In the Revelation we find the wonderful period of the Lordís Kingdom. It will be a time when Jesus reigns as King of Kings and Prince of Peace. Satan will be locked up for one thousand years. This is why it is called The Millennium. The Millennium is described as a time when the wolf lives with the lamb, the cow and the bear eat together, the leopard lies with the goat and a little child will lead them. (Isaiah 11:6-8) It will be a time of peace and justice. All nations will come to the Temple and the Lord will settle disputes.
At the end of this idyllic time, Satan is released for a short period of time. He uses this time to deceive the nations, Gog and Magog, and gather up an army to bring against Jerusalem and the camp of Godís people. (Revelation 20:7-9) The question that always comes to my mind is - Why? Why would anyone rebel against the Lord after seeing His wonderful Kingdom? Why would the Lord release Satan to tempt mankind once again?
The reason that my finite mind overlooks is this; the Lord wishes for all people to have a free choice. Apparently, children will be born during the Millennium. They will grow to become adults without having experienced the terror of Satanís rebellion. There will apparently be many people who did not live through the terrible Satan-inspired events of the Tribulation period. One thousand years is a long time. And human memory is short. A decision will be required of these people just as it has for all people.
Joshua, the great leader of the Children of Israel said to them, ďchoose this day whom you will serve . . . But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.Ē (Joshua 24:15) The Children of Israel chose poorly, because there was a famine in the land during the first generation to live in the Promised Land. In the Bible famine usually indicates the withdrawal of the Lordís favor. (We find this famine in the Book of Ruth. Boaz, the man who married Ruth, was the son of Salmon and Rahab. (Matthew 1:5) The mother of Boaz was the woman who hid the two Israelite spies in the city of Jericho as the Children of Israel prepared to enter the Promised Land.)
Just as the Lord allowed the Children of Israel to decide, He allows us to make our own decisions. Sometimes, the decisions we make are poor ones. But the simplest and most important decision we can make regards whether we follow the Lord, or rebel against Him. It is just that simple.
The Lord will release Satan at the end of the Millennium to allow mankind to make just that very simple decision. Amazingly, a great army of men will decide to rebel against the Lord. But every person is allowed and will be allowed to decide on their own. Our Loving Heavenly Father wants us to love Him, but He will not force us to do so. Please pray for those who have yet to decide to love the Lord and to follow Jesus.