May 11, 2020 - Millennium Matters

In the early lines of Paradise Lost, John Milton wrote that with this work he sought to “justify the ways of God to men.” That concept, of justifying the way of God to men, is what theologians call “theodicy,” the question of how could God be all-loving, all-powerful and all-knowing and yet evil continues to exist.

Theodicy, in fact, is hinted at by Paul, when he wrote--“Let God be proven true, and every human being shown up as a liar, just as it is written: ‘so that you will be justified in your words and will prevail when you are judged” (Romans 3:4).

When God is judged? By whom? Maybe an answer is found here: “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts” (I Corinthians 4:5). Judge nothing, God included (perhaps) “before the time.” What time? Interesting enough, Ellen White quotes this text in the context of the millennium, when we will be involved in looking over the records of the lost before they face final judgment. As Paul wrote, “the saints shall judge the world” (1 Corinthians 6:2).

In a deep sense, the metaphysics of the great controversy centers around theodicy; the idea that God, instead of just eradicating evil the moment it arose, will allow it to play out so that, in the end, all intelligent beings in the creation—including us-- will see His justice and fairness in how He dealt with it. Thus Ellen White, Christian writer and Seventh-day Adventist pioneer, says that, just before the final judgment, “With all the facts of the great controversy in view, the whole universe, both loyal and rebellious, with one accord declare: Just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints.’" {GC 670)

Our understanding of the millennium contains two amazing truths: first, God will allow us to be involved in the judgment of the lost; second, not until we are all satisfied with His justice, not until we can shout, “Just and true are thy ways, Thou King of saints,” will the lost be punished with eternal destruction.

When you think who God is in contrast to who we are, these are heavy concepts to grasp. Which is why a thousand years will only begin the time we’ll have to contemplate them.

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