We are told in scripture that currently, Christ is sitting at the right-hand side of the Father, waiting until the day in which His enemies are made a footstool for his feet.
Hebrews 10:12–13 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet.
When Christ does return for His Second Coming, He will crush all of His enemies and His throne will be established forever. The question is, “When will these things take place?”
In the last blog, I discussed the details of the rapture and laid out the flow from the beginning of the tribulation period until the end of the great tribulation period. Now I will discuss somewhat briefly the events following, as each of these, we could talk about in-depth for months to come. So, let’s pick up with the event immediately following the great tribulation period, which many call Armageddon. In Revelation 18, we begin reading about how the angels began rejoicing over the destruction of Babylon, almost as if they were rejoicing before it actually happened, knowing it was coming in just a few moments as they watch King Jesus lead His armies into battle, which we see in Revelation 19:13-14.
Revelation 19:13–14 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses.
Here the rider is called the Word of God, tying back to what we were told in the book of John, and so obviously, this is none other than Jesus Himself. This is the Second Coming of Christ. And here He is going into battle to destroy His enemies. This event is short-lived, and we almost immediately begin reading in Revelation 20 how Christ has bound Satan into the pit for a thousand years. As we move forward in the same chapter in Revelation 20:4 we read about the resurrection of the believers in Christ.
Revelation 20:4 Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
These are those who became believers between the rapture of the church and now that were being raised to reign with Christ for a thousand years. The dead who were not His are not raised at this point to be judged, as that will come at the end of the thousand-year period when the day of judgment takes place. During this time, those who were raptured up will remain in Heaven with God until we see in Revelation 21:1 where God creates a new earth and a new heaven and in verse 2 where His Holy city descends down from heaven. At that time, all of those who were raptured up and all of those who remained on earth or that were raised up will dwell together in one kingdom with God forever.
However, before that takes place, the day of judgment happens at the end of the thousand-year period. At the end of that period, Satan is released briefly only to be then thrown into the eternal lake of fire. Then at the judgment, all of those who are found to have rejected Christ and to have not had faith in Him will be condemned as well and thrown into the same eternal lake of fire with Satan and his angels.
Revelation 20:12–15 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Then all of those who were found to be in Christ, they along with all of God’s angels, will take up residence in the new creation with God and dwell in His presence forever, where King Jesus will reign forever upon the throne, thereby fulfilling the prophecy given to David.
Once Satan, his angels, and all of those found to be not of Christ are cast into the eternal lake of fire, then all sin will be removed from the earth and its curses to go with it. This is when God’s people will live a life for all eternity without any pain or suffering, and they will have immortal bodies, and death will be no more.
Revelation 21:3–4 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
As I think about these things, it brings two feelings out, one of joy as I think about being in the presence of my Savior, but then also what of great concern as I think about the multitudes that don’t know Christ now. As children of God, knowing what is to come, a life with God, a life without pain and suffering, allows us to live a life now without fear of death, so that we can be bright lights for our Lord and be used to save souls. This brings to mind the profound calling that we see in Jude 23 as we are called to snatch some from the fire.
Jude 22–23 And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.
I know we can’t physically do the saving, that is God’s work, but we can surely be His hands and feet as the church to seek to make disciples of Christ, telling many about His awesome deeds!
This blog for certain was brief, and it covers a lot but I pray that it gives you a synopsis of God’s plan and that it would help you see how His Word outlines how God will bring all things together in the end for His glory and praise, fulfilling all of His promises. I also pray that it helps remind us of the overarching goal of God, which is to bring His people back to Himself, to dwell with Him forever, and that the main focus is on the eternal reign of King Jesus.
Psalm 27:4 (ESV) — 4 One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.
Jesus is not a means to the end; He is the end, and He should be our greatest joy.