|Who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears?
|—Mal. 3:2, NIV
|LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill?
He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellow man,
Who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the LORD, who keeps his oath even when it hurts,
Who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.
|—Ps. 15:1-5, NIV
The Millennium will come. It is only a matter of time.
But when all is said and done, what benefit can we as individuals derive from knowing about it in advance? Of what real value is it to you and me to know about the Millennium or the age that will follow?
A minister of the last century illustrated the point as follows: Suppose someone should come to you and tell you about an immense gold mine, yet would reveal nothing about where the mine was located or what anyone could do to procure the gold. Would you value the information? You would want to know at once about your own prospect of mining the gold, where it is located, and what it might be worth.
So with the future age. Merely to know that it is in the plan of God, that a millennium of joy will follow this age of turmoil and be enjoyed by the inhabitants of the earth worldwide, is of no personal value to us unless we can know also what we as individuals must do to live in that time.
Has God left it merely to chance, as to who will live then? Or has He a plan whereby those who desire to may take the proper steps and be sure of it?
God operates by plan, a well ordered plan. The teachings of the prophets, Jesus, and His apostles all confirm this. All taught that obedience is the requisite to receiving God’s approval. We read in the book of Samuel, “The Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed” (1 Sam. 2:3). Moses’ law also demanded obedience: “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine” (Ex. 19:5). “What doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul” (Deut. 10:12). These are the words of Jeremiah, who spoke for God: “I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings” (Jer. 17:10). The words of the prophet Micah confirm: “What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God” (Micah 6:8).
When Jesus sent His apostles out to preach, what was the message He gave them? “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations” (Matt. 28:19). What were they to teach? “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (v. 20).
What was the message of the apostle Paul? That God will give “to them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life” (Rom. 2:7). Again he advised that “They which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works,” adding, “These things are good and profitable unto men” (Titus 3:8). Consistently it was a gospel requiring obedience as a condition of salvation. The apostle John wrote about those who might expect to be made like Christ: “Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he [Christ] is pure” (1 John 3:3). James advised his congregation, “humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you” (James 1:21, NIV). And the apostle Peter wrote: “Rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation” (1 Pet. 2:1-2, NIV). Said Jesus, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you” (John 15:14). To whom will He say “Enter thou into the joy of thy lord”? Only to the “good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:23).
Thank God, He has revealed how we may be permitted to live in that glorious Millennial age, and on into Eternity. The admission price is no more than anyone is able to pay: the price of obedience to the laws of God. For this purpose He supplies us this present life, His written Word, and minds capable of understanding that Word. Our part is to use what we have been given to practice His law, to let it direct and control our lives. Then we can look forward to the fulfilling of Jesus’ promise, given in His last message: “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.…Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Rev. 22:12, 14).
How do we get there from here? How can we prepare to live in the Millennium? Only by living a life committed to His principles, obedient to His laws.
Jesus will come and bring about the changes foretold, when the time is right.
Who will do their utmost to live by God’s laws now, so that they can be accepted to live when the Lord’s prayer is fulfilled and God’s will is done on earth as now it is done in heaven?