Originally Answered: Bible scholars only: Will there be any human life on earth at the end of the seventh year of tribulation?
This is a really complex question and one that is very difficult to answer in such as short post as any answer must presume one particular interpretation of end times doctrine (or eschatology) over another. There are three main views of end times doctrine:
In this view the second coming of Christ will take place before the millennial reign of Christ. In this view the rapture is yet to take place and the millennial reign of Christ will occur after the Great Tribulation which follows the rapture. This is the view assumed by Tim La Haye in his books 'The Left Behind Series'. For more information about this you can search google or read the following links:
This view maintains that we are currently in a figurative millennial reign of Christ and that following this period will be the second coming of Christ. More about this can be read at:
This view maintains that Christians will establish the Kingdom of Christ here on earth and following this establishment for 1000 years, Christ will return. Read more about this here:
The problem that we all face when approaching the Bible or approaching our listening to any teaching on the views of a pre, post or amillennial view is that every person we listen to maintains a bias towards one particular view or the other and omits to point out the potential pitfalls in their own position - after all, if the doctrine was clear then there ought not to be disagreement among Christians which there clearly is.
All such views of eschatology are dispensational views. A dispensational view literally cuts up history into chunks that are then written about in the Bible. Accordingly we have pre-Abraham. Old Covenant, New Covenant, Tribulation, Millennium, Second Coming. The problem is that such a view in itself is not necessarily correct as the author of this article discusses:
I know this is all seeming to get quite complicated and still hasn't really addressed your question directly. However, this pre-amble was important to coming to address your questions which I will try to do now.
1) Will there be life...
All views that I have read indicate that there will be life right up until the Second Coming of Christ. Indeed, Paul referred to being transformed in an instant when Christ returns (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). The view here is that some people at least will be alive on Judgement Day and will be transformed in an instant right there and then.
2) Who will be in the 1000 year rule...
This entirely depends upon your view on pre-, post- or a- millennialism.
A pre-millennial view might maintain that there will be a first resurrection during which time all who have been martyred for Christ during the great tribulation will reign with him during this time. This therefore does not include every Christian who died prior to the tribulation.
Post- and a- millennial views do not hold that the resurrection of Revelation 20:5 refers literally to a division in bodily resurrections but in restorations of the soul. Therefore every Christian who refuses to bow to the devil will reign with Christ during the 'millennium', which in any case is not a literal 1000 years.
3) Will there be any human?
Again, this depends upon your interpretation of prophecy.
There is a passage in Isaiah 65:17-25 which indicates in verse 20 that people might still die after the creation of the New Earth and Heavens. Perhaps this indicates that during the millennial reign (in a pre- trib view) there will be people who are still human and those who are resurrected to their glorious bodies. Perhaps it is speaking of something else...
Clearly if you hold a post- or a- millennial view then there will be human life in a pre-resurrected state living during the millennial period.
Your point that it seems everyone who accepted Christ or not would be wiped out might seem logical but you must remember that God always maintains a witness for Himself on earth - the Bible testifies to that right through from beginning to end.
I'm sorry I haven't given you a clearer and more definite answer to your questions but I have tried to maintain balance and point out that people differ in their understandings of the many prophecies that exist regarding the 'end times'. The view you adopt should give you hope but should never be held so tightly that it refuses to note other possible interpretations of the same prophecies and allow itself to be adapted accordingly.
There is one final thing I will add and that is a reminder... The Bible teaches us:
"But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless."
The point here is that we shouldn't become so consumed with trying to understand and defend our eschatological view that we become no use here on earth because we are setting our minds elsewhere. It is true that we must worship God in spirit and truth but that worship must result in action right here and right now. Faith is the evidence of our confident hope in the things to come. And faith can only be evidence if it can be seen and it can only be seen if it acts.
It is good to ask questions about eschatology but we must always remember that such things are to be hope and not a stumbling block. We await the return of Christ with joyful and eager anticipation and we patiently endure any sufferings we might have here and now. There is hope in our reunion with Christ and hope in the resurrection. The rest will become infinitely clear when we need it to be clear.