Some have questioned whether there actually will be a millennium of peace teaching that The Millennium is allegoric or symbolic. However, several of the early Christians taught it was a certainty.
Papias was taught by John and Polycarp; and he sought out those who had witnessed Jesus’ deeds and what He said. Then he wrote five books of all that he heard. Today we only have fragments of those works, however, some of the ante-nicene fathers wrote about him and his writings. He wrote of several parables and instructions of the Savior. “Amongst these he says that there will be a millennium after the resurrection from the dead, when the personal reign of Christ will be established on this earth. He moreover hands down, in his own writing, other narratives given by the previously mentioned Aristion of the Lord’s sayings, and the traditions of the presbyter John” (Papias, ante-nicene, 70-155 AD).
“Sabbath was symbolical of the millennial kingdom at the end of the six thousand years' dispensation, when the Lord would reign over all, and His glory and service fill the earth with thanksgiving' (Edersheim, 1874, chapter 8).
Justin Martyr wrote, “But I and others, who are right-minded Christians on all points, are assured that there will be a resurrection of the dead, and a thousand years in Jerusalem, which will then be built, adorned, and enlarged, [as] the prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah and others declare.” And he points out in Isaiah, “For Isaiah spoke thus concerning this space of a thousand years: ‘For there shall be the new heaven and the new earth, and the former shall not be remembered, or come into their heart; but they shall find joy and gladness in it, which things I create. For, Behold, I make Jerusalem a rejoicing, and My people a joy; and I shall rejoice over Jerusalem, and be glad over My I people.’”
Methodius also wrote of the millennium of peace in his discussion of the Feast of Tabernacles: “I, a follower of Jesus, ‘who hath entered into the heavens,’ (Heb_4:14) as they also, after the rest of the Feast of Tabernacles, came into the laud of promise, come into the heavens, not continuing to remain in tabernacles - that is, my body not remaining as it was before, but, after the space of a thousand years, changed from a human and corruptible form into angelic size and beauty, where at last we virgins, when the festival of the resurrection is consummated, shall pass from the wonderful place of the tabernacle to greater and better things, ascending into the very house of God above the heavens, as, says the Psalmist, “in the voice of praise and thanksgiving, among such as keep holy day.” (Psa_42:4) .
I disagree with Methodius here. I believe that we Christians will be transformed in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor. 15:52) and rise to meet Jesus in the air before the millennium of peace begins. I believe we will rule and reign with Him (Rev. 20:6) during that period while the rest of God’s plan for humankind and especially the Jews plays out to the end.
There are some differences between then and present time. One is today we do not have Jesus physically present with us. We have the Holy Spirit who indwells us as our Seal and promise of salvation from the wrath to come. Two is we have lots of trials and troubles which Peter and Paul and others told us to rejoice in. These trials and troubles bring us closer to the Lord. They remind us that it is only through Him that we can do anything. They help us to rely on Him for our strength and our sanity.
But in the Millennium, there won't be any trials or troubles. There won't be any thing that has to be "overcome". Isaiah 25:6-8
6 On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine-- the best of meats and the finest of wines. 7 On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; 8 he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken.
And then in Isaiah 60:18-20
18 No longer will violence be heard in your land; nor ruin or destruction within your borders, but you will call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise. 19 The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. 20 Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end.
The people during the Millennium will have sin attached to them. The mere fact they are human and physical puts them in the Adam category. Jesus’ blood washes that sin away with belief in Him. I pray you understand this goes without saying.
I don't believe the sacrifices in the Millennium are to atone for sin, Jesus has already done that. However, if we were living in a world with zero strife and stress, where there was zero worry about the weather, and our crops would grow… where was no sickness, zero tears of sorrow... how long would it take for us to take our eyes off of God and what Jesus did to make all of that possible? How long would it take for greed and pride to push their ugly heads to the forefront of our hearts—even without Satan to whisper in our ears?
We remember what Jesus did by partaking in the Lord's Supper... how many of us really think about that when we take the bread and drink the juice? Do you know what is at the Bottom of the Cup?
Edersheim, A. (1874). The Temple: Its ministries and services as they were at the time of Christ. Public domain.
Papias. (70-155 AD). Fragments of his writings. Ante-nicene, volume 1.