Doctrine of Last Things

It is appointed to every man a time to die. After death the individual faces a judgment of God (Heb 9:27).  Jesus will one day return to rapture his church (1 Cor 15:51-53; 1 Thess 4:15- 5:11). There are no prophecies that have to be fulfilled before Christ raptures His church (Matt 24:42-44, 50; 1 Thess 5:2). The Scriptures are clear that no man will know the time of the rapture. Christ’s return is imminent (John 14:3).

After the rapture the world will experience a seven-year period full of trouble like it has never seen before (Dan 9: 24-27; 12:1). It will see three and one-half years of tribulation followed by another three and one-half years of a great tribulation (2 Thess 2:7; Matt 24:1-21). The purpose of this time is to pour out God's wrath on the unbelieving world and to judge the nation of Israel (Rev 6:16-17; Dan 9:24). After the first three and one-half years, Israel will side with a rising leader (Dan 9:27). This leader is the anti-Christ. The Great Tribulation period (Dan 9:27; Matt 24:4-26) is a second three and one-half years that will end at Armageddon as the anti-Christ and false prophet will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev 19:11-21).

The second advent of Jesus Christ will be in the same manner that He left the earth. He will be coming from the heavens in the flesh (Acts 1:11). His return will be sudden and surprising, in power and glory (Matt 24:30; 25:1-13; Mark 13:26; 1 Thess 5:2-3). In His return He will set up a literal, physical, one-thousand-year kingdom on this earth (Rev 20). Only believers will enter into the millennial kingdom, as unbelievers will be removed from the earth prior to its inauguration (Matt 24-25). Christ will fulfill all his covenants not yet fulfilled at this time (Rom 11).  These covenants include the Abrahamic Land Covenant, Davidic, Palestinian and New Covenant (Gen. 12:1-3; 15:17-21; 2 Sam 7:12; Deut 30:1-10; Jer 31:31). 

Following the millennial reign of Christ all New Testament believers will appear before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor 5:10; Rev 20:11-15). At the great white throne of judgment unbelievers will be resurrected and judged according to their works. The result of the judgment for unbelievers, Satan and the fallen angels, is the lake of fire (Rev 20:11-15). The final state of believers is on the new earth with new resurrected bodies. Believers will enjoy eternity with God in His presence. Heaven is a place of great and unimaginable beauty, a place of perfect worship, perfect pleasure, perfect service and perfect life (Luke 19:17; Rev 5:10; 22:3).

 

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