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The Bimillennial Era Has Begun

Jay Gary claims that the time has come for the world to make the year 2000 what it is truly meant to be–the greatest celebration in the history of civilization–in honor of the 2,000th anniversary of the birth of Jesus.

When Uncle Sam marked his 200th birthday in 1976, our communities rolled out an entire year of events, including sporting contests, history exhibits and art festivals, all to celebrate our nation’s bicentennial.

In just a short time, our world will have the incredible opportunity to celebrate its bimillennial–the 2,000th birthday of its only Savior, Jesus Christ. He is worthy of the greatest celebration in the history of civilization.

No one has ever touched history like Jesus of Nazareth. People of practically every culture and background acknowledge Him as the greatest teacher, the greatest leader, the person who lived the most holy life. Indeed, there has never been anyone who could compare with Jesus Christ. He is unique among human beings.

For 2,000 years His life has been an inspiration to poets, painters, musicians, philosophers, scientists, politicians and humanitarians. The arrival of the year 2000 will undoubtedly be marked by extensive secular celebrations. At the heart of these celebrations, however, should be a magnificent observance of Jesus’ bimillennial.

From Bicentennial to Bimillennial
I like to refer to A.D. 2000 as the “bimillennial,” “bi” meaning two, together with “millennial”–a thousand, refers to a two-thousandth anniversary.

Just as the United States had a bicentennial in 1976 to celebrate it’s 200th anniversary, so the world will have a bimillennial in 2000 to mark the 2,000th anniversary of the birth of it’s only Savior.

Preparations for celebrations began long before the American bicentennial in 1976. The United States officially opened its bicentennial era in 1971.

I feel it is not too early to say the bimillennial era of Jesus has begun. As with any centennial or bicentennial, a bimillennial would have a series of major themes and common programs, all associated through international years, weeks and days leading up to its culmination. We will likely see this era of commemoration of Christ develop from 1996 to 2001.

Bimillennial tributes to Jesus will fill our cities’ churches, theaters, libraries, museums and stadiums. The Scriptures say we have been chosen for this very purpose, “that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9).

A Decade of Destiny

You might ask, “If the bimillennial era has begun, why haven’t I heard about it until now?” My reply is that you probably have, but in different words. Up until now, we have thought of the bimillennial in terms of a “decade of destiny.”

None of us will ever forget how the last half of 1989 opened a new epoch in world history. On June 4th, the morning after the Tiananmen Square massacre of students, television commentator Charles Kuralt summarized how we all felt, “This is a morning on which you can almost feel the world changing.”

Even though the old guard in China refused to acknowledge the new day, hope spread like wildfire through Eastern Europe. First communism collapsed in Poland, then Germany, followed by Czechoslovakia, and finally Romania. By the end of 1989, the Berlin Wall was down, and we knew in our hearts that the Cold War era had ended. As we entered the 1990s many proclaimed it a “decade of destiny.”

The Celebration of Centuries

What I am now seeing is that what began as a “decade of destiny” will climax in a “celebration of centuries.”

During the late ’80s, I worked for the Lausanne movement, founded by Billy Graham. As a conference planner for church leaders, I began to notice how the agenda began to pivot toward A.D. 2000. Practically every major denomination dedicated the years 1991-2000 to world outreach. In addition, more than 100 mission groups set goals to reach the world for Christ. Never before had it seemed that God said the same thing to so many leaders, from so many continents, about such a specific decade of evangelism. And all this leading up to A.D. 2000.

This “decade of harvest” impression was so strong that I eventually wrote The Countdown Has Begun to tell the story of how leaders were joining hands to fulfill the great commission by the year 2000. Only afterward did I realize I was so consumed with what we should do by A.D. 2000 and beyond, I almost missed the who. By the end of 1990, I felt our Lord saying, “Don’t forget to invite Me to the party!”

I began to wonder . . . is the world really asking for a massive “Target 2000” campaign where the church tries once more to rally its troops to fight the mother of all missionary battles? Rather than a confrontation, perhaps the world is waiting for an invitation. Having first feasted at the banquet table of the living God, the church will in turn go out to invite others to come to Christ’s celebration 2000.

I began to see A.D. 2000 in a new light, not just confined to its dramatic “decade of destiny” opening, but in terms of its consummation as a “celebration of centuries.” It was time to get ready for Jesus’ bimillennial.

Wise Men Still Seek Him

Everywhere I go these days, I find people hungry to know God. They may not have put words to it, but once they hear about the 2,000th anniversary of the birth of Jesus, their heart cries, “That’s it! I want to follow that Star of wonder.”

Today, the average follower of Jesus is overfed, over-programmed, and oversold. They have met Christ at some resting spot along their journey. Yet they only know Him from afar, despite all their efforts. I believe the Spirit of God will use preparations for the bimillennial to call forth a genuine movement of seekers. Their hearts will tell them there is something more, and they will turn in spiritual procession once again to seek the fullness of Christ, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3).

Star of 2000 book coverThe whole world knows that a new millennium is about to begin. This awareness is so strong that Time magazine put out a special issue on the year 2000 in the fall of 1992. Up until now, however, we may have only seen the year 2000 as the biggest New Year’s Eve in a 1,000 years. Society in large has been unaware that the bimillennial era has quietly begun. I believe soon we will see A.D. 2000 as the most meaningful Christmas in 2,000 years. When that starts to happen, the whole world will experience a new awakening in light of the new millennium.

This article contains excerpts from The Star of 2000, the first book to anticipate the power and meaning of Christ’s 2,000th anniversary.

Dr. Jay Gary is president of, a foresight consulting group. Over the past twenty years he has helped non-profits, foundations, civic leaders, and strategic alliances to create more promise filled futures. He also teaches strategic foresight, innovation and leadership at the graduate level and through professional development courses.

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