There is a belief that during the 1000 years people will be born and people will die. Where does this idea of death being part of the saints experience of eternal life, post-rapture, and post-tribulation come from?
The answer is Isaiah 65:20 which says “No more shall there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not fill out his days, for the young man shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed” (ESV).
First, let me say that many respected Bible teachers hold this view, because they recognize Isaiah 65 as representing a millennium on earth. I have always understand Isaiah 65 to be an expression of eternal life in the earth made new, when Heaven descends to earth as seen in Revelation 21:1-4, after the millennium.
However, the problem of wording in Isaiah 65:20 remains, whether we are talking about a millennium on earth or a millennium in Heaven or a post millennium in the earth made new because the question is – why in the world would people be dying in eternity and in the presence of Jesus?
The issue has to do with the English translation’s inability to convey what Isaiah was trying to say. Isaiah was contrasted what he knew of earth now compared to what we will know of the earth then. He was using human terminology to express a spiritual condition.
Isaiah is expressing what we don’t like now and comparing that in human terms of what we would like then. For example…
Babies are born and just when they are beginning life, they die. Men grow old and just when they are at the peak of their wisdom, they die. Sinners seem to live long prosperous lives while some righteousness people don’t get to live out their years.
The subjunctive language Isaiah uses says, but in the new earth these things won’t happen. Babies won’t die young, old men won’t die as we expect now, and sinners will not escape being accursed with their due judgment.
If you read on through Isaiah 65:21-23 you will notice how Isaiah carries this thought-form into other things we don’t like about life on earth now. We generally don’t like working or slaving away for the enrichment of others but not for ourselves. We build houses for others, plant vineyards for others, and labor for others…but in the new earth we will do these things for ourselves and not begrudgingly.