Eschatology Introduction

I thought for the next study we have in our class the topic of Eschatology would be an interesting subject. I also believe it is a necessary subject for us to be aware and informed in. We are told by our Lord to watch and pray that we do not fall into temptation. “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41) As always our adversary is busy trying to weaken our testimony for Jesus. We learned in the Parable of the Ten Virgins that we are to keep our wicks trimmed and our lamps filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit. In the hour that Christ will call His Church out we must be about His Kingdom Business that no one will be left behind. “Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.” (Matthew 25:13) His Church will be called out and there is some confusion as to when. I myself am pre-tribe meaning that the Church will be caught up before the Great Tribulation. Others believe mid-tribe and post tribe. There is Scripture to support all three positions and I will not argue the doctrine between them. I base my belief in pre-tribe on the verse in Revelation where the Apostle John was called out and the Church was not mentioned again in the book of Revelation. “After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.” (Revelation 4:1)

I believe that the Church could be caught up at any moment as there are no events which must precede that coming of Jesus. When the Church is called out Jesus does not come down to the earth but the His saints meet Him in the air. “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

After the Church is caught up there is a period of seven years that the gospel of Jesus Christ will be preached. “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14) Those who had claimed to be followers of Jesus will now know that their halfhearted commitment was not sufficient. Jesus sacrificed His all on the cross and expects us to love and serve Him first. Many an attitude will change and the need for salvation will become evident.

The Jewish nation which has been partially blinded to the truth of their Messiah will at that time have their eyes opened and they will recognize Jesus as their Messiah. “For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery–so that you will not be wise in your own estimation–that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.” (Romans 11:25-26) Twelve thousand from each tribe of Israel will have their eyes opened and they will be about evangelizing all who will hear. “And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel.” (Revelation 7:4)

This will be the time of the Great Tribulation when God’s wrath is unleashed upon His creation. “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. “Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house. “Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! “But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath. “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. “Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him. “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. “Behold, I have told you in advance. “So if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them. “For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Matthew 24:15-27)

It is at this time the man of lawlessness, the Antichrist, will be revealed and will make war to rule the earth. “Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming.” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-8)

It is after these events that the Lord will come with His saints. A day known as The Day of the Lord. “Now may our God and Father Himself and Jesus our Lord direct our way to you; and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you; so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.” (1 Thessalonians 3:11-13)

When Christ returns with His saints then He will judge the nations of the earth. “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. “All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.”Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ “Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ “Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:31-46)

After this the Millennial Reign of Jesus will begin. “Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:4)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, June 9, 2017

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