For Bible believers everywhere, somewhere in the
back of our minds there looms these thoughts and these
questions about the end ... the end of time. The day
when Jesus will come back and everything that is on
this earth, as we know it, will shut down. The
questions begin to multiply.
When is that going to be?
What's going to happen?
Will the earth continue?
Will it be destroyed?
What will happen to our bodies?
What about the dead?
The questions go on and on and on. Those questions
are spurred periodically by our subconscious to our
conscious by volatile world events, and by these
"end of time" prognosticators.
We all want to know when, Is it going to be today?
Is it going to be tomorrow? Will it be 100 years? When
is Jesus coming back? and When will time--as we know
Theories are numerous. You can go all the way back
in history and see where there have been these vain
attempts to try and predict the end of time. For
example, if you look back to William Miller, a figure
associated with the founding of Seventh-Day Adventist
religion, he predicted the date of Christ's second
coming as being somewhere between March 21, 1843 and
March 21, 1844. He got all of his camps prepared for
that Second Coming and the end of time and, well,
nothing happened. He assumed he had miscalculated the
date so he re-figured again. This time it was going to
be October 22, 1844, but again nothing happened.
In an effort to advance his movement, Charles
Russell, the founder of the Jehovah's Witnesses,
advanced the notion that Jesus was going to return in
1874. But again, the wait was in vain.
In 188 another author, Edgar C. Whisenant, projected
the date of the rapture. Then when he missed that date,
he put it a little bit farther ahead. All of that has
come and gone as well.
During the first Persian Gulf conflict, an article
on the front page told about what is happening
overseas, and right beside it somebody was predicting
the end of the world because of this conflict in the
Now, look at a couple of statements about those
predictions--recent or long ago. All of those
predictions stem from literally a handful of verses,
some of which are found in the first half of Matthew 24
that incidentally, was not spoken by Jesus about the
end of time but the destruction of Jerusalem. Some of
those come from apocalyptic literature. That's vivid
literature written for the Jews--filled with imagery
(some in the Old Testament, some from the book of
Revelation)--but most of the time, pulled out of
context from verses not meant to apply to the end of
time at all.
In fact, if someone studies the Bible with any
scrutiny at all, they realize that the predictions are
pure folly. 2 Peter 3:10 states, "The day of the
Lord will come like a thief in the night." Jesus
is quoted in Matthew 24:36, talking about the end of
time "No one knows about that day or hour, not
even the angels in heaven nor the Son, but only the
The point is when anyone informs the world that he
or she has suddenly discovered the time of the Lord's
second coming, they immediately reveal themselves as a
false prophet, because the day of the Lord will come
like a "thief in the night". There has been
such a proliferation of propaganda concerning the end
of time -- the coming of Jesus -- what's going to
happen when that occurs -- proposing countless
theories. So let use examine what does the Bible tells
us is not going to happen when Jesus comes again and
then what it tells us will happen.
What Is Not Going To Happen!
1. He is
not coming to set up a kingdom.
One of the more popular theories regarding the last
days is the fact that Jesus will come and establish
some kind of utopian 1,000 year reign, during which
time there will be peace and prosperity all across the
earth. According to this theory, which is called the
Millennial Theory, the temple is going to be rebuilt,
temple worship will be restored, Jesus will rule from
David's throne for 1,000 years, and he will evangelize
the world from that throne.
The doctrine has its roots all the way back to C. L.
Schofield and some others, but frankly, it's not
Biblical. Oh it's true there are a number of Bible
prophecies about the Messiah setting up a kingdom.There
are also Biblical prophecies about that Messiah sitting
on David's throne. But the Bible teaches that has
already been fulfilled, the Messiah has come and he has
already established his kingdom. In fact, here is an
inspired interpretation of those very prophecies. It is
found in Acts 2:29-33 when Peter stated Pentecost
“Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the
patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is
here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that
God had promised him on oath that he would place one of
his descendants on his throne.Seeing what was ahead, he
spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was
not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay.
God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all
witnesses of the fact. Exalted to the right hand of
God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy
Spirit and has poured out what you now see and
Peter said that prophecy has been
fulfilled. The prophecy about the coronation of Jesus
occurred when he was resurrected. Right now he is
seated on his throne, and the kingdom is under his
charge now. All the prophecies about the kingdom reign
are fulfilled in the resurrection and the ascension and
the coronation of Jesus. I wish we had time to look in
detail at Colossians 1:13 and 1 Corinthians verses
15:20-26. It just says the same thing; Jesus is
reigning over his kingdom now.
"Where do they get the idea about the
1,000-year reign?" It comes from Revelation 20.
But, if we begin to take every image and symbol and
number from Revelation literally, we will be the most
confused people on the face of the earth. Written
apocalyptically, the number 1,000 is a symbol. Ten (a
number of completeness) cubed, which represents further
completeness. That 1,000-year reign represents the last
days of the Christian age, and we are living in that
right now. It's the 1,000-year reign. So don't
misunderstand ... God is not coming again to set up a
kingdom, the kingdom is here.
2. He Is
Not Coming To Bestow Special Favor On The
This really is a spin-off to the Millennial Theory.
It is a premillennial idea that Jesus' Second Coming
will be just before that 1,000-year reign. The concept
is the Jews will be saved during that 1,000-year period
of evangelism and they will be instruments of Christ to
evangelize the rest of mankind, still lost up to that
point. During that time, the Jews will supposedly come
from all over the earth to their homeland of Palestine,
and there, Christ (bestowing special favor on the Jews)
is going to reign over all man.
There is one thing the Bible makes
abundantly clear in the New Testament. The time of any
nation or race of people receiving special favor from
God has long since past. It is never to be revived, and
not to be resurrected.When Peter was instructed by God
in Acts 10 to go to Cornelius and open the doors of the
kingdom to the Gentiles, Peter did as he was told (with
some coaxing). But here's the conclusion he reached in
Acts 10:34-35: “Then Peter began to speak: ‘I now
realize how true it is that God does not show
favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear
him and do what is right’.”
If there was any question about
God coming to bestow special favoritism on the Jews, or
anybody else, Paul summarizes it in Galatians 3:28-29
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male
nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you
belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and
heirs according to the promise.” The time has long
since past where God will bestow special favoritism on
a race of people.
not going to be a rapture.
Everyone has probably heard the "rapture
theory", that one day, there is going to be an
evacuation—rather a vaporization—of all the Christians
on earth. Suddenly, they are just going to disappear.
After the rapture, supposedly, there will come some
seven-year period of tribulation followed by that
1,000-year reign. You know the rest of it from what we
have just discussed above.
Where did this idea come from? James Brooks in the
latter part of the 19th century developed it based on 1
Thessalonians 4:16-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-55. In
both of those passages, Paul speaks of the dead being
raised, then the living being caught in the air and
given a new incorruptible body to live through
eternity. But, in those passages there is no indication
that life on earth is going to go on as usual or that
all of those who are not saved are going to keep
continue living. To the contrary, Philippians 2:10-11
states “…every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth
and under the earth, and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the
Father." Matthew 25:34-46 tells us when Jesus
appears again, that is going to be followed immediately
by a great judgment scene. Some rapturous disappearance
of the saints is not found in the Bible.
What Will Happen:
Spectacular Thing - I Thessalonians 4:16 -,
"For the Lord himself will come down from
heaven, with a loud command, and the voice of the
archangel and with the trumpet call of God..."
Every human being living on the face of the earth,
whenever that day is, will hear that trumpet and
our attention will be suddenly captured on a
Will Be Raised - 1 Thessalonians 4:16 -:
"...and the dead in Christ will be raised
first." That is corroborated in 1 Corinthians
15:52. “in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at
the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the
dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be
changed.” When Jesus comes again, the graves are
going to be emptied. All of those that we have
known and loved, and who have gone to that grave,
those bodies are going to be reunited with their
souls and they are going to be turned into
something beautiful and incorruptible.
Will Be Changed - 1 Corinthians 15:51 -,
"Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all
sleep, but we will all be changed - in a flash, in
the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For
the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised
imperishable, and we will be changed. For the
perishable must clothe itself with the
imperishable, and the mortal with
those first three things are all going to happen just
like that. They practically will be simultaneous. A
trumpet will sound and there will be the voice of the
archangel, the dead will come out of the graves, and
the living--at that time--will be caught in the air
with them. Therefore all of humanity, from the
beginning of time, will be caught up in the air with
Christ himself. It is going to be something, isn't
Separation – Matthew 25:31 - "When the
Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels
with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly
glory. All the nations will be gathered before him,
and he will separate the people one from another as
a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He
will put the sheep on his right hand and the goats
on his left."
Great Judgment Scene - Matthew 25:34, 41
"Then the King will say to those on his right,
'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your
inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the
creation of the world." … "Then he
will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you
who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for
the devil and his angels’.”
of that same judgment is Revelation 20:12, where John
writes (having seen that revelation), 'And I saw the
dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and
the books were opened. Another book was opened, which
is the book of life. The dead were judged according to
what they had done as recorded in the books."
Destruction Of The Earth - 2 Peter 3: 10,
"The day of the Lord will come like a thief.
The heavens will disappear with a roar; the
elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth
and everything in it will be laid bare."
This earth is not going to continue for
another 1,000 years. Jesus is not coming to set
up a kingdom. He is going to deliver the kingdom
that is already His to the Father after the judgment.
And those of us who are part of that kingdom, we will
live forever with the Father for eternity. The Second
Coming of Jesus is a fearful thing for many people but
it will be a joyious time for those prepared.
Lesson #1015 by Steve