Will Christians go to heaven for 1,000 years when Christ returns?

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Will Christians go to heaven for 1,000 years when Christ returns?

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The Bible reveals that one of the purposes for God bringing sons and daughters into His family is so they might rule as kings and priests on the earth when Jesus returns to establish the Kingdom of God (Revelation 1:6; 5:10).

When Jesus returns to earth, the saints (that is, all true Christians, whether they have died or are still living) will rise in the air to meet Christ. As 1 Thessalonians 4:17 explains: "Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord."

To know where we will be for the 1,000 years between the first and second resurrections (see Revelation 20:5-6), we need to know where Christ will be during this time. When Jesus returns, He will descend to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem to fight against the nations that will oppose His leadership (Zechariah 14:1-4).

Jesus and the risen saints following Him will defeat these armies. Projecting ahead to this time in vision, voices in heaven say, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ" (Revelation 11:15).

After defeating the armies gathered against Him, Jesus will take over the physical kingdoms of this world and His saints will then begin ruling over the nations here on earth. As Revelation 5:10, cited above, makes clear, the saints will be "a kingdom and priests serving our God, and they will reign on earth" (NRSV).

Christ likewise earlier stated, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5). Christians do not go to dwell in heaven when Christ returns; they will be on earth, ruling over the Kingdom of God.