The messianic age or messianic kingdom is the future period of time when the Messiah will reign and bring universal peace to the earth. Christians believe the Messiah is Jesus Christ who came to earth previously, lived a perfect life, died for the sins of the world, and rose again. Many Jews believe that the Messiah has yet to be revealed but will certainly make Himself known to all the world in the future.
We take the premillennial view of the end times, which sees the messianic age as coming after the second coming of Christ. When Jesus returns in glory, He will defeat His enemies, judge the remaining inhabitants of the earth, set up an earthly kingdom, and bind Satan for one thousand years.
Characteristics of the Messianic Age
The messianic age will be ruled by the Lord Jesus. Peter the apostle tells us about Jesus, “Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets” (Acts 3:21). Before Jesus was born, the angel Gabriel told His mother of her Son’s future kingdom: “The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:32–33). Jesus spoke of the time “when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, [and] he will sit on his glorious throne” (Matthew 25:31). Jesus is the King of kings (Revelation 19:16) who will rule the nations “with an iron scepter” (Revelation 19:15; cf. Psalm 2:9).
The messianic age will feature a worldwide kingdom. In Psalm 2, the Messiah King will be enthroned in Zion (verse 6), but all the nations of the earth are His inheritance, “the ends of the earth [His] possession” (verse 8). The prophet Daniel pictured the kingdom of the Messiah as “a huge mountain [that] filled the whole earth” (Daniel 2:35).
The messianic age will be a time of unparalleled blessing. The Bible predicts that the Messiah’s rule will usher in worldwide peace (Isaiah 11:6–7; Micah 4:3), justice (Isaiah 11:3–4), unity (Isaiah 11:10), abundance (Isaiah 35:1–2), healing (Isaiah 35:5–6), righteousness (Isaiah 35:8), and joy (Isaiah 55:12). The meek will be protected and honored (Matthew 5:5; Psalm 37:11). People will know and honor the Lord: “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9). Sin and rebellion against the King will be punished promptly and with perfect justice (Isaiah 11:3–5; Zechariah 14:16–19).
The messianic age will be a time of the earth’s physical restoration. The curse on the earth will be lifted during the Messiah’s rule, and prosperity and beauty will spread: “The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy” (Isaiah 35:1–2; cf. 11:6–9; 35:7).
The Role of Israel in the Messianic Age
During the messianic kingdom, Paul’s words will come true: “All Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26). Israel will be regathered to the Promised Land, which will finally reach the geographic boundaries prophesied long ago (Jeremiah 31:1–14; Amos 9:11–15; Joshua 1:4). Israel will experience a revived Davidic kingdom, bigger and grander than ever, “never again to be uprooted” (Amos 9:15). The division of Israel and Judah will be gone, and the nation will be united (Jeremiah 3:18). The people of Israel will enjoy a spiritual restoration and true fellowship with God (Isaiah 2:3; 45:17; Zechariah 13:9; Malachi 3:3–4).
Worship in the Messianic Age
The worship of the Lord will be pure in the messianic age. Ezekiel 40—46 describes a temple whose dimensions are larger than any temple yet seen in Jerusalem, and we believe this is the center of worship during the messianic kingdom. Isaiah points to this temple as a destination for all the nations of the world: “In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it” (Isaiah 2:2). The worshipers will sincerely seek the Lord, saying, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths” (Isaiah 2:3). Ezekiel’s prophecy also indicates that sacrifices will be offered in this millennial temple (Ezekiel 43:13–27); these will differ from the Mosaic sacrifices in that they will memorialize the death of Christ rather than anticipate it.
The Bible is full of prophecies pointing to Jesus as the promised Messiah. In addition, it gives hope of a future time on earth when Jesus will set things right and rule in righteousness and peace. The enemy of our souls, Satan, will be unable to act during that time. The Lord Jesus will do what no king, ruler, or government has ever been able to do: bring peace on earth (see Isaiah 9:6 and Luke 2:14).