Will Jesus Reign From Jerusalem? – Don Smith

Don Smith


In the religious world of Christendom, a doctrine of end time events seems to be prevalent. Many believe that when Jesus returns, He will set up His kingdom on Earth and reign for a thousand years from Jerusalem. This is more of a system of doctrines, as the tentacles of this belief stretch across a vast expansion of teachings. The most generally held view of this among denominations is that which is also known as Premillennialism (a tribulation period before the millennial reign). Some hold a quite eccentric alternative to this view, in which the earth serves as a sort of eternal “heaven” for the saved—the Jehovah’s Witnesses denomination believes this. Still others who claim to be brethren among the churches of Christ hold a similar view that there will be a renovated earth. Is it true that Jesus will reign from Jerusalem upon His second coming? Will there be a renovated earth? To answer these questions, let us see what the Bible has to say about this.

Eschatological Events

The Bible reads quite clearly about the events that will occur at the end of time in literal terms. There is no need to run to a highly figurative book (e.g., Revelation) to try to understand what the literal passages mean. In fact, that is backwards to sound hermeneutics. Figurative language should always be understood and interpreted in view of what literal passages teach. Therefore, we are going to see what some of the literal passages tell us about end time events.

The Bible, in no uncertain terms, tells us that at the end of time everything physical burns up—the elements melt with fervent heat (2 Pet. 3:10-12). Peter also refers to the time of this end as “the day of the Lord” or “the coming day of God”—a single day. Also at the end of time, all that are in the graves will raise—whether good or evil—and that in a single hour (John 5:28-29)! In that moment all will appear before the judgment seat of Christ—good and evil (2 Cor. 5:10)! Every knee will then bow, as it is written (Rom. 14:10-12), and the sheep of all nations shall be separated from the goats (Matt. 25:31-33). The world, in that single day, will be judged in righteousness (Acts 17:31). This is what the Bible relays to us will literally happen at the end of time.

The Day of Christ’s Return for the WICKED and The Day of Christ’s Return for the GOOD

The Bible gives further detail regarding the day of Christ’s return for the wicked and the day of His return for the good. These details will give us further understanding of the coming events for our future which should serve to feed those who are hungry for the truth of these matters. Moreover, these passages solidify the structural foundation already supplied by the scriptures cited previously. By this simple study, strength through knowledge, and a sound conclusion, can be reached by the diligent Bible student, equipping anyone against such prevalent errors. Let us now have a closer look at what God says about these events.

The day of Christ’s return for the wicked will certainly be one of much regret for lives lived contrary to His will, as there will be no procrastination (tribulation) period. Rather, Christ will return for them “in flaming fire taking vengeance on them… that obey not the gospel” (2 Thess. 1:8). This passage uses the phrase “in that day” (v. 10) referring to a singular future day, unified with the teaching of previously cited verses. In fact, the section of Matthew 24 dealing with the second coming of Christ (vv. 35ff.) teaches us that heaven and earth will pass away in a specific day and hour (vv. 35-36), and that we need to be ready for that hour (v. 44). Why such urgency to be ready? Because there is not going to be any kind of second chance situation, as the errors of Premillennialism and others teach. It is true many religious people will plead with Him in that day, but they will be counted among the wicked as well—because they would not do God’s will (Matt. 7:21-23). All will ultimately be judged by the word of Christ—“in the last day” (John 12:48).

Contrary to the day of Christ’s return for the wicked, the day of His return for the good will be met with much rejoicing. Paul gives words of comfort to the church regarding that day. He gives them (and us) the picture of this future event, being caught up together and reconciled with beloved brethren (1 Thess. 4:13-18). He also tells us that in “the twinkling of an eye” we shall all be changed and put on immortality, wherein “death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Cor. 15:51-54). The defeat of death holds a certain significance, as we shall see. Jesus, as recorded by John in chapter 6 of his gospel account, puts emphasis on the righteous being raised “at the last day” (vv. 39-40, 44, 54). This is what the Bible literally teaches about the second coming of Christ for the wicked and the good.


Some common threads that nearly all of these passages are interlinked by merit our attention at this point. Notice that nearly all of these passages speak of all people being gathered for judgement. Just as noteworthy and important is that nearly all of these passages state that all these things will happen in a single day and hour. The same day that everything physical burns up (“the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night,”; 2 Pet. 3:10-12), is the same day Christ returns for the wicked and the good (“the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night”; 2 Thess. 5:2). In John’s gospel account, Jesus refers to “the last day” as the day the wicked will be judged (John 12:48)—and refers to that same “last day” as the day the righteous are raised (John 6:39-40, 44, 54)—and this is the same writer recording Jesus’ words! The definite article “the” tells us there can be only one last day. John made sure we didn’t miss the point that Jesus taught of only one resurrection.

The Bible also teaches that Christ is reigning now, and will do so till a certain point:

he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne…This Jesus hath God raised up…Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted…The LORD said unto my Lord, sit thou on my right hand Until I make thy foes thy footstool (Acts 2:30-35).

This passage teaches that Christ sits at God’s right hand (reigns) until His foes (enemies) are made His footstool. Paul gives us a more detailed picture of this event:

For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death… And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subjected unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all (1 Cor. 15:21-26, 28).

We see here, again, that Christ reigns till He puts all enemies under His feet. The very last enemy He defeats is death. Since all are raised the same day (“the last day” John 6:39; 12:48), and since the earth is totally obliterated in melting incineration on that very same day (1 Thess. 5:2-3; 2 Pet. 3:10-12), there is no renovated earth, there is no “earthly heaven,” and there is no millennial kingdom. Therefore the Bible teaches that the answer to the title of this article, “Will Jesus Reign From Jerusalem?” is an emphatic, “No, He will not.

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