For What Saith the Scriptures About The End of Time?
"If our name is not written in the Lamb's Book of Life, we are promised an eternity in outer darkness forever punished in fire (Rev. 20:15; 21:8). We all must examine ourselves and make our life right with God in obedience to His word."
What will happen at the end of time? Will man be here? Are there signs of the second coming? What will happen to the living and the dead?
As long as man has been on the earth, he has tried to predict the end of the world. Today, people are still trying to predict the end of time, and all have failed. There are many theories about the event that will effect all of us for eternity. All kinds of doctrines flood our airwaves, and bookstores. Do we believe the Millennialists who teach Christ will fight Satan in the battle of Armageddon, and rule and reign on the earth for 1000 years? Do we believe the Universalists who claim we will all go to Heaven, regardless of our spiritual condition? What about the Atheists who deny God and say once we die, we cease to exist and there is no hope beyond this life (1 Cor. 15:19)?
The plea in this issue and this article is "For what saith the scripture?" (Rom. 4:3) And because of the seriousness of this matter, only the Bible will be consulted. The Bible addresses this subject in vivid detail. Please open your Bible and study and read the things stated in this article. Let us now let the Bible answer the question at hand.
The Day Will Come
In 2 Peter 3:10, Peter tells us three things that will happen at the end of time. It will be a day. It will not be an era, millennium, or undistinguished length of time, just one day. Not only is it one day, but is promised to come. "But the day of the Lord will come." We are not left wondering will happen, but when it will happen. Peter goes on to say it will be as "a thief in the night." No man knows when the Lord will come, make no mistake about it! Christ tells us His second coming will be a mere hour (Jn. 5:28)! This is not the beginning of an "era," but one day that will determine our eternity.
The Clouds Will Open
As the apostles watched Christ ascend into Heaven, the angel promised He would come back the same way He went (Acts 1:9-11). As He left in the cloud so shall He return in the cloud. Paul affirms this in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, when he says the Lord will "descend from Heaven."
The Shout and the Trumpet
The shout of the archangel, and the trump of God will signal Christ's return (1 Thess. 4:16). This sound will stretch across the globe. At this great noise, the world will know that the end of the world is here!
Every Eye Shall See Him
John tells us, "Behold He cometh with the clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth will wail because of him. Even so, Amen" (Rev. 1:7). The Lord will be revealed to us that last day (2 Thess. 1:7). All shall see Christ at that time, living or dead. These passages lay to rest the idea of the "rapture." This false doctrine is never found in the Bible. If "every eye shall see him" as John said, then who will not? The final day will not happen in secret as some would have us to believe.
Millennialists will vehemently deny these next sentences, but our plea is, "For what saith the scripture"? So they will not deny my words, but God's words.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, we read of the last day and final judgment. Here Paul only deals with one-half of the resurrection, but it is important to notice. Starting in verse sixteen, Paul says, "the dead in Christ shall rise first." In verse seventeen we read, "Then we who 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." To put 1000 years between verse sixteen and verse seventeen is to wrest this passage. Paul is simply saying that in the resurrection, the dead will rise before the living do. The things mentioned will happen on the same day (2 Pet. 3:10), at the same hour (Jn. 5:28)!
As Paul dealt with only one side of the resurrection, Jesus gives us the "full picture" of what is to take place. In John 5:28-29, Christ says "the hour" is coming. "All in the graves shall hear His voice." Is that just the good or just the evil? All shall hear His voice and come forth!
In Acts 24:15, Paul says, ". . . there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust." Will there be many resurrections before the Judgment comes or just one? These three verses prove that there shall be "a resurrection" only one!
As we ascend to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thess. 4:17), we shall put on new, incorruptible bodies (1 Cor. 15:35-54). These bodies will be eternal in nature to make us suitable for our everlasting rewards. This body is one that pleases God (v. 38). With only this information revealed, we must trust God, and prepare ourselves for the Judgment.
The Judgment will take place with "the dead small and great" (Rev. 20:12) before God. We will be parted to the right and the left as the sheep and goats (Matt. 25:32-33). We will be judged by our works and obedience to the Bible (Eccl. 12:13-14; Jn. 12:48; Rev. 20:12-13; 22:12). If our name is written in the Book of Life, we can enter Heaven (Exod. 32:32; Psa. 69:28; Lk. 10:20). If our name is not there, we will be cast into Hell (Rev. 20:15; 21:27). In the Sacred Selections songbook (#567), a song titled, "Is My Name Written There?" brings meaning to the things we have studied. This song asks the question we must ask ourselves, "Is my name written there?" If our name is not written in the Lamb's Book of Life, we are promised an eternity in outer darkness forever punished in fire (Rev. 20:15; 21:8). We all must examine ourselves, and make our life right with God in obedience to His word. We have been warned of our Lord' s coming, and that last day. Now, let us prepare for that day (Amos 4:12).
Guardian of Truth XXXVIII: 8, p. 21-22