 10:5). Churches unresponsive to the times in which they exist cannot effectively act ambassadorially (2 Cor 5:20) for Christ. You might note that my biblical referencing comes out of Paul’s epistles to the Corinthians; a church with which Paul had a real struggle to keep on the straight and narrow.
The 12 Reforms extract from the Bible’s five core world view principles those actions which would, if implemented, bring down the two giants doing all the things God hates (c.f. Prov 6 and Is 59). This has to be why Jesus eventually judges the world and why he will need to reign without sparing the rod during his millennial reign. Table 14 in my book NGC contrasts some of the major unrighteous and unjust positions adopted by the two giants with Jesus likely response were it the millennium. The 12 Reforms have been benchmarked against Jesus likely millennial action by extrapolating them all from the five core CWV principles. If their effect, in our times, is to achieve what Jesus is most likely to do they cannot be dismissed as outside the Church’s mandate. No, they lie at the heart of its calling.
Take a moment to think about what the millennium will be like. By my reading a third of the world’s population survive the Tribulation. That is probably in the region of 2.5 billion. Now consider this:
· The Church has gone to be with Christ (caught up to be with him).
· The surviving Jews and those saved during the Tribulation go into the millennium. They will have children who may or may not convert to Christ.
· The separation of the sheep and goats judgement (c.f. Mt 25) may consign the many unsaved survivors to Hell, leaving only a small number left for the Millennium. But this is implausible because if Jesus has to rule with his rod of iron there must be un-regenerate people living through the millennium. The 1,000 years would also seem to be of no real necessity if only those saved, after the Church is taken up to be with Christ, remain.
· It is possible the sheep and goats judgement applies more specifically to the unsaved only, preserving those who fit the criteria in Ro 2:14-16 and those who, like Rahab, supported Israel, or the grafted branches (Christians) during the Tribulation (Ro 9, Mt 25:40). This would leave large numbers from across the nations populating the world.
· Or, all judgements of both the saved and unsaved occur at end of the Millennium, as described in Rev 20. All those surviving the Tribulation would therefore go on into the Millennium. This and the previous bullet point would explain why Satan finds many willing to side with him when he is released at the end of the thousand years (Rev. 20).
Jesus will rule, in all likelihood, over very large numbers of people with the population under God’s economy growing exponentially through the thousand years. The nations will still exist because we are told all the nations will come and bow before Jesus because his righteous acts have been revealed (c.f. Rev 15:4). That must refer to the millennial period because it certainly has not happened and is not prophecied to happen this side of the millennium.
So here it is. There are and will be large number of unsaved people both sides of the Tribulation[CS1] . The principles governing how they should act and how thy will be ruled are also the same both sides of the Tribulation. Those principles are the five core CWV principles. Jesus will not allow manifestations of the things he hates (c.f. Prov 6 and Is 59) once he has returned. Therefore the NGC Strategy takes a WWJD position. It confronts the giants sanctioning all the things God hates (liberalism and corporatism) using reform measures predicated on the five core principles just as Jesus will do in the millennium. That is the unique character of the NGC Strategy.