The doctrines of eternal security and dispensational eschatology – both of which I believe are biblically correct – have been misapplied by some, leading to a serious doctrinal error involving the Judgment Seat of Christ and the Millennium. Many who teach these doctrines have unwittingly (“I’ve never heard that before”) or naively (“I’ve always been taught something different”) or worse yet, deliberately (“I don’t believe that”), lessened the severity of the Judgment Seat, on the mistaken basis that all believers are eternally secure overcomers and, as such, will rule and reign with Jesus in the Millennium. Some will be rewarded more and some less, they claim, but all believers will inherit that world to come.
Eternally secure? Yes. We would certainly agree. Overcomers who will inherit the millennial kingdom? Not necessarily. That is not guaranteed to all believers. While all believers will be present in the millennial world, they will not all be inheritors. Inheritors are those who are granted the privileges of first-born sons, based on their submission to the King. The Judgment Seat will determine who inherits and who does not.
The doctrinal error, as I see it, is ignoring God’s plan for the glorious millennial age, by superimposing the benefits of eternity — no tears, no sorrow (guaranteed for all believers in eternity) – backwards onto millennial life (not guaranteed for all believers in the millennium). I call this fallacious doctrine “millennial security” – a teaching that is widely accepted but not biblical.
In a nutshell, “millennial security” is the belief that God’s children are all guaranteed a millennial existence on par with heavenly existence, including heavenly bliss, with the only differences being place and time. Unfortunately, that is not biblical. Ironically, how you live your life of seventy years (give or take) on earth here and now will determine how you live your thousand-year existence in the millennial world. The consequences are sobering: either reward and ruling or suffering loss and regretting. The former truly inherits the millennium; the latter merely exists in that world, and the existence will not be joyous. This truth is clearly illustrated in the parable of the pounds, Luke 19:11-27.
When will God wipe away all tears from their eyes? According to Rev. 21:4, it is after the millennium, after the first heaven and earth pass away (end of the earthly kingdom), and are replaced with a new heaven and new earth (start of the heavenly kingdom). God does not wipe away all tears immediately following the Judgment Seat of Christ, as many have suggested. No, the Scriptures seem to teach instead that many believers will consciously regret throughout their millennial existence that they did not “hate” or “lose” their soul in this life in order to “find” and “keep” it in the millennial world to come (as determined at the Judgment Seat).
Eternal security is contingent on justification, the legal righteousness of Christ. However, millennial inheritance is contingent on sanctification, the extent to which believers cooperate with God in this life. “Millennial security” is not a biblical doctrine. It is man-made.
Interestingly, inheritors do not all receive the same inheritance. The degrees of glory will be different for every inheritor. Paul makes this point beautifully in 1 Cor. 15:41-42:
“There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead.”
Oh, that we would live with the longing desire to be His brightest stars!
If this has challenged your thinking, I encourage you to search the Scriptures to see if these things are so.