The Doctrine of Last Things

Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand (Rv. 1:3).

I believe in the imminent, personal, and visible return of Jesus Christ (1 Ths. 1:10; Tit. 2:13; Rev. 22:20). He will appear first in the clouds at the rapture of the Church (1 Cor. 15:51-53; 1 Ths. 4:16-17) and subsequently on earth at the beginning of His millennial kingdom (Is. 9:6-7; Rev. 19:11-16; 20:3-6). I believe that a pretribulational, premillennial rapture best accounts for the teaching of scripture (Dan. 9:24; 1 Ths. 5:9; 2 Ths. 2:3; Rev. 3:10). All church-age believers will be raptured (1 Ths. 4:16-17) and will appear before the judgment seat of Christ (Rom. 14:10-12; 1 Cor. 3:10-15; 2 Cor. 5:10) to give an account for the spiritual character and effectiveness of their Christian lives and ministries. After this, they will gather together with Christ for the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:6-9).

I believe that there will be a literal seven-year tribulation period that fulfills the seventieth week of Daniel’s seventy weeks prophecy (Dan. 9:24-27). This period, the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7), will renew God’s plan for Israel (Rom. 11:25). God will pour out great trouble on Israel and wrath on the world (Zeph. 1:14-18; Rev. 6:17; 11:18) for the purpose of purifying Israel and judging the nations. As a result, Israel will turn to Christ in saving faith (Eze. 35:24-33; Rom. 11:26-27). The seven weeks will begin at some point following the rapture, when the antichrist signs a treaty with Israel (Dan. 7:20; 2 Ths. 2:3, 7-8; Rev. 13:1). He will break this treaty after three and a half years, and the Great Tribulation will follow – a time of unprecedented wrath and judgment (Dan. 9:27; 12:1; Mt. 24:15, 21; 2 Ths. 2:4).

I believe that the tribulation will end with Christ, accompanied by His saints and angelic armies, returning to earth in person (Zech. 14:1-11; Jude 14; Rev. 19:11-21). He will cast the antichrist and false prophet into the Lake of Fire, confine Satan to a bottomless pit, and personally rule and reign on the earth for a thousand years (Rev. 20:1-6). Those who survive the tribulation, whether Jew (Ezk. 20:-38) or Gentile (Mt. 25:31-46), will be judged and those who genuinely believe on Christ will populate the millennial kingdom. Christ will reign in person on the throne of David in Jerusalem (2 Sam. 7:12-16; Is. 9:6-7), accompanied by resurrected, glorified saints, who will serve in accordance to the judgment of their works in their past mortal life (Dan. 7:13-14, 22; 2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 2:26; 20:2-7). This reign will be characterized by righteousness (Is. 11:5; 32:1), unprecedented peace (Is. 2:4; 11:6-10; 19:23; Zech. 8:4-5) and unprecedented prosperity (Ps. 72:12-13; Is. 35:1-7). The one-thousand years will end when Satan is permitted to return to Earth, deceive the nations, and coordinate a final revolt against God. God will destroy the enemy armies with fire and cast Satan into the Lake of Fire forever (Rev. 20:7-10). Finally, the unsaved of all ages will be resurrected bodily, will appear at the Great White Throne judgment, and will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:11-15), where they will suffer conscious torment forever (Is. 66:24; Mt. 25:41, 46; Mk. 9:43-48; Lk. 16:23-24; Rev. 14:10-11; 20:11-15).

I believe that God will destroy the present universe with fire (Ps. 102:25-26; Mt. 24:35; 2 Pt. 3:10-12) and will create a new universe, including a new earth (Is. 65:17; 2 Pt. 3:13; Rev. 21:1), unaffected by evil and death (Rev. 21:4). The New Jerusalem will descend from heaven and be established as the center of life for the entire world (Rev. 21-22). The redeemed of all ages will populate this paradise forever in the presence of God.

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