The Restoration (5 of 5)

The Restoration (5 of 5)

End time Events

Though Pre-Tribulation, Pre-Wrath and Post-Tribulation rapture comes with their set of meanings, it is best to go by what the Bible says about it.

I mention “Pre-Wrath” often, but I neither fully believe in the movement known as “Pre-Wrath” nor do I belong to their camp.

Rather than use Christianeese, it is best to see what the Word of God says about it.

1 Corinthians 15:51-52 (NKJV) 51  Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed– 52  in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

John 14:1-3 (NKJV) 1  “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2  In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NKJV) 13  But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15  For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16  For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18  Therefore comfort one another with these words.

The Rapture is very clearly mentioned in the Old Testament in Daniel 12:2: “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.” When we look at the context of this verse and then compare it with other Scripture, we can clearly see that this verse is speaking of our being gathered up to Christ at His coming just as it is detailed in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17.

Genesis 5:24 (NKJV)  And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.

2 Kings 2:11 (NKJV)  Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

“Pre-Wrath” Rapture

The whole purpose of Jesus Christ’s coming was to save those who believe in Him from the wrath of God.

1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 (NKJV) 9  For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10  who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.

Romans 5:9 (NKJV)  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

The Prewrath rapture is one of several premillennial views on the end-times events among evangelical Christians, and states that Christians will be raptured at the end of a time called the Beginning of Sorrows that occurs in the first half of the seventieth week of the Prophecy of Seventy Weeks, and before the day of the Lord’s wrath (God’s wrath). The prewrath position emphasizes the biblical distinction between tribulation (which Christians have been promised) and the wrath of God (which Christians have been promised deliverance/salvation from).

According to the Prewrath perspective, the great tribulation begins 3.5 years after the Antichrist “makes a covenant with the many” (Daniel 9:27), in the middle of “Daniel’s 70th week.” The 70th week is a reference to Daniel 9:24, where each day of the week corresponds to a year (for a total of seven years). After the first 3.5 years, the Antichrist will make himself known with the abomination that causes desolation, and he will reign for 3.5 years (42 months or 1260 days). The latter half of the 3.5 years is characterized by the Antichrist deceiving the world and persecuting the church.

Although the exact timing of the rapture is not known, one of the key points to the Prewrath view is that the rapture comes after the sixth seal is opened (Revelation 6:12), when the moon is turned into blood. The tribulation of God’s people will then be cut short (according to Jesus in Matthew 24:29-31, Mark 13:24-27) with the second coming of Christ and the rapture, and those who are left behind on Earth will face the trumpets and bowls of God’s wrath (Rev 16:1); hence the term “Prewrath.”

Daniel 9:27 (NKJV)  Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.”

Revelation 6:12 (NKJV)  I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood.

Matthew 24:29-31 (NKJV) 29  “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30  Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31  And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Mark 13:24-27 (NKJV) 24  “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; 25  the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26  Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27  And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.

Revelation 16:1 (NKJV)  Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth.”

God’s wrath against the ungodly will follow for the remainder of the seven years in what is known as the Day of the Lord.

The pre-wrath position makes a very important distinction between the Antichrist’s great tribulation, which will be directed against God’s people, and the event of the day of the Lord’s wrath, which will be directed against the ungodly. The great tribulation will happen first, and at some unknown day and hour those days of persecution will be cut short with the return of Christ (Matt 24:22). The Lord will come down to the clouds to resurrect the dead-in-Christ and rapture together those believers who have survived up to the coming (parousia) of our Lord (1 Thess 4:15­-17). Immediately after the rapture, the Lord’s wrath will begin to be executed against the ungodly, displayed in the systematic judgments of the trumpets, bowls, and the battle of Armageddon.

Matthew 24:22 (NKJV)  And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.

Matthew 24:29-31 (NKJV) 29  “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30  Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31  And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-28 (NKJV) 1  But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2  For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3  For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4  But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5  You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6  Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 7  For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8  But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9  For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10  who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. 11  Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. 12  And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13  and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves. 14  Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 15  See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. 16  Rejoice always, 17  pray without ceasing, 18  in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19  Do not quench the Spirit. 20  Do not despise prophecies. 21  Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22  Abstain from every form of evil. 23  Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24  He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
25  Brethren, pray for us. 26  Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss. 27  I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren. 28  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

2 Thessalonians 1:1-12 (NKJV) 1  Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: 2  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3  We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, 4  so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, 5  which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; 6  since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7  and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8  in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9  These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10  when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed. 11  Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, 12  that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

In the post-tribulational schema, God’s people immediately descend to earth after they were just caught up to the clouds in the rapture. The pre-wrath position, instead, affirms that after the rapture the Son will usher his redeemed people before the throne of the Father in heaven (John 14:2-3; 2 Cor 4:14; Rev 7:13-15; Isa 26:19-21). And only after the completion of the series of judgments on earth will God’s people then descend to earth in the New Jerusalem.

John 14:2-3 (NKJV) 2  In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

2 Corinthians 4:14 (NKJV)  knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you.

Revelation 7:13-15 (NKJV) 13  Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” 14  And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15  Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.

Isaiah 26:19-21 (NKJV) 19  Your dead shall live; Together with my dead body they shall arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust; For your dew is like the dew of herbs, And the earth shall cast out the dead. 20  Come, my people, enter your chambers, And shut your doors behind you; Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, Until the indignation is past. 21  For behold, the LORD comes out of His place To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; The earth will also disclose her blood, And will no more cover her slain.

Timeline

  1. The “beginning of birth pains” starts with wars, famines and earthquakes around the world (Matthew 24:19). This duration is thought to cover the first 3.5 years of Daniel’s 70th week, which starts when the Antichrist confirms or strengthens a seven year “covenant with the many” (Daniel 9:24).

Matthew 24:19 (NKJV)  But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!

  1. The Antichrist starts his reign with the “abomination of desolation” (Matthew 24:15) at the midpoint of the 70th week, putting an end to sacrifice and offering (Daniel 9:27). His reign, along with the false prophet (Revelation 13:11), lasts for 3.5 years.

Matthew 24:15 (NKJV)  “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand),

  1. The Antichrist’s rule begins the great tribulation, a worldwide distress unequaled to any across history (Matthew 24:21). At this time the believers of God face persecution.

Matthew 24:21 (NKJV)  For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.

  1. During the latter half of the 3.5 years and prior to Jesus’ return, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, stars will fall from the sky (Joel 2:10, Matthew 24:29). In Revelation 6:12, this coincides with the opening of the sixth seal, when the sun turns black and the moon turns blood red.

Matthew 24:29 (NKJV)  “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

  1. Jesus appears coming on the clouds of the sky to all, and angels will bring about the rapture of the Church (Matthew 24:30-31, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52). In Revelation, his appearance is signified by the people calling out, “hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!” (Rev 6:12)

Matthew 24:30-31 (NKJV) 30  Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31  And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

1 Corinthians 15:51-52 (NKJV) 51  Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed– 52  in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

  1. God’s wrath falls on the remaining unbelievers, called the “day of the Lord” (Joel 2:11). Since the Second Coming and the rapture of the Church occur immediately before the Day of the Lord, they occur before God’s wrath – hence, the “Prewrath rapture” of the Church. The 7th seal encompasses the wrath of the seven trumpets (Revelation 8:2); the seventh trumpet may represent the seven bowls of wrath, which complete the mystery of God (Revelation 11:15).

Revelation 8:2 (NKJV)  And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.

Revelation 11:5 (NKJV)  And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner.

  1. Since the Antichrist’s reign lasts for 42 months (or 3.5 years) according to Revelation 13:5, the Antichrist’s rule ceases at the end of the 70th week.
  2. At the battle of Armageddon, the Antichrist and the false prophet are defeated and cast into the lake of fire. Since the time of the Antichrist is 1290 days according to Daniel 12:11 (30 days longer than his 42-month reign), his end is then placed 30 days after Daniel’s 70th week.

Daniel 12:11-12 (NKJV) 11  And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. 12  Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.

  1. 45 days after the destruction of the Antichrist, Christ’s millennial reign is established. This is based on Daniel 12:12, which states, “Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.” The 45 days is derived from taking 1335 and subtracting 1260 days (42 months of Antichrist’s reign) and 30 days (the end of the Antichrist), or 1335-(1260+30)=45.

Our Future according the Bible

  1. There is a future seven-year period, and at the midpoint the Antichrist will be revealed and commit the abomination of desolation, initiating his great tribulation against the Church and Israel.
    1. There is a biblical distinction between the Antichrist’s great tribulation against the Church and Israel and the day of the Lord’s wrath against the ungodly. The latter event happens after the former event.
    2. The gathering of the elect mentioned in Matthew 24:31 refers to the rapture (cf. Mark 13:27; Luke 21:28; Rev 7:9-17; 1 Thess 4:13-18; 2 Thess 2:1).
    3. At an unknown day and hour during the second half of the seven-year period, the Antichrist’s great tribulation will be cut short by the Revelation of Christ to resurrect and rapture God’s people, and this will be followed immediately by the day of the Lord’s wrath executed upon the ungodly.
    4. On the same day the rapture happens, the onset of the day of the Lord’s wrath takes place, just as it was in the days of Noah and Lot (Luke 17:22-37; cf. 2 Thess 1:5-10).
    5. The second coming (parousia) is not a simple (instantaneous) event. The second coming is a complex-whole event containing various purposes of God, beginning with the Revelation of Christ in the sky displaying his Shekinah glory and power to the whole world, and resurrecting and rapturing God’s people, followed by the day of the Lord’s judgments upon the ungodly and the Antichrist’s kingdom, restoring Israel to salvation, and culminating in Christ’s earthly reign.
    6. Although Armageddon is an element within the complex-whole second coming, Armageddon does not initiate the second coming; instead, the second coming begins between the sixth and seventh seal.
    7. The resurrection and rapture happens between the opening of the sixth seal and the seventh seal.
    8. The first six seals are not part of the day of the Lord’s wrath. The first six seals are conditional events that must happen before Christ’s return.
    9. The sixth seal signals the impending day of the Lord’s wrath as recorded in Joel 2:30-31; Matthew 24:29; Luke 21:25-26; Mark 13:23-25; and Revelation 6:12-17.
    10. The seventh seal pronounces the day of the Lord’s wrath.
    11. The trumpets, bowls, and Armageddon contain and execute the day of the Lord’s wrath.
    12. The trumpets, bowls, and Armageddon will not occur before the seventh seal is opened.
    13. Paul’s “last trumpet” (1 Cor 15:52) is not the seventh trumpet judgment in the book of Revelation.
    14. Christ’s return to resurrect and rapture God’s people is not imminent (“any moment”), since discernible prophesied events must happen first (e.g., the Antichrist’s revelation and his ensuing great tribulation; the apostasy; coming of Elijah; and a cluster of discernible celestial events). Christ can return in any generation of the Church.

The Day of the Lord

Commonly, but inappropriately, the entire 70th Week is referred to as the Day of the Lord.  On the contrary, I have shown that, starting at the midpoint  of the 70th Week, the following events-as a sequence of four axioms used as foundational blocks in demonstrating the timing of the Pre-Wrath Rapture event-will occur in chronological order, as follows:

  1. The cessation of sacrifices and offerings in the midst of the 70th Week, then the abomination that causes desolation inside of a “holy place,” as described by Jesus, which will be standing in Jerusalem at that time (Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15);
  2. The beginning of the Great Tribulation period;
  3. The cosmic disturbances of the Sixth Seal, where the sun and moon will turn dark and the heavenlies will be shaken;
  4. The Pre-Wrath Rapture of believers, and finally
  5. The Day of the Lord, which will not merely be one day in length but will be a period of time, beginning with the opening of the Seventh Seal.

The opening portion of the Day of the Lord-the “day of vengeance”-probably will last approximately a year (Isaiah 34:8, 61:2, 63:4), during which the devastating wrath of God will be poured out upon the earth.  Just as the 70th Week is a “week” of seven years, I believe the final “day” of that “week” of years-the seventh year-most likely will be set apart from the rest of the week.  It will be the first segment of the Day of the Lord period.  The remainder, which will be the majority of the Day of the Lord, will be the Millennium, lasting a thousand years (Psalm 90:4; 2 Peter 3:8; Revelation 20:2-7).

Interestingly, the apostle Peter, quoting the prophet Joel (Joel 2:31) in his reference to the Day of the Lord (Acts 2:20), changed one word in his description.  Joel said that it would be “great and dreadful,” but Peter described it as “great and glorious.”  Both were correct.  The beginning of the Day of the Lord period will be dark, cruel, fierce, and dreadful.  After that, however, that “day” will be bright, compassionate, gentle, and glorious (Isaiah 11:10).  Just as a day, in Jewish tradition, begins with darkness (after sunset) and ends with light (after dawn), so the Day of the Lord will begin with a time of gloominess and despair and be transformed, after Jesus returns, into an era of illumination and enlightenment.

In Paul’s day, some of the Thessalonians had been given deceptive information, indicating that the “day of the Lord”-with which Paul associated “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered [raptured] to him” (2 Thessalonians 2:1,2)-already had come.  Paul told the Thessalonians that the “day of the Lord” would not come until  the man of lawlessness (Antichrist) would be “revealed” at the time that he “sets himself up in God’s temple [or shrine], proclaiming himself to be God” (2:3,4).

Hebrews 9:27 (NKJV)  And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,

John 16:8 (NKJV)  And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

Luke 4:16-21 (NKJV) 16  So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17  And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: 18  “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
19  To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”
20  Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21  And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Isaiah 61:1-2 (NKJV) 1  “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2  To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn,

The day of vengeance of our God. This is a day of comfort to those who seek Him, and a day of judgment to those who deny Him.

Today a man may be a blasphemer of God, an atheist, can denounce God and teach bad doctrine. Seemingly God does nothing about it. But the day designated in Scripture as “the day of the Lord” is coming when God will punish human sin, and He will deal in wrath and in judgment with a Christ-rejecting world. One thing we are sure of, that God in His own way will bring every soul into judgment.

Today, you may be wondering when your vindication will come, wondering what the point in living for God is, that day will prove you, and God will vindicate you.

1 Timothy 5:24-25 (KJV) [24]  Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after. [25]  Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.

This is the landmark event, one that is to come, that serves as the passing of this age to the next.

It is in the future, and it is drawing closer as we speak. You can spend a lifetime studying it. I have taught a two-hour session on it. Speak to me if you need the link to the video online.

For our program, I am going to orient you to what it is by going through a few scriptures about the Day of the Lord.

Zechariah 14:1-4 (NKJV) [1]  Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, And your spoil will be divided in your midst. [2]  For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; The city shall be taken, The houses rifled, And the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. [3]  Then the LORD will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle. [4]  And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south

Parousia

Acts 1:9-12 (NKJV) 9  Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10  And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11  who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” 12  Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey.

The same Jesus will return, as He went up, so He will come down. This what we just read about in Zechariah.

I want to give a brief explanatory note for the Greek noun behind the word “coming,” which is parousia, meaning “an arrival and a continuing presence.” It is the term behind the expression “second coming” or “second advent.” The Lord’s second coming (parousia) will be a comprehensive-complex whole.

We can illustrate this by looking at Jesus’ first coming. When we think of this event, we do not think exclusively of his birth. His birth was his arrival, but his subsequent presence included his upbringing, teaching ministry, miracles, discipleship, death, burial, and resurrection. It was a complex whole that God used to fulfill his purposes.

Similarly, the second coming will begin with Jesus’ arrival in the clouds to resurrect the dead and rapture them along with believers who are alive at that time (1 Thess. 4:13-18).

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NKJV) [13]  But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. [14]  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. [15]  For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. [16]  For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. [17]  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. [18]  Therefore comfort one another with these words.

The biblical writers often emphasized the arrival aspect of the parousia because they wanted to induce godly living in their listeners. But it would be a mistake to think they viewed it as limited only to Jesus’ glorious appearing in the sky to resurrect the dead and rapture all believers.

This is because his subsequent presence (parousia) will encompass major events such as the day of the Lord’s wrath, bringing the remnant of Israel to salvation, and reclaiming his earthly regal-rule, which will extend into the millennium.

In short, Christ’s parousia will be realized in his delivery of God’s people, judgment upon the wicked, and reign over the world.

It will be His day of rule on earth, not man’s day. The day of the Lord is a day of punishment for the living wicked;

Isaiah 4:2-6 (NKJV) [2]  In that day the Branch of the LORD shall be beautiful and glorious; And the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and appealing for those of Israel who have escaped. [3]  And it shall come to pass that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy–everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem. [4]  When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the blood of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning, [5]  then the LORD will create above every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night. For over all the glory there will be a covering. [6]  And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain.

A day of destruction from the Almighty;

Isaiah 13:6-9 (NKJV) [6]  Wail, for the day of the LORD is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty. [7]  Therefore all hands will be limp, Every man’s heart will melt, [8]  And they will be afraid. Pangs and sorrows will take hold of them; They will be in pain as a woman in childbirth; They will be amazed at one another; Their faces will be like flames. [9]  Behold, the day of the LORD comes, Cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, To lay the land desolate; And He will destroy its sinners from it.

Joel 1:15 (NKJV)  Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is at hand; It shall come as destruction from the Almighty.

A day of God’s wrath upon the enemies of Israel;

Isaiah 34:8 (NKJV)  For it is the day of the LORD’S vengeance, The year of recompense for the cause of Zion.

A day of darkness and gloominess;

Joel 2:31 (NKJV)  The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.

2 Thessalonians 2:7-10 (NKJV) [7]  For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. [8]  And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. [9]  The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, [10]  and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
Jude 1:14-15 (NKJV) [14]  Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, [15]  to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”

A day of trouble and distress;

Zephaniah 1:7-18 (NKJV) [7]  Be silent in the presence of the Lord GOD; For the day of the LORD is at hand, For the LORD has prepared a sacrifice; He has invited His guests. [8]  “And it shall be, In the day of the LORD’S sacrifice, That I will punish the princes and the king’s children, And all such as are clothed with foreign apparel. [9]  In the same day I will punish All those who leap over the threshold, Who fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit. [10]  “And there shall be on that day,” says the LORD, “The sound of a mournful cry from the Fish Gate, A wailing from the Second Quarter, And a loud crashing from the hills. [11]  Wail, you inhabitants of Maktesh! For all the merchant people are cut down; All those who handle money are cut off. [12]  “And it shall come to pass at that time That I will search Jerusalem with lamps, And punish the men Who are settled in complacency, Who say in their heart, ‘The LORD will not do good, Nor will He do evil.’ [13]  Therefore their goods shall become booty, And their houses a desolation; They shall build houses, but not inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards, but not drink their wine.” [14]  The great day of the LORD is near; It is near and hastens quickly. The noise of the day of the LORD is bitter; There the mighty men shall cry out. [15]  That day is a day of wrath, A day of trouble and distress, A day of devastation and desolation, A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness, [16]  A day of trumpet and alarm Against the fortified cities And against the high towers. [17]  “I will bring distress upon men, And they shall walk like blind men, Because they have sinned against the LORD; Their blood shall be poured out like dust, And their flesh like refuse.” [18]  Neither their silver nor their gold Shall be able to deliver them In the day of the LORD’S wrath; But the whole land shall be devoured By the fire of His jealousy, For He will make speedy riddance Of all those who dwell in the land.

  • Saved from wrath

    Romans 5:9 (NKJV)  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

    1 Thessalonians 5:9 (NKJV)  For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,

This day of the Lord is the time that Paul said would come after the hinderer of lawlessness is removed from the earth, and after the reign of the Antichrist. In 2 Thess. 2:1-12 Paul made it clear that two things must precede the day of the Lord-a great falling away and the man of sin being revealed.

Two Events Precede the Day of the Lord

2 Thessalonians 2:3(NKJV
[3]  Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition

  1. The Falling away. Greek: apostasia (NT:646), defection, revolt, apostasy. Used only here and in Acts 21:21, but the same as apostasion, divorce, in Matthew 5:31; Matthew 19:7; Mark 10:4.
  2. The man of sin is revealed (2 Thess. 2:3).

Times and Seasons

Hebrews 10:25–Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day
approaching.

Matthew 25:13Watch
therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour
wherein the Son of man cometh.

The “day and hour” is a very specific point in time. If it were not possible to know the time in the wider sense, as many people claim, why should we “watch?” Better still, what are we to “watch” for?

Genesis 1:14 (NKJV) Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years;

Amos 3:7 (NKJV) Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.

Romans 8:14 (NKJV) For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

Matthew 16:1-3 (NKJV) 1 Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven. 2 He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; 3 and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.

Ephesians 5:15-16 (NKJV) 15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

At the judgment, the books will be opened. The Book of Life contains the names of those who have put their trust in Christ to save them. These books also contain the recorded deeds of everyone, good or evil. Everyone’s life will be reviewed and evaluated. No one is saved by deeds, but deeds are seen as clear evidence of a person’s actual relationship with God. Jesus will look at how we have handled gifts, opportunities, and responsibilities. God’s gracious gift of salvation does not free us from the requirement of faithful obedience and service. Each of us must serve Christ in the best way we know and live each day knowing the books will one day be opened.

Hebrews 9:27 (NKJV)  And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,

Revelation 20:11-15 (NKJV) 11  Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.
12  And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.
13  The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
14  Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15  And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

2 Corinthians 5:10 (NKJV)  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

In the Scriptures, we are instructed to rightly divide the word of truth. This is most essential when studying the judgments. Do not endeavor to make all the judgments conform to the theory of one “general judgment.” The “general judgment” theory is the invention of early medieval religion and is not taught in the Word of God.

2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV)  Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

There are at least five separate judgments revealed in the Bible, and they differ as to time, place, and purpose. Yet, they all have one thing in common: The Lord Jesus Christ is the Judge.

John 5:22 (NKJV)  For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son,

Everyone, from Adam to the last man to be born on this earth, will stand before the Lord Jesus Christ to be judged. In the first judgment, the sins of the believer have already been judged in Christ on the cross. In the second judgment, the believer is to judge self or be judged and disciplined by the Lord Jesus Christ. In the third judgment, all believers must appear at the “judgment seat of Christ” where their works are to be judged. In the fourth judgment, all nations are to be judged at the second coming of Christ. In the fifth judgment, the wicked dead are to be judged at the Great White Throne.

2 Corinthians 5:10 (NKJV)  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

The Judgment of the Believer’s Sins

John 5:24 (NKJV)  “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

In the above verse, our Lord tells us that a believer “shall not come into judgment.” Our sins were judged in Christ on Calvary, and every believer “has passed from death into life” (v.24). This is present salvation. Christ paid for our sins. He was judged in the believer’s stead. The believer will not come into judgment because

  1. Jesus Christ paid the penalty. On the grounds of His substitutionary death, the believer is separated from his sins forever.

Psalm 103:12 (NKJV)  As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

  1. The sins of the believer have been blotted out, and God has promised that He “will not remember your sins”.

Isaiah 43:25 (NKJV)  “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.

  1. Our Lord suffered for our sins, “the just for the unjust,” that we might be saved and never come into judgment as sinners.

1 Peter 3:18 (NKJV)  For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,

  1. The believer will never be condemned with the world, because Christ was condemned in his place. “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us” (2 Cor.5:21). Christ was made a curse for us on the cross, and “has redeemed us from the curse of the law” (Gal. 3:13). “He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Heb. 9:26). The believer will not come into judgment, because his sins have been purged.

Hebrews 1:3 (NKJV)  who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

The Judgment of the Believer’s Self

1 Corinthians 11:31 (NKJV)  For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.

The believer’s self-judgment means more than judging things in the believer’s life. When the believer judges his life, the good and the bad in his life come to light; he confesses the bad (1 John 1:9) and forsakes it (Is. 55:7).

Isaiah 55:7 (NKJV)  Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.

However, it is not enough just to judge sin in the believer; he must judge self.

To judge self is to practice self-abnegation (the denial of one’s own interests in favour of the interests of others); for when the believer sees self as God sees him, he will renounce self. It is replacing the self-life with Christ-life (Col. 3:4). Christ is the believer’s life.

Colossians 3:4 (NKJV)  When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

  1. To judge self is to deny self. This is more than self-denial. Self-denial is denying one’s self of fleshly gratifications. If we practice a self-denial only, it is treating the symptom and not the illness. But when we deny self, we are attacking the root problem, for in self (i.e., in the flesh) “nothing good dwells” (Rom. 7:18). To deny self is to take up our cross and follow Christ (Mark 8:34-38), to lose the self-life, and find the Christ-life.

    Galatians 2:20 (NKJV)  I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

  2. To judge self is to become less and less self-conscious, and more and more Christ-conscious (Matt. 28:20).

    Matthew 28:20 (NKJV)  teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

  3. To judge self is to become Christ-controlled (Acts 9:6).

    Acts 9:6 (NKJV)  So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

  4. To judge self is to esteem others better than self (Phil. 2:3), to become selfless.

    Philippians 2:3 (NKJV)  Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

The Judgment of the Believer’s Works (2 Corinthians 5:10)

Romans 14:10 (NKJV)  But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

The believer’s works will be judged at the “judgment seat of Christ” (v.10). The term “judgment seat of Christ” is found only twice in the Bible, but it is referred to many times. It is found in the above verse, and also in Romans 14:10. A careful reading of both verses in context reveals that only believers will appear at the judgment seat of Christ. Their works will be judged, not their sins; for we have already seen that the sins of the believer were judged in Christ on Calvary, and “there is therefore now no condemnation [judgment]to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1).

  1. This judgment will take place “in the air” following the first resurrection. “And the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thess. 4:14-18). After the resurrection of the saved, a thousand years will pass before the resurrection of the unsaved (Rev. 20:4,5),and so there will be a thousand years between the judgment seat of Christ, where only saved will appear, and the judgment at the Great White Throne (Rev. 20:11),where only unsaved will appear.
  2. At the judgment seat of Christ, the believer will give an account of himself to God. Therefore, we should look at our own works, and not judge the works of others (Rom. 14:10-13).
  3. It is a most humbling thought to know that someday the believer will face all his works – good or bad. Some believers will be ashamed (1 John 2:28) and “suffer loss” – not the loss of salvation, but the loss of rewards (1 Cor. 3:11-15). So, whatever you do, do it to the glory of God (Col. 3:17).

Judgment of the Nations (Matthew 25:31-46)

This judgment is not that of the Great White Throne (Rev. 20:11-15). A careful comparison of the two judgments will establish the following facts:

  1. The judgment of the nations will take place “when the Son of Man comes in His glory…. [and]then He will sit on the throne of His glory” (v.31). The Great White Throne is never called “the throne of His glory.”
  2. At this judgment, He will judge the living nations (Joel 3:11-16). At the Great White Throne, He will judge the wicked dead.
  3. At this judgment, there will be no resurrection of the dead. At the Great White Throne, all the wicked dead are raised: “The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them” (Rev. 20:13).
  4. At this judgment, the judge is specifically Christ “the king” (v. 34) judging the nations in His earthly kingdom. At the Great White Throne, the kingdom is no longer in view – indeed, the earth itself has “fled away” (Rev. 20:11).
  5. At this judgment, no books will be opened. At the Great White Throne, there will be books opened (Rev. 20:12).
  6. At this judgment, there are three classes judged:
    1. “Sheep” – the saved (v.33; Rev.7:19-17).
    2. “Goats “- the unsaved (v.33;2 Thess. 1:7-10).
    3. “Brethren” – the elect of Israel (v.40; Rev. 7:1-8; Rom. 11:25-28).

    At the Great White Throne, there is only one class, “the dead” (Rev. 20:12).

  7. At this judgment, the King will give the kingdom to those who have eternal life. At the Great White Throne, there will be no saved and no kingdom; All those judged will be “cast into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:15).

The Judgment of the Wicked (Revelation 20:11-15)

The Great White Throne judgment will follow the thousand-year reign of Christ. This is the final judgment, and only the wicked dead are to be judged. According to Revelation 20:5, believers were resurrected a thousand years before this judgment, and their works were judged at the “judgment seat of Christ” (2 Cor. 5:10).

  1. At this judgment the wicked dead will seek a hiding place from the face of the Lord Jesus Christ, the judge. But there is no hiding place.
  2. At this judgment the “dead, small and great” (v.12), will stand before God. But the greatness of the great will be of no value. “There is none who does good, no, not one” (Rom. 3:12).
  3. At this judgment the “Book of Life” (v.12) will be opened to show conclusively that these people are not in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
  4. At this judgment the dead will be judged “each one according to his works” (v.13). God is a just God, since there are degrees of punishment in hell, some will be punished more than others (Luke 12:42-48).
  5. At this judgment there will be no acquittal, no higher court to which the lost may appeal. They are lost and lost forever; they are damned to all eternity, without hope. In hell there is no hope, no sympathy, no love. Even the love of God does not extend into the portals of hell.

The Beginning and the End

Genesis

Revelation

The sun is created

The sun is not needed.

Satan is victorious.

Satan is defeated.

Sin enters the human race

Sin is banished.

People run and hide from God

People are invited to live with God forever.

People/Creation cursed

The curse is removed.

Tears are shed, with sorrow for sin

No more sin, no more tears or sorrow.

The garden and earth are cursed

God’s city is glorified; the earth is made new.

Paradise is lost

Paradise is regained.

People are doomed to death

Death is defeated; believers live forever with God

The Bible records for us the beginning of the world and the end of the world. The story of mankind, from beginning to end-from the fall into sin to redemption and God’s ultimate victory over evil-is found in the pages of the Bible.

1 Corinthians 15:24-28 (NKJV) 24  Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.
25  For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.
26  The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
27  For “He has put all things under His feet.” But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted.
28  Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.

Death and the grave are thrown into the lake of fire. God’s judgment is finished. The lake of fire is the ultimate destination of everything wicked-Satan, the beast, the false prophet, the demons, death, the grave, and all those whose names are not recorded in the Book of Life because they did not place their faith in Jesus Christ. John’s vision does not permit any gray areas in God’s judgment. If by faith we have not identified with Christ, confessing him as Lord, there will be no hope, no second chance, no other appeal.

The Renewal of All Things

We now come to one of the most important kingdom passages- Revelation 19 and 20. Revelation 19:11-21 describes the second coming of Jesus. Jesus returns with power and glory and destroys His enemies. Also destroyed are the beast and false prophet (20-21). The kingly implications of Jesus’ coming are evident in Revelation 19:15-16:

From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.”

Striking the nations and ruling them with “a rod of iron” brings what God promised for His Messiah in Psalm 2:9 (see also Rev 2:26-27). The nations that scoffed at the Messiah are brought into subjection to the King of kings and Lord of lords. With Revelation 20:1-10 the events of the second coming of Jesus unfold and an intermediate kingdom of a thousand years is explicitly revealed.

Summary of the End Times:

  1. Satan will be bound and all his activities are completely ceased for a thousand years.
  2. Positions of kingdom authority are granted to God’s people and previously martyred saints.
  3. The martyrs who were slain for the testimony of Jesus are resurrected and reign with Christ for a thousand years.
  4. Another group, “the rest of the dead,” comes to life a thousand years later.
  5. Those who are part of the first resurrection are priests of God and Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.
  6. At the end of the thousand years Satan is released and leads a rebellion that is immediately defeated with fire from heaven.

With Revelation 21 and 22, we come to the culmination of God’s kingdom program and the goal of all history. Ever since the fall God’s plan has been to restore His creation through the Son. This involves fulfilling the rule and subdue mandate of Genesis 1:26-28. At this point, Jesus’ prayer that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matt 6:10) is a perfect reality. God is all in all (see 1 Cor 15:28). The Son’s commission to reign until all His enemies have been defeated has occurred. Messiah’s reign upon the earth has taken place and the Father’s verdict is, “Mission Accomplished!” The transition to the eternal kingdom commences. The Messiah’s mediatorial reign does not end as much as it transitions and merges into the Father’s kingdom. Both Father and Son are on the throne (see Rev 22:3). All three relationships God placed man into at creation are fully restored.

First, man is in proper relationship with his Creator. Second, man is in complete fellowship and harmony with other human beings. And third, man’s relationship with the creation is restored. All three relationships were marred at the fall, but now all three are complete.

While Genesis 1-2 was the original “Once upon a time,” with Revelation 21-22 we see the ultimate “And they lived happily ever after.” In one sense this is the end. Yet in another it is the beginning. This is the start of a new world inhabited only by lovers of God who will live forever confirmed in holiness and love in a world never again tainted by sin. They will spend the “ages to come” (Eph 2:7) worshiping God, reigning, and discovering the adventures of the new earth.

The words of C.S. Lewis, from The Last Battle, capture this idea well:

All their life in this world and all their adventures had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.

The Timing of The New Earth

The most detailed discussion of the eternal kingdom is found in Revelation 21:1-22:5. There is much described here but our focus is mostly on how this section relates to the kingdom’s timing and nature. As for timing, what is described starting in Revelation 21:1 occurs chronologically after the thousand-year reign of Christ on the earth, the final rebellion and defeat of Satan, and the Great White Throne judgment of Revelation 20. These events are followed by, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth” (Rev 21:1). The “new heaven and a new earth” language of Revelation 21:1 is first found in Isaiah 65:17-“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth,” and then again in Isaiah 66:22. Second Peter 3:13 declares: “But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.” The final hope and destination of the believer is not the intermediate state in heaven, or even the millennium of Revelation 20:1-6, but the eternal state as described in Revelation 21 and 22.

God has never given up on his original creation. Yet somehow we’ve managed to overlook an entire biblical vocabulary that makes this point clear. Reconcile. Redeem. Restore. Recover. Return. Renew. Regenerate. Resurrect. Each of these biblical words begins with the re-prefix, suggesting a return to an original condition that was ruined or lost.

The “river of the water of life” in Revelation 22:1 shows the presence of water in the new Jerusalem. As with Ezekiel 47, the presence of a river means vegetation abundance, in this case “twelve kinds of fruit.” Ezekiel 47 also says the gushing river that flows from the temple makes its way to the sea so “the waters of the sea become fresh” (47:8). not only this, but “every living creature which swarms in every place where the river goes, will live” and “there will be very many fish” (47:9). Again, the description of Ezekiel 47 best fits the intermediate millennial kingdom, but the similar language of Revelation 22:1-2 indicates a positive function for water in the eternal state.

The New Jerusalem

After John saw the coming of the new heaven and new earth, He then “saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God” (Rev 21:2). Just as the new earth is connected with the old earth, so too, the new Jerusalem is related to the former Jerusalem.

Since the Jerusalem from above is the ‘new’ Jerusalem, we may suppose that it is connected in some manner with the old one so that the new is the old one renewed. Like believers and the earth, the city of Jerusalem undergoes a resurrection and renewal. Just as the new earth is a real tangible planet, so too is the new Jerusalem. The city, while heavenly in origin, is a tangible city that resides on the new earth.

The new Jerusalem is the capital city of the new earth.

According to Revelation 21:10 John was carried by an angel in the Spirit to “a great and high mountain” so he could see the new Jerusalem coming from heaven. It seems that John is on a mountain perch outside the new Jerusalem when the city descends to earth which hints at its locale on the earth outside the city. The dimensions also point to it being a city on the new earth. The length and width of the city are about 1500 miles. This is an enormous city that is roughly half of the size of the United States.

Isaiah 2:2-4 (NKJV) 2  Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD’S house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. 3  Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4  He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.

Four key elements are highlighted:

  • The pre-eminence of Mount Zion.
  • Gentile pilgrimage to Mount Zion.
  • The Lord judging the nations.
  • The removal of weapons of warfare.

The term “mountain” refers to Mount Zion in Jerusalem, the mountain on which God’s temple sits. The “house of the Lord” is the temple. Mount Zion in Jerusalem will be exalted and elevated above the mountains and hills around it. In Isaiah’s day, Mount Zion did not tower above other mountains but in the “last days” it will. But is this a reference to changes in Mount Zion’s physical elevation, or is this a figurative elevation to prominence? We see no reason why both cannot be true. A physical entity can also convey a figurative meaning. Thus, Mount Zion can be elevated physically and in prominence. Zechariah 14:4-8 indicates that when Jesus returns to earth there will be massive geographic changes that affect the Mount of olives, Jerusalem, and the land of Israel.

Revelation 21:24 states that, “The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.” If kings of the earth are bringing their “glory” or contributions into the city, activity is taking place outside the new Jerusalem. The direction of the kings of the earth into the city indicates geography outside the new Jerusalem. Therefore, the new Jerusalem is a city on the new earth and there are geographical locales outside this great city.

Nations

Nations have been important in God’s plans since Genesis 10-11. So it is no surprise that nations are important in the eternal kingdom and show a point of continuity with conditions in this present age. On three occasions “nations” are mentioned on the new earth. The first two occur in Revelation 21.

Revelation 21:24-26 (NKJV) 24  And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. 25  Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). 26  And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.

A third reference to “nations” is found in Revelation 22:2 where they are said to exist in harmony. So nations as geo-political entities exist on the new earth. In Revelation, the nations often are viewed negatively under the leadership of Satan and followers of the Beast. But nations are now viewed positively. Not only is Israel restored, so too are many nations.

Some believe the “nations” are simply redeemed humanity in a generic sense without any ethnic and national diversity, but this is not accurate. After mentioning “nations” in Revelation 21:24, John also mentions “kings of the earth.” These nations have leaders-kings who represent their nations as they bring their glory into the new Jerusalem. The language here is similar to Isaiah 60: “nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising” (Isa 60:3). And, “The wealth of the nations will come to you” (Isa 60:5). Such a picture is consistent with OT passages such as Isaiah 19:24-25 that foretold nations in the future alongside Israel.

The Nations represent a “third group” in addition to the nation of Israel and the church:

Therefore, in addition to the Old Testament people of God indicated by the twelve gates named after the twelve tribes of Israel (21:12) and the New Testament people of God indicated by the twelve foundations inscribed with the twelve apostles, the reader is meant to distinguish a third group: the nations who will be converted in the future in fulfillment of the OT prophecies (Is. 2:2-5; 60), who will also inhabit the new Jerusalem and become, along with the former two groups, the one people of God (21:24; cf. v. 3).24

The Millennium and The Eternal State

The Bible speaks of two ages. There is a present age, which describes conditions on the earth before Jesus returns to set up His kingdom. Then there is an “age to come” which describes conditions on earth after Jesus returns. Just as “this age” has various eras and dispensations, the millennium and eternal kingdom are two phases of the “age to come.” Both are superior to this present age, which is characterized by sin and death, yet there are some differences between them. The millennium is primarily the kingdom of the Last Adam, the Messiah, as Jesus reigns for a thousand years.

This kingdom is mediatorial in that the Father reigns through Jesus and His followers. They succeed in the realm (earth) where the first Adam failed. In doing so Jesus fulfills the task God gave to man in the Garden of Eden. The eternal kingdom, on the other hand, involves the direct reign of both the Father and the Son. First Corinthians 15:24-28 explains the distinction. Jesus the Messiah “must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet” (1 Cor 15:25). We are also told that when the “end” comes “He [Jesus] hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power” (1 Cor 15:24). Thus, Jesus reigns for a period of time (millennium) and then hands His kingdom over to the Father (eternal kingdom).

This shows some distinction between Jesus’ reign from David’s throne and the kingdom of the Father since Jesus hands His kingdom over to the Father. This does not mean Jesus stops ruling. Revelation 11:15 says Jesus “will reign forever and ever.” Revelation 22:3 mentions “the throne of God and of the Lamb [Jesus],” showing that Jesus is ruling with the Father. Yet a transition occurs. The millennial kingdom is uniquely the Son’s reign. The spotlight is on Him and His glory. It is Jesus’ time to receive the honor on earth He so richly deserves. It is a period of time when the world that rejected Jesus is directly under His righteous reign. It is also a time when the Son completes the mission of bringing this world back into complete conformity with the Father’s will. So the millennium highlights the Son’s reign. When the eternal kingdom begins the Son will hand the kingdom over to the Father, yet the Son still has a reigning function.

One passage with millennial and eternal kingdom implications is Isaiah 65:17-25. This starts with, “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth” (65:17). These words are used of the eternal kingdom of Revelation 21:1a: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth.” So then, the “new heavens and a new earth” language used in Isaiah 65:17 is found again concerning the eternal kingdom in Revelation 21:1.

The chapter on Isaiah mentions childbirth (v. 23) and death (v. 20). These fit a millennial kingdom better. Isaiah 65:17-25 also describes the millennium or the eternal kingdom. The millennial kingdom could operate as an initial or first phase of the new earth. We can liken the relationship of the two to the concept of “first fruits”:

In light of the whole Scripture, it appears that the Millennium is like a “first fruits” of the eternal state. The Millennium will be like a preview of the eternal messianic kingdom that will be revealed fully in the eternal state. Therefore, because the two are alike in nature, they share distinct similarities.

Similarities and Differences

There are important similarities between the millennial kingdom and the eternal kingdom. For example, in both the saints of God are reigning (Rev 20:4, 6 with Rev 22:5). Yet there are also differences. First, the millennium focuses on Jesus’ reign while in the eternal kingdom both the Father and Son are directly ruling (see 1 Cor 15:24-28). Second, with both kingdom phases the nations are subjected to Christ (see Isa 2:2-4). But in the millennium the nations can still sin (see Zech 14:16-19) while in the eternal kingdom they do not (Rev 22:2). Third, righteousness and justice characterize both the millennial kingdom and the eternal kingdom. But in the millennium there is still some sin and death (see Isa 65:20), while in the eternal kingdom there is no sin or death (Rev 21:4, 8, 27). Fourth, the curse on the ground is lifted in both phases of the kingdom (Isa 30:23; 32:14-15; 35:1-2, 7; with Rev 22:3). But the removal of the curse is final and permanent in the eternal kingdom. Fifth, the presence of sin and death are greatly reduced in the millennial kingdom while totally removed in the eternal kingdom. Sixth, Jerusalem is prominent in both the millennium and the eternal kingdom. But in the eternal state the dimensions of the city are much greater (Rev 21:10-21).

Sharper differences also exist. In the millennial kingdom there is a temple (see Ezek 40-48), but in the eternal kingdom no temple exists “for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Rev 21:22). In addition, in the millennium there is marriage and childbirth (see Isa 65:23), but in the eternal kingdom marriage does not exist (see Matt 22:30; Luke 20:34-36). Both the millennial kingdom and eternal kingdom are important phases of God’s kingdom program. They are similar and distinct and reveal how God relates to His creation at these strategic times in history. A proper understanding of the kingdom program will take both phases of the kingdom into account.

God on The Throne and Servants Who Reign

Revelation 22:1-5 offers the last description of the coming eternal kingdom. The “river of the water of life” flows from the throne of God and the Lamb (22:1). On either side of the river is the “tree of life” (22:2) that has not been seen since the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3. This tree of life bears “twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month.” That the tree yields its fruit “every month” indicates time exists on the new earth. Chronological months exist.

Just as the original creation existed in time, so too will the restored creation. Negative elements associated with time in a fallen world such as decay and increasing weakness certainly will not be a part of the new creation.

Revelation 22:3 states, “There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him.” For the first time since the fall, the world is no longer under a curse in any sense. This was the hope from Genesis 3:15 with the promise of a seed of the woman who would defeat the power behind the serpent (Satan). This also was the expectation expressed by Lamech: “This one will give us rest from our work and from the toil of our hands arising from the ground which the Lord has cursed” (Gen 5:29).

The new Jerusalem possesses the throne of God and the Lamb. Messiah’s kingdom has transitioned into the Father’s, so both are reigning from the same throne. Rev. 22:5 then states God’s people “will reign forever and ever.” This last verse describing the eternal kingdom mentions God’s people reigning and they do so in God’s presence.

This brings the kingdom program full circle. When God created man, He made him to rule and subdue the earth in His presence (Gen 1:26-28). Yet man sinned and failed in the dominion mandate. But the ultimate Man, Jesus the Messiah, succeeds where Adam failed. Now God enables those who believe in Him to carry out the mandate faithfully. This is probably related to the continuing new Covenant ministry of the Holy Spirit. Because of Jesus all things have been restored and God’s image bearers are now able to reign over the creation perfectly for God’s glory-“. . . and they lived happily ever after!”

The Resurrection

After His death on the Cross, Jesus lay in the grave for three days (Matt 12:40). Then – God raised His Son from the dead!

Romans 1:4 (NKJV)  and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.

God Raised You Up Together with Christ

Jesus’ death was for you. So was His resurrection!

Ephesians 2:1-6 (NKJV) 1  And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2  in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3  among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 4  But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5  even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6  and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
Colossians 3:1-3 (NKJV) 1  If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2  Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3  For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

1. To Give You A New Life

“God … has saved us and called us to a holy life – not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.

2 Timothy 1:9-10 (NKJV) 9  who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, 10  but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,

2. To Give You A New Birth

1 Peter 1:3 (NKJV)  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

3. To Give You A New Beginning

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

4. To Give You:

  1. Victory Over Satan. “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome the world, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world [Satan]… for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God”.

1 John 4:4 (NKJV)  You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
1 John 5:4-5 (NKJV) 4  For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith. 5  Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
Colossians 2:13-15 (NKJV) 13  And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14  having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15  Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

  1. Authority Over Satan. After His resurrection, “…Jesus Christ… has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand – with angels, authorities and powers [this includes Satan] in submission to him”

1 Peter 3:21-22 (NKJV) 21  There is also an antitype which now saves us–baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22  who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.
Luke 10:17-19 (NKJV) 17  Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” 18  And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19  Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

  1. Power Over Satan. “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know… his incomparably great power for us who believe.”

    “That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at this right hand in the heavenly realms, for above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.”

    “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way”

Ephesians 1:18-23 (NKJV) 18  the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19  and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20  which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,
21  far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. 22  And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23  which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
Mark 16:15-18 (NKJV) 15  And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16  He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17  And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18  they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Acts 1:8 (NKJV)  But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Acts 4:33 (NKJV)  And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.

5. To Make You a Son and Heir in God’s Kingdom

“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of Sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ…”.

Romans 8:15-17 (NKJV) 15  For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16  The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17  and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

The Resurrection Meets Every Need of Life

1. It Is Your Deliverance from the PAST

Your old sinful life was put to death on the Cross with Jesus, and buried with Him in the grave. Then, when Jesus was raised to life again, you were raised with Him as a new creation – leaving behind your old life in Jesus’ grave!

“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life… the death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus”.

Romans 6:4-11 (NKJV) 4  Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5  For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6  knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7  For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8  Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9  knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10  For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11  Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Ephesians 2:1-7 (NKJV) 1  And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2  in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3  among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 4  But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5  even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6  and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7  that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Colossians 2:12-15 (NKJV) 12  buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13  And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14  having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15  Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

2. It Is Your Power for the PRESENT

Because Jesus is ALIVE we have now received the power of His Spirit to live a life of victory over sin and all of Satan’s attacks against us.

“What then shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things!”

“Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? Shall God who justifies? Who is he that condemns? Will Christ Jesus who died – more than that, who was raised to life – who is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us?”

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?”

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loves us…” (Rom 8:31-39).

Romans 8:31-39 (NKJV) 31  What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32  He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33  Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34  Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36  As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
37  Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39  nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

3. It Is Your Hope for the FUTURE

The resurrection of Jesus gives us great hope for the future. He is called “the first born from the dead” (Col 1:18). In His resurrection, he was opening the way for all those who would believe in Him to follow after Him – to also be raised from the dead!

One wonderful day in the future, Jesus Christ will return to the earth again – not as a baby this time, but revealing to the whole world Who He really is – the glorious God and Rule of all Creation, At that time all those who have died, believing in Him, will be raised to life again!

“…If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.”

“But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.”

“For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.”

“For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the first fruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him” (1 Cor 15:17-23). See also 1 Corinthians 15:50-57 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

1 Corinthians 15:17-23 (NKJV) 17  And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18  Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19  If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. 20  But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21  For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23  But each one in his own order: Christ the first fruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.
1 Corinthians 15:50-57 (NKJV) 50  Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51  Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed– 52  in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54  So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55  “O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?”
56  The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NKJV) 13  But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15  For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16  For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18  Therefore comfort one another with these words.

My Commitment

Because of the resurrection of Christ, I make a commitment today to receive the fullness of my new life and liberation in Him. I will stand fast in this truth and share it with everyone I can.