Today at services the sermonette  and sermon message complemented each other nicely and had a great deal to say about the Millennium that is not always recognized. Although the gentleman who gave the sermon and I did not coordinate ahead of time, we both gave messages that dealt with the continuing issues that human beings would have to face even under the rule of Jesus Christ and resurrected believers. Both messages focused as well on the contrast that exists between the world that is and the world to come even if human nature will continue to be struggled against. And I had the chance to chat with the sermon speaker after lunch and we went further about the idea that some people have about the millennium that deserves reflection and emendation.
There appears to be widespread expectation that human nature will all of the sudden change to perfection once the Holy Spirit is widespread in humanity and once the world is under the authority of Jesus Christ and resurrected believers. It is well worth noting, though, that the Bible gives no such picture. The sermonette speaker discussed human authorities, who will be held accountable to God’s law to keep them from exploiting the people by seizing their land for his own property or for his servants or sons, as continuing in the millennium as discussed in Ezekiel 45 and 46. Following that, the sermon speaker, making a point from Isaiah 2, commented that Jesus Christ will still be rebuking many people in the Millennium, even though those people will be under His rule and will not be in a position to rebel. Human nature will still be struggled against in the world to come even with perfect government and God’s spirit widespread.
This ought not to surprise us. For one, we ought to remember that the perfect world is still yet to come after the millennium ends, when there will be no more death, no more sin, no more sorrow, and no more suffering of any kind. The millennium, as beautiful and as good as it is, is still not the perfect world for which we seek. It is the best case scenario for a world with human beings struggling against human nature, which is to be sure very good, but not perfect. This ought to be all the more obvious when we examine ourselves and realize that even with God’s Holy Spirit and the fact that we are around others with the Holy Spirit in our congregations and families that we and our lives are far from perfect and that we have to resist against human nature, not always successfully, over the course of our entire lives. And while it is certainly true that the external influence has an element to play, we have natures that are warped by our innate tendencies towards rebellion and sin, and the removal of Satan and his influence does not remove this tendency.
This is one of those areas where self-knowledge can give us insight to knowledge of other people and even some idea of what future expectations it just to have of humanity even under the best conditions possible with our fallen natures in existence still. To the extent that we know our own struggles to follow God and live according to His ways with His Holy Spirit working within us and with the encouragement of others who are engaged in the same task, and we all ought to be aware of these struggles and to recognize that the struggles we face in life are not all thanks to Satan. A certain amount of the struggles we face, a large amount of it, comes from the warps and twists of our own nature, influenced as it has been by generation after generation of sins within families and societies. To be sure, these vulnerabilities are exploited by the evil influences that are all around us, but those vulnerabilities exist even in the best circumstances. It will still be necessary in the world to come to tell others “This is the way, walk you in it,” just as it is necessary for people to tell us this here and now, regardless of how good we are at present and how much we know God’s way and strive sincerely to walk according to that way with all of our limited strength.