Recently, as apart of our homeschooling endeavors, my mom created a week-long Bible study that goes in-depth on Jesus’ return. The interesting thing, however, is that there’s not just one return, but two that we should be looking forward to. As an attempt to kind of summarize her revelations (pun intended) and what God has shown her and us through this amazing study, I’ve put together a little list of what happens before, during, and after we, as Christians, go home to be with Jesus forever in heaven. I plan to do a more in-depth look at all of these sometime in the future, but for now, here is an overview at what all is going to happen:
Before we go home, we live in what’s called the “Age of Grace.” This is the 2,000-some-year-period that we are all in right now in which, over and over again, God has given all unbelievers multiple chances to see His amazing (and free…) gift of eternal salvation. (2 Peter 3:9)
Before we go home, we need to be reaching the lost and showing them the awesome gift that God has given them. We need to be planting seeds even in our friends who might seem cold as stone to the idea of becoming a born-again believer because, if we were to get raptured, they would remember what they had been told. We knew this event was going to happen. We warned them, but they didn’t listen. But maybe they will now. (Romans 6:23, Acts 1:8)
Before we go home, we need to be alert, ready, looking for Christ’s return, blameless, undeceived, patient, strengthening our hearts, at peace with the brethren, and abiding in Him. (Matthew 24:42-44, Titus 2:12-13, 1 Thessalonians 5:6/23, 2 Thessalonians 2:3, James 5:7-9)
When we go home, the “rapture” will come like a thief in the night, and all of God’s children (that’s us, those who have Romans 10:9’d) will be taken away to heaven. (2 Peter 3:10-12, Revelation 16:15, Luke 21:34-36)
When we go home, we (Christians) will be caught up with the Lord in the air and re-united with our brothers in the faith who have passed on. (1 Thessalonians 4:16)
After we go home, the 7-year tribulation will be sparked with the 7-year peace treaty being signed by a renowned world leader (who will eventually be recognized as the Antichrist). (Daniel 9:27)
- The first 3 1/2 years of the tribulation is known as the “beginning of sorrows.” Although terrible things will certainly happen in this timeframe, it pales in contrast to what’s to come the next 3 1/2 years. Seals 1-4 are opened during this time. (Matthew 24)
- The second 3 1/2 years is known as the “Great Tribulation”, which is when Seals 5 & 6 are opened. The Great Tribulation begins to encourage repentance. During this time frame is also when the Antichrist is revealed, and the treaty with Israel is broken and we are thrown into the Abomination of Desolation, Seal 7, and Armageddon. (Joel 2:11, Matthew 24:21-22, Revelation 6).
After we go home, Jesus comes again for the second time as the Lion, Sovereign Ruler, and King to reveal and vindicate God’s judgment universally (Romans 14:11). During this time is also when Satan is bound and the 1,000-year reign on earth begins (Revelation 9:15).
After we go home, (after the 1,000-year reign) God gives man over to his rebellious heart and looses Satan for the final battle (and WHOOPS HIS TAIL OFF!) (Revelation 20:7-10).
After we go home, the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-14) takes place and God resurrects the lost for judgment to the lake of fire (Matthew 25:31-46).
Then, it’s all over. God finally lives in harmony with man, and vice-versa… Doesn’t that sound great???
However, please don’t take my word for it. These are just predictions using God’s Word as a resource. As you study, you may find that the timing seems a little different… Take your time and find out what’s going to happen and why we do need to be reaching the lost as quickly as possible. Nobody, even Jesus, knows when all of this is going to begin, when we finally do go home.
That’s it. No punchline here. Please, I beg you, be proactive about sharing your faith with everyone around you. Anyone who is “left behind” will not have a pleasant time, to say the least…
and toodles. 😛