Christianity Explained, 10 - End Times
Here is the Tenth part of the Christianity Explained study in a question-verse-answer format as described in the introduction.
Someone asks the question, and someone then reads the bible verse, ideally aloud, to then discuss the answer between them - the written answer is only read afterwards to tie together.
Question - How Does Scripture Say Christ Will Come Back Again?
“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” - Acts 1:9-11
When Jesus left the earth at His Ascension after He had risen from the grave, the angel said to be ready for when He comes back to earth again in a similar way.
Question - How Will Believers Respond When Jesus Comes Back to Earth?
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” - 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
When Christ comes to earth again (known as His Second Coming), it will be loud and glorious, His feet not even touching the earth, unlike His first visit in a stable as a baby over 2,000 years ago. This time He’s coming to collect His believers, both those dead and ‘asleep’ as well as those who are still alive on earth at that time.
Question - What Will Be New After Christ Comes?
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” - Revelations 21:1-2
Believers will be taken to heaven, and then after the current earth has been burnt up a new heaven and earth will be formed for us to live an eternal life with Christ, including a new capital city Jerusalem. This is when God implements judgment of every living being and Satan and His angels, and the battle between good and evil comes to a close.
Two important books of the bible that help prophecy what future events will happen, leading up to when Christ returns are Daniel and Revelation (study of Daniel available here). Although we don’t know the exact time that Christ will come, He does want us to watch for the sign, and be ready and make preparations.
“Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.” - Luke 12:40
These talk about things like the anti-Christ, fallen Babylon, and a period of tribulation and hardship for people leading up to the coming of Christ. Even Paul in the New Testament could see things like this emerging.
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” - 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
Question - What is Christ Preparing for Believers Now?
“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. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” - John 14:2-3
God does not want us to be fearful, He will never leave us or forsake us, and Jesus Himself said He’s preparing for us in the heavenly sanctuary or our High Priest.
Question - What Will the Devil be Doing Just Before Christ Comes?
“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” - Revelations 12:9
Christ promises to make sure His gospel is preached to literally everyone in the world, and the later-rain Holy Spirit to empower us to help accomplish this. However, we need always to be aware of Satan coming up with deceptive ways that may appear to be godly on first impressions but are not.
As we come closer to Christ and truly allow Him to live through us, then we’ll actually become more expectant and longing for our future hope in glory, wanting everyone there as well and becoming less bothered about what this world’s affairs.
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” - Philippians 1:21
Question - What Are the Believing Saints Doing Just Before Christ Returns?
“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” - Revelations 14:12
Our role is to stay close to Christ and to keep His commandments through a love-relationship with Him and the power of the Holy Spirit.
It sounds so simple and yet so true - straight forward trust in Jesus Christ is what being a Christian is all about, and simple trust is all that He asks of us as we prepare to meet Him one day in glory. Amen.