Eschatlogical Prophecy 101
After considerable Prayer and counsel, I have decided to undertake a lengthy study of prophecy. More specifically eschatological (end times) prophecy. I will include many Scripture references. Many times I will not include the entire text hopefully encouraging you to “dig” into your Bibles to follow along. Please carefully and Prayerfully consider the questions included with each weeks submission. Please also, feel free to include your thoughts and answers.
This initial lesson will be an overview of biblical prophecy. In future lessons we will dive deeper on many specific prophecies.
Acts 1:11 records for us the two angels telling Christ’s disciples that He would return in like manner, as they saw Him leave. This statement, as simple as it is profound, forms a sort of bedrock for the hope that we have as the church, that Jesus will come, is coming to gather His own to Himself.
When Christ does return for us, the first thing that will happen is that He will take us (His church) to heaven to enjoy the marriage supper of the Lamb. The judgment seat of Christ will accompany this event. While we will be in Heaven already (there will no such questions for us) our works for the church will be rewarded.
While we are celebrating our marriage feast with Jesus, the world will be in quite a different time. This is when the tribulation begins. Since Christ will have taken His church away at this time, the Holy Spirit will go with Him. Imagine that. The world full of those who did not believe in Jesus, with hearts that are continually seeking evil and the loss the only restraining influence the world has ever had. The word tribulation seems somehow inadequate for the treachery that will be taking place at that time.
Revelation 3:10 comforts us to the fact that during this seven year tribulation we will not be on the earth.
There are 3 characteristics of the tribulation period that are important.
1) Worldwide judgment- In Revelation such things as seals and trumpets… bring about the forms of judgment the world will suffer.
2) Israel will be persecuted- Jeremiah 30:7 speaks of “Jacobs trouble” Jews will be harshly persecuted at this time.
3) Many will yet be saved- People who did not hear the Gospel before the rapture will have the opportunity to do so during the tribulation, many will believe and be saved, some of these will be immediately martyred for their faith. There will also be those who think they will “party” until the rapture and then get serious about faith and salvation. 2Thessalonians 2:9-12 gives strong admonition against this delusion.
The antichrist will rule the world during the tribulation. He will be Satan incarnate. The end will come when Christ appears and the Battle of Armageddon begins
The Millennium comes next. This thousand-year period is when Christ will rule. His capital will be Jerusalem. As His saints fresh from the Battle of Armageddon we rule with Him from the New Jerusalem, which is located above the earth. We help Jesus to oversee a thousand years of peace and righteousness on earth. At the beginning of the millennium, all people will be believers from the tribulation period. The unbelievers have been judged at this point. However, many people will be born in the millennium. They will still have free will and many will reject Christ even as his rule is perfect and peaceful in every way. Satan will be loosed at the end of the millennium for a short lived rebellion.
The Great White Throne Judgment concludes the millennium and eternity begins.
Prophecy, while stimulating mentally is so much more. If appreciated fully in the heart of a Christian, it should have profound impact on how we act. Below are some Scripture references to reveal this truth.
1Corinthians 4:5. Knowing we are to be judged, how can we judge others?
1Corinthians 11:26. The communion we take is rehearsal for the Marriage Feast in Heaven.
Colossians 3:1-4. Knowing Christ is coming for us, we should set our hearts on things “above”.
Hebrews 10:25. We should draw together with other believers. We need the encouragement and love that only another in Christ can offer.
1John 3:2-3. Anticipate His return and be ready for it. Purify your life. Do you want to be caught in an unholy act when He returns? Or worshipping him?
Jude 1:20-23. We must do everything we can to reach the lost. Please Pray about how you can positively affect someone’s eternity today, and then be ready and willing to “go for it”!!
1Thessalonians 4:16-18. Christians should have no fear of death. The dead will rise first to meet Him, and thus always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words!
When you know what the future holds, you can face today Boldly and Courageously!
What do you think is the ultimate connection between Genesis 3:15 and Revelation 20:10?
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