As we have seen in previous chapters, it is at the first stage of Christ's second coming that the Church is removed from earth. At the Redeemer's descent from Heaven, the Church, like Enoch and Elijah, is miraculously caught up, caught up to meet the Lord in the air and evermore shall it be with its glorious Head. Therefore, when the Saviour returns to the earth, the Church will accompany Him. This is clear from Col.3:4 and Jude 14, so often quoted in these pages.
Exactly what part the Church will play during the Millennium it is not easy to say. Few details are revealed. A moment's reflection will show why this is the case. It is in the Old Testament that the Millennium receives the fullest consideration, whereas the Church is the subject of New Testament revelation. Moreover, we must remember that the Millennium is the time when God's Kingdom is revealed on earth, whereas the Church is a Heavenly creation, and has a heavenly citizenship and destiny (Phil.3:20; 1 Pet.1:4). Nevertheless, one or two things are sure. The Church will be with Christ throughout the Millennium, and not only so, the saints will reign with Him -- |And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou was slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on (or |over|) the earth(Rev.5:9, 10). And again we read, |Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years|(Rev.20:6). Who an picture the blessed accomplishment of this promise! For two thousand years the saints have (more or less) lived as strangers and pilgrims on the earth. Many of them have been maligned, ostracized, persecuted and martyred. They went forth unto Christ |without the camp, bearing His reproach| (Heb.13:13). But now shall they be richly rewarded. They suffered |with Him| and now shall they be also |glorified together| (Rom.8:17). And then will it be fully manifested that |the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us| (Rom.8:18).
In the Parable of the Pounds we have a Scripture which sets forth one aspect of the reward which shall be enjoyed by the faithful in that day. |And He (Christ) said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou has been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities| (Luke 19:17). This Scripture seems to intimate that during the Millennium the saints will occupy a prominent part in the government of the world. Yes, it is written, |Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?| (1 Cor.6:2). Ah! how different things will then be. The first shall be last, and the last first. Positions shall be completely reversed. Today the children of God (that is, those who really walk as such) are despised and hated by the world, but they shall yet be placed in authority over the world. This is the promise of our Lord: And he that overcometh, and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of My Father| (Rev.2:26, 27). Yes, Christ's position, Christ's power, Christ's prerogatives, shall be shared by His people, for He and they are one.
Again; it is during the Millennium that the unity of the Church -- in contradistinction to the innumerable sects in Christendom which now divide believers -- will be fully manifested, and our Lord's prayer of John 17:22, 23 fulfilled -- |And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are One: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.| Not until the |Day of Christ| will the world |know| these things, for then it is that we shall all have come |in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ| (Eph.4:13). Yes, and then it is, also that Christ shall come |to be glorified in His saints and admired in all that believe| (2 Thess.1:10). In that day, the Church will be an object of beauty, wonderment, and admiration to all the world. It will then be fully seen what great things the Lord hath done for His Church, in giving it a higher place -- a place nearer to Himself than that which even the holy angels will occupy. We turn now to consider,