The Word for today:
We have reached the last two chapters of the Bible, where the "end times" give way to eternity.
This transition generates a lot of curiosity and many questions. Over the next few days, we will attempt to deal with these FAQs. Some of the questions will look back in review; some will look forward, to "all things new." (Revelation 21:5)
Q. Explain the overall "Day of the Lord." What is the sequence of events?
The relative timing of the events of the "Day of the Lord" are endlessly debated. Here's how this teacher sees things unfolding:
"The Day of the Lord" is an extended period of time which includes the following events:
- "That day" begins at the moment of the "Rapture" (the removal of the true church).
- The Great Tribulation begins immediately after the Rapture.
- The Great Tribulation ends with the Second Coming of Christ to the earth.
- The Second Coming ushers in the Millennium (the 1000-year reign of Christ).
- At the end of the Millennium, unbelievers are judged at the Great White Throne.
- Thereafter, the new heavens and new earth come into view as the Millennium gives way to the eternal Kingdom of God.
Q. Does the Bible give any indication of when Christ will return?
Q. Really? But I thought…
What part of 'no' don't you understand?
The Bible explicitly states that no one can know the exact time of Jesus' return (Matt. 12:36). But several passages describe the kind of time it will be. Thus, while the Second Coming will come upon the unbelieving world like a thief in the night (2 Pet. 3:10), believers who are closely attuned to scripture will not be completely startled by Jesus' return (1 Thessalonians 5:2-6).
Q. How will he return? Will he be some kind of a spirit?
No way! The return of the Lord Jesus Christ will take place personally, powerfully, bodily, visibly, publicly, and instantly:
For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. (Luke 17:24)
He will come as a conquering warrior. The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world is the Lion of the tribe of Judah who will obliterate the sin of the world.
Q. What's taking him so long?
I'm glad you asked. It seems that God has a heart condition, called 'love,' which is holding things up. He wants to give as much time as possible for every sinner to find Jesus, the only Way out of here:
But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. (2 Peter 3:8-10)
("Just the FAQs" about end times and eternity will be continued tomorrow.)