Baptists/1000 year reign
Will we as Christians return to earth for the thousand year reign?
Thank you for your question. It is one about which Christians genuinely and sincerely disagree. I am unsure about how well read you are so forgive me if I go over some ground of which you are already aware.
There are three main views about the millennium. Postmillenialism believes that the millenial reign is through the church and precedes the physical return of Christ.
Premillenialism believes that Jesus will return and reign for a thousand years before Satan is released for time before getting his final punishment. Some who hold this view believe the church will be raptured before this 1000 years and reappear at the end of it. Some believe only those obedient and ready will be raptured. Others still believe the church will be with Christ through the thousand year reign.
Amillenialism believes that the 1000 year reign is a symbolic concept and represents the final rule of Christ.
(All this is a very brief and synopsis of the positions held).
Which is right? Here I have to confess uncertainty. To me it seems that the amillenial view does not treat the literalness of scripture with sufficient seriousness so I am apt to discount it. The early teaching that influenced me was premillenialism including the rapture of the church. However, there are a number of prophecies that seem to back up the post millenial idea and to dismiss them as referring to what will happen during the millenium (or after) sometimes strains the clear meaning of scripture. Also the post millenial view seems to me to be too dismissive of the wickedness of man increasing towards the end time.
All the views are an attempt of men to put a framework in place to cover everything that the bible teaches. The trouble is that the bible is seldom best served when treated this way. For example in Matthew 24:40-41 Jesus' words are often taken as referring to a rapture of the saints. However, you have to read this interpretation into the passage as at face value Jesus could be suggesting that those who are taken are taken to judgment.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 is a clear and concise description of what will happen when Jesus returns. The dead in Christ rise first and then we who are left are caught up in the air with the Lord. Paul is obviously anxious that his readers know this but clearly does not feel it important to explain what happens next. I believe the implication is that the Lord then (with His people) returns to rule. It is possible that He sends His church back to heaven and continues by Himself but that is not the most natural way of reading the passage.
I am making a plea to let scripture speak and challenge us and to be very careful about placing our own workings out over the whole picture, as it always involves some odd use of scripture. Of course we should think about how it all fits together but this should never be used as a reason for parting company from Christians who see it differently and still less for forming separate churches. Sometimes it seems to me Christians have a higher view of their interpretation than they do of scripture itself.
So I am afraid I have not answered your question. However, I hope I have encouraged you to go on studying and reading allowing scripture rather than man made interpretation to be your guide.
I hope at lease some of this is helpful.
May God bless you.