Hey there folks, just a quick bit of info for those who may wonder about this.
There is a bit of a problem in mainstream Christian theology. We tend to have things pretty skewed in the church when it comes to 'end times'. Its quite understandable why the unbeliever finds it so hard to grasp what christians believe will happen after we die, when really the truth is so simple.
It's pretty simple really:
Christians who died before and during the tribulation will return to earth at Christ's second coming, be resurrected into the millennial kingdom - this is the 1000 year reign of Christ. But they won't be alone. You see, those who did not take the mark will also be there (after all they were killed too! Even if they weren't saved), along with babies aborted, and children who were too young to make the choice.
Isaiah 2:3 - Many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
We Christians will be ministers and rulers to these nations. It will be a time of peace
Isaiah 11:6 - The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.
So you see, the nations exist, after the terrible wrath poured out by God after the tribulation, the population of the world is massively diminished, but people are born and die in this time, only the resurrected will remain alive. Lifespans will be extended though.
Isaiah 65:20 - “Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years, the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed."
How wonderful. But of course Satan has been bound for 1000 years (the length of the 1000 year kingdom), So the tempter is no more, this is a gift to those people (or Jesus?) from God. A special blessing has been given to the inhabitants (or to Jesus?)of the nations. In fact, their only disadvantage is their flesh. But, really there is little temptation for them. They have little to overcome. This is why it is such a time of peace. Not only do they have Jesus Christ ruling them, they have no adversary but themselves.
So the nations have had 1000 years of ministry from both Jesus and the redeemed. All these people who have lived, and died have had all these benefits given them, yet they rebel. now remember that the kingdom is 1000 years long, and Satan has been bound for 1000 years. (rev 20) Yet almost immediately that Satan is unbound, war begins.
Rev 20:7+8 - "When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore."
This is where a lot of mainstream eschatologists fail. They seem to view this from an amillennial perspective, which makes no sense. we must be pre-millenial because nothing of the millennial kingdom fits with the way the world is today. Gog and Magog are not Eastern Bloc countries, but are something we are yet to encounter, perhaps a united front that has quickly come together as they realise the 1000 years are coming to an end, with Satan enticing them - something they are more than willing to accept.
Why is Satan released however? Why does Satan deceive?
Satan is released TO deceive. He must deceive the people - as a test, Its sort of like sifting the wheat from the chaff. These people have had it wonderful for a millennium, but how will they cope under pressure? Their hearts must be made clear, because God is going to make all things new, and they must condemn or exonerate themselves by their actions. God isn't going to risk any sin or rebellion in a brand new creation! But he also isn't going to pre-emptively punish or kill anyone. Remember that punishment always follows the crime with God!
Also this rebellion doesn't have to be every member of the world population, in fact its unlikely to be, otherwise why should God bother with the nations during the Millennium? Israel can have its promised perfect Davidic King without the gentiles, yet there they are, to be fed spiritually, and to be ministered to by the saved from the old age.
Remember that the Bible says we are tested through the fire, purified [He will baptise you with the Spirit and with Fire]. The nations my have it easy in the millennial kingdom, but they must still be tested. This is all this is. Its fulfilling righteousness, its also rewarding these folks according to their actions. The rest will be rewarded just as christians today will be rewarded. Every thought will be brought to light - whether good or bad.
But remember, Blessed is he who has not seen, yet has believed!
P.S. This all comes together from revelation itself, one age comes to an end (the age we are in now) and a new one begins (the age of Christ physically ruling on Earth), it's all physical, theres nothing in the bible to suggest anything but flesh and blood people living on a physical Earth. Some people will try to say that the glorified Christians will be able to teleport and have supernatural powers, this may be so but we have to be a bit more biblical than that. The bible does not explicitly say that this is so. I will always try to deal with issues 100% biblically, and will only use other (scholarly) sources, when its a translational issue, or when the bible itself could be interpreted a number of ways.