Millennium vs. New Jerusalem|
Q. I'm confused over the New Jerusalem and the Millennium. What's the difference? (I just want a short, really simple answer. I don't know much about the Bible or theology). Thanks for your answers!
1000 Year Kingdom on Earth
Remember that the Millennium is like it sounds: it is a period of 1,000 years (just as a century is 100 years). During the last part of the catastrophic 7-year tribulation, Christ returns to restore the Earth and to set up a temporary kingdom which will last 1,000 years. That is the Millennium.
Prior to New Earth&New Jerusalem
The Millennium is instituted prior to the creation of the new heavens and earth and the New Jerusalem (which seems to be a description of an awe-inspiring space-city). The New Jerusalem is the final home for believers. You will find its description in the last two chapters of the book of Revelation - chapters 21 and 22.
The Tribulation period encompasses horrid disasters such as a possible asteroid slamming into Earth, gross earthquakes, global nuclear wars, polluted seas and rivers, and possibly a polar shift, among other things. We find a description of this time period in Revelation chapters 6-18 as well as in parts of the book of Isaiah.
Jesus tells us, "if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short" (Matthew 24:22, ESV).
Messianic Kingdom - Millennium
After the tribulation and during the 1000 year reign of Christ, the predatory instincts of animals will give way to harmony where the wolf will dwell with the lamb - an environmental nirvana.
The earth will be idyllic at this time partially due to the fact that Satan will be imprisoned in the Abyss for the 1,000 year Millennial period (Rev. 20:1-3).
After this period Satan will be loosed again, and some men will turn to sin rather than follow Christ. Therefore, the Millennium is a finite period of time.
Following the Great White Throne Judgment mentioned in the last chapters of Revelation, the New Jerusalem will come down out of heaven to a new heavens and earth. This will be our final, permanent home.
Benware, Paul. 1995. Understanding end times prophecy. Chicago: Moody.
Ice, Thomas. 2001. Charting the end times. Eugene, OR: Harvest House.
Author Ken Emiliio holds an M.A. in Biblical Studies from Louisiana Baptist University. Valorie received the M.A. in History from UCLA.