The period of time between the first and second advents of Christ - the time between the establishment of Christ's kingdom as described in the Gospels and the consummation of all things - is the same period described in Revelation 20 as a "thousand years." This means the so-called millennium is a present reality and not a future hope. The events depicted in Revelation 20 refer not to the future but to the present. The thousand years is that same period of time in which citizens of this age await the age to come. However, given the present reality of the kingdom of God (Mt 12.28; Lk 10.1-20; 17.20-21; Rom 14.17) and the work of the Holy Spirit (Eph 1.13-14), the age to come is already a present reality for believers in Jesus Christ. This tension between the already and the not yet characterizes much of New Testament eschatology as Christians await the final consummation of Christ's present kingdom on the great and glorious day of the Lord Jesus.
Clearly Jesus saw two distinct ages (Mt 12.32; Lk 18.29-30; Lk 20.34-35). Luke records this age as being temporal in nature in that it is characterized by marriage while the age to come is eternal being characterized by resurrection life and immortality. Paul speaks in a similar manner (Eph 1.21). There are two distinct consecutive ages yet Christ's rule is already a present reality.
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