ESCHATOLOGY: The Doctrine of end times

Eschatology deals with as yet unfilled prophecies and accounts of future events.

I. PURPOSE OF THIS STUDY

A. Gives insight into the character of God

1. His attributes seen:

a. Sovereignty -- Daniel 4:17; Revelation 1:8 --

In the end of Revelation we see God reigning over all things made now.

b. Justice -- II Peter 2:1-3; Romans 3:24-26;

Revelation 19:1-2

c. Wisdom -- Ephesians 3:10,11; Romans 11:31-33

d. Grace -- Ephesians 2:7

2. His Son appreciated

a. Center of God's program -- Ephesians 1:10

b. Revelation 1:1-3 is a revelation of Christ

B. Practical -- gives impetus to develop character in the Christian

-- There is no teaching of the Word of God about the future that is not related in practical fashion to our present life:

Paul -- Titus 2:11-14
Peter -- II Peter 3 (especially verse 14)
John -- I John 2:28; 3:1-8

II. MAJOR SCHOOLS OF INTERPRETATION -- our understanding of eschatology will largely depend upon our view of the millennium.

A. Various views of the millennium defined

1. Postmillennialism:

a. "Through the preaching of the Gospel in all the world, the kingdom of Christ is steadily to enlarge its boundaries, until Jews and Gentiles alike become possessed of its blessings, and a millennial period is introduced in which Christianity generally prevails throughout the earth" (A.H. Strong, Systematic Theology, p1008). This view holds that Christ will return after (post) the millennium.

b. "Postmillennialism conceives of the unfilled Abrahamic promises as being fulfilled by the church and, of course, not in any literal sense. It's method of interpretation is generally to spiritualize prophecy." -- Ryrie

c. Sees no distinction between the church and Israel. The church is spiritual Israel.

2. Amillennialism

a. "No millennium at all in the future. Whatever kingdom there is, is now - it is Heaven's rule over the church. Conditions in this present age will become increasingly worse until the second coming of Christ at the end of this church age, and the return of the Lord will be immediately followed by a general resurrection and judgment and the commencement of the eternal state." -- Ryrie

b. A slightly different understanding of amillennialism is that, "The Bible predicts a continuous parallel growth of good and evil in the world between the first coming of Christ and the second coming of Christ. The kingdom of God is now present in the world through His word, His Spirit, His Church" -- H. Wayne House; Charts of Christian Theology and Doctrine.

c. Sees no distinction between the church and Israel. The church is spiritual Israel.

3. Premillennialism (Dispensationalism)

a. "Hold that the second coming of Christ will occur before (pre-) the millennium and that Christ, not the church (as in post) will be the one to establish the kingdom. Christ will actually reign over the earth as King, and during the millennium the Jewish people will experience the fulfillment of the promises made to Abraham and David. According to premillennialism the present church age will see increasing apostasy which will climax in the time of tribulation before the second coming of Christ. When He returns He will set up His kingdom for 1,000 years after which will occur the resurrection and judgment of the unsaved and the ushering in of eternity." --Ryrie

b. The premillennial scheme is a result of interpreting the promises and prophecies of Scripture in a plain, normal or literal way. This is the strength of premillennialism.

c. Premillennialism takes several forms due to disagreement over the timing of the Rapture. (See section IV "Rapture of The Church" for details.)

d. There is also a nondispensational form of premillennialism. This view is similar to dispensational premillennialism in many ways, but differs in the following:

1) The rapture and second coming are simultaneous (Post-Trib).

2) The millennium is both present and future. "The kingdom is now, but not yet." Christ is reigning over His Kingdom from Heaven now, but will reign over His kingdom on the earth in the future.

3) Sees some distinction between Israel and the church, but also sees the church as spiritual Israel.

B. Views discussed

1. Postmillennialism

a. Description -- second coming is after the millennium. A reaction against the amillennialism of post-Reformation era.

b. Types --

1) Conservative -- millennium introduced by preaching the Gospel

Representatives:

Strong (Baptist)
Hodge (Presbyterian)
Warfield & Boetiner (Reformed)

Hodge held to literal restoration of Israel just before the second coming.

2) Liberal -- millennium is golden age introduced by the advancing culture and the achievements of mankind - part of evolutionary concept.

3) Christian Reconstructionists combine the conservative and liberal concepts.

c. Organization

In America -- Daniel Whitby (1638-1726), was the first systematizer, Unitarian, Liberal, free-thinker.

d. Present status -- has largely passed from popularity due to World War I and II. However, it has recently been revived through the efforts of the Reconstruction Movement.

 

"Social Gospel" -- Practical postmillennialists: Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Tim LaHaw, Larry Burkett, James Dobson, The Christian Coalition, Promise Keepers, Evangelicals and Catholics Together.

e. Arguments Against:

1) Uses an allegorical approach to many prophetic passages especially Rev. 20.

2) Ignores Scripture that teaches spiritual decline and apostasy in the end times (Matt. 24:3-14; I Tim. 4:1-5; II Tim. 3:1-7).

3) The New Testament does not teach that the Gospel is designed to improve the world's social conditions.

2. Amillennialism

a. Description: No literal kingdom on earth. The return of Christ introduces the eternal state. The kingdom of God, in it spiritual form, is now present in the world.

b. Types

1) Augustinian (4-5th century) -- first accepted advocate of amillennialism: The Church is the kingdom; no future kingdom for Israel; church age is the millennium; no future millennium.

Representatives:

Roman Catholic church
Liberal protestants
Conservatives - Louis Berkhof, William Hendriksen, J. R. W. Stott

2) Kingdom is found in the church in heaven

The kingdom is God's reign over the saints which are in heaven, thus it is a heavenly kingdom.

--B.B. Warfield

c. Arguments Against:

1) The Abrahamic Covenant, being unconditional must be literally fulfilled by Israel.

2) Must allegorize many prophecies and promises to Israel.

3) Must reinterpret the clear teachings of passages such as Romans 11 and Revelation 20.

4) Ignore the distinctions between the church and Israel found in the New Testament (Acts 3:12; 4:8- 10; 21:28; Rom. 9:3-4; 10:1; and 11; Eph. 2:12).

3. Premillennialism

a. Description: Second coming precedes millennium. Christ comes to set up the kingdom for Israel which rules over the world.

b. Representatives:

1) Early church -- admittedly premillennial

2) Middle ages -- largely under the influence of Roman Catholic Church and was therefore largely amillennial. Yet, some such as Wycliffe and Huss held to premillennialism.

3) Reformation period -- was not concerned with eschatology but with soteriology. However, their return to a literal interpretation of Scripture set the stage.

4) Modern day representatives

Pentecost
Walvord
Ryrie

c. Support For:

1) A literal reading of prophecy will lead to this view. All other views must spiritualize portions of Scripture.

2) A kingdom on earth is necessary in order to fulfill God's promises to Israel.

3) "The Old Testament describes the kingdom as a literal on-earth reign of Messiah over the whole world." -- House

Note: The basic reason for misunderstanding eschatology is that many who interpret the rest of the Bible literally turn to allegorizing when they come to the doctrine of last things. The premillennial view is the only view supported by a consistent system of literal interpretation; and therefore, is the only system in accord with a true biblical system of hermeneutics, i.e., the literal - cultural - critical method.

III. COVENANTS AND DISPENSATIONS

A. Covenants -- (see Bibliology)

B. Dispensations -- (see Bibliology)

IV. RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH (I Thess. 4:13-18)

A. Definition -- that event at which Christ returns to catch up His true church in the air so that they may always be with Him.

The word "rapture" comes from the Latin word used in I Thessalonians 4:17 which is translated in English as "caught up."

B. Description of the rapture

1. Christ returns in the air, personally, bodily --

I Thessalonians 4:17.

2. The dead in Christ are raised -- verse 16.

3. The living are transformed -- verse 17 and I Corinthians 15:51 and Philippians 3:20.

4. Reunions -- the two groups are caught up together to be with the Lord forever -- I Thessalonians 4:17 and John 14:1-3.

5. Accomplished "in a moment" -- I Corinthians 15:51,52.

6. Called a mystery -- not revealed as part of God's program for His people in the Old Testament -- I Corinthians 15:51.

C. Time of the rapture

Views - Those who take a premillennial approach to Scripture believe in a rapture, but differ over details, principally the timing. Following are the primary views:

1. Posttribulation -

The church will be present on earth during the tribulation period and the comings for and with His saints occur in quick succession at the close of that period.

Support given:

a. The rapture and the second coming are described in the Scriptures by the same words, which indicates that they occur at the same time -- I Thess. 4:15 and Matt. 24:27.

Oppose: The descriptions of the rapture and the second coming are not the same -- compare I Thess. 4:13-18

with 5:1-11.

b. Since saints are mentioned as present during the tribulation days, the church is present on earth during that time -- Matt. 24:22.

Oppose: "Saints" is a term that can be used to describe believers from any dispensation. It is instructive to note that a "Christian" is never found in the tribulation; nor is the church mentioned in Rev. 4-18 (the passage describing the tribulation).

c. Since a resurrection will occur at the beginning of the millennium, it is assumed that this is the rapture

-- Rev. 20:4.

Oppose: This passage describes the resurrection of tribulation (and possible O.T.) saints.

d. The church can be preserved from the wrath of the tribulation by supernatural protection -- I Thess. 1:10.

Oppose: Or it could be preserved by being removed.

e. The Scriptures do not teach imminency; therefore, the rapture can be after the known events of the tribulation.

Oppose: There is confusion between the signs that precede Christ's second coming (Matt. 24:3-31) with the imminency of the rapture. "Scripture teaches us to wait and watch, not for preparatory signs of Christ's coming, but for the blessed hope of His return (Titus 2:13)."

--House

f. Was the position of the early church during the first three centuries.

Oppose: What is believed by posttribulationists is not the same as what the early church believed. Even so, the Scriptures, not the early church, are our basis for truth.

2. Midtribulation

Christ's coming for His people will occur at the middle point of the tribulation period.

(A recent variation on the Midtribulation view is known as the "Prewrath Rapture." See the article on the Pre-wrath Rapture following this section.)

Support given:

a. The last trumpet of I Corinthians 15:52 is the same as the seventh trumpet of Rev. 11:15 and it is sounded at the middle of the tribulation. -- This is the position's strongest argument.

Oppose: The trumpet of I Cor. 15:52 is the "Trumpet of God" (see I Thess. 4:16), while the trumpets of Rev. 11 are sounded by angels. Also, according to Matt. 24:31 there will be a trumpet call at the end of the tribulation as well. These are all different trumpets.

b. Actually the great tribulation is only the last half of Daniel's 70th week and the church is promised deliverance only from that -- Rev. 11:2 and 12:6.

Oppose: This view assumes that the first half of the tribulation does not involve the wrath of God. However, see Rev. 6:16.

c. The resurrection of the two witnesses pictures the rapture of the church and their resurrection occurs at the middle of the tribulation -- Rev. 11:11.

Oppose: This is conjectural.

3. Partial rapture given:

Only those believers who are worthy will be taken out of the world before the tribulation begins, while others will be left to endure its wrath. For those left on earth, that time will serve as a time of purging.

Support -- Hebrews 9:28 which seems to require preparedness as a pre-requisite for meeting the Lord.

Oppose -- The viewpoint is based on the idea that good works are necessary in order to qualify to be raptured, but the unanswered question is how many good works? Also, it seems to ignore the fact that I Corinthians 15:51 says plainly that "we shall all be changed" in the rapture.

4. Pretribulation

The rapture of the church will take place before the entire seven year tribulation period begins. Then seven years later, after the conclusion of the tribulation, the Lord will return to earth with His people to set up His millennial kingdom.

Support -- Revelation 3:10:

a. This church is promised to be kept from the hour

of testing.

b. "The hour of testing" -- They will not only not be tested but they will be kept from the hour or period of testing.

c. "The hour which is to come upon the whole world" -- This testing is worldwide in scope and it is pictured as coming in the future but at any moment.

d. "To test those who dwell on the earth" -- Whenever this term is used in Revelation it is describing earthbound rebels who follow the Antichrist in the period of tribulation (Rev. 6:10; 8:13; 11:10; 13:12; 17:2).

II Thessalonians 2:1-10:

a. "The coming of the Lord and our gathering together to Him" -- Those two events connected by "and" would point to the fact that both happen at the same time (2:1).

b. The removal of the restrainer (2:6,7)

1) The Antichrist cannot be revealed until the restrainer is removed.

2) Notes about the restrainer

* The restrainer is referred to as neuter in verse 6 and as masculine in verse 7.

* This restrainer is now at work and is a well-known restrainer.

* The restrainer is greater in power than Satan who empowers the Antichrist.

Many believe that this restrainer is the Holy Spirit in the agency of the church. When the church is removed the Antichrist will be free to come on the scene. The Holy Spirit Himself must be present during the tribulation period to convict and regenerate.

I Thessalonians 5:1-11:

a. The day of the Lord is a technical phrase which in Old and New Testament usage refers to a day of judgment followed by a period of great blessing.

(The tribulation and the millennial kingdom.)

(Amos 5:18; Isaiah 2:12; Joel 2:31; Zephaniah 1:14- 18; Malachi 4:5; II Thessalonians 2:2; Acts 2:20;

II Peter 3:10)

b. Notice, too, the distinction between the events of I Thess. 4:13-18 and 5:1,2. In 4:13 they needed to be informed about the rapture, while in 5:1,2 they were fully informed about the day of the Lord.

c. The deliverance of the church from the day of the Lord.

1) The day will not overtake believers unexpectedly (5:4). The change in pronouns - - third person to second and first (5:4-6), back to third (5:7), indicates distinction between those caught in the day of wrath and those not caught.

2) The reason for that day not overtaking believers is not given in the same manner as previous warnings by signs, but as due to their position. They are not in darkness, but are sons of light. Those of light -- saved ones -- shall not be present at that day (5:4,5).

3) The reason that the saved shall not be in that day of wrath is presented as the purpose and plan of God for them (5:9) (See also Revelation 6:16,17).

Support: The contrast between the Second Coming and the rapture is seen in the following charts.

V. TRIBULATION PERIOD

A. Its character

1. Terms of description

a. "The day of the Lord" (Pentecost, Things To Come, p229- 235). -- This period includes the tribulation (judgment) and the Messianic Kingdom (blessing).

Old Testament references: Isaiah 2:12 and 13:6,9;

Ezekiel 13:5 and 30:3; Joel 1:15 and 2:1,11,31 and 3:14; Amos 5:18,20; Obadiah 15; Zephaniah 1:7,14 and 5:2.

New Testament references: II Thessalonians 2:2; I Thessalonians 5:2; II Peter 3:10.

b. The great day of His wrath (Rev. 6:17).

c. The time of Jacob's trouble (Jeremiah 30:7).

d. The great tribulation (Rev. 7:14 and Matt. 24:21,22).

General definition: A period of unprecedented, unparalleled tribulation upon the earth affecting Jew and Gentile which finds its source in the wrath of God.

2. Time and duration

-- The tribulation is a future event --

a. It was future from Christ's day (Matt. 24:3-15).

b. It was future from Paul's day (II Thess. 2:1-12).

c. It was future from John's day (Rev. 6:1).

d. It immediately precedes the second coming of Christ in glory (Matt.24:15-31; Daniel 12:1).

-- Duration --

a. It lasts for seven years (Daniel 9:24-27; Matt. 24:15).

b. It involves two divisions of three-and-a-half years (forty- two months) (twelve hundred sixty days) (Daniel 7:25 and 12:7; Revelation 11:2,3 and 12:6,14 and 13:5).

3. Its purpose:

a. To prepare the nation of Israel for Messiah's second coming.

1) Chastisement -- preparing them for Christ -- Isaiah 24:1,3,6 and Deuteronomy 4:27-31.

2) Conversion -- bringing them to Christ -- Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 12:1 and Revelation 7:1-8.

b. To punish the nation of Israel for rejecting the Messiah -- Ezekiel 20:37-38.

c. To pour out judgment on unbelieving men and nations -- Revelation 3:10; Isaiah 26:20,21; Revelation 6:16,17; 11:18; 14:10; 16:1 and 19:1-2.

4. Its course -- "The tribulation actually begins when the man of sin, the leader of the western federation of nations, signs a treaty with the Jewish people (Dan. 9:27). The rapture of the church will have occurred just before this, though there may be a short interval of time between the rapture and the signing. . . . At the same early part of the period the great ecumenical apostate church will rise to power (Rev. 17:3), exerting tremendous political influence among the nations of the world. In addition there will be many converted by the witness of the group that will be sealed (Rev. 7) for this purpose. Some will apparently be martyred almost immediately for their faith (Rev. 6:9-11). . . . As the middle of the tribulation approaches, certain important events will occur. Egypt will be defeated by the armies of the man of sin (Dan. 11:40-43). The nations of the Far East will be forming into a coalition and will at the end of the tribulation move into Palestine. The power bloc to the north of Palestine known as Gog and Magog will invade Palestine but will be wiped out by God's supernatural intervention (Ez. 38-39). Exactly at the middle point the man of sin will break his treaty, cease to be Israel's protector, demand to be worshiped himself

(II Thess. 2:4), and seek to conquer the world. In the meantime, as the latter part of the tribulation progresses, God will be pouring out additional judgments on the world. . . . As the man of sin continues his march to world power, he will face his enemies from the east at Armageddon in northern Palestine. In the midst of the war the Lord will return and defeat all His enemies. The man of sin and his false prophet will be cast into the lake of fire to be tormented forever." --A Survey of Bible Doctrine (pp 173,174), by Ryrie

5. Its culmination -- Revelation 19

The tribulation is brought to a completion by the second coming of Christ -- (Matt. 24:15-31; Rev. 19:11-21).

VI. THE MILLENNIAL KINGDOM

A. Definition: That period of one thousand years during which our Lord Jesus Christ will rule the earth in righteousness and will fulfill to the Jews and the world those promises of the Old Testament covenants (Revelation 20).

B. Prediction: Isaiah 2; 9:6,7; Zechariah 14; Daniel 2:44; II Samuel 7 (Davidic covenant); Matthew 24,25; Revelation 20.

C. Character:

1. Government

a. The government will be set up on earth (Zechariah 14:9) with Jerusalem as the capital (Isaiah 2:3).

b. The Lord will be the king of the millennial theocracy (Daniel 7:14). He will enforce peace righteously (Isaiah 11:3-5 and 65:20).

c. The subjects of this earthly kingdom will be the people, Jews and Gentiles, who survive the tribulation period and enter the millennium in earthly bodies. It would appear that at the beginning there will not be a single unsaved person in the kingdom (Matt. 25:1-13). However, those born during this time will have to choose whether they will accept Christ, although all will be required to give outward allegiance (Isa. 11:4).

d. The church will rule with Christ and will have resurrected bodies. The actual residence of the church during the millennium will be the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:2,9,10).

2. Spiritual

a. Righteousness will flourish (Isaiah 11:3-5).

b. Peace will be universal (Isaiah 2:4).

c. The Holy Spirit will be manifest in unusual ways (Isaiah 61:3 and Joel 2:28,29).

d. Satan will be bound (Revelation 20:2,3).

3. Nature

a. Productivity will increase (Isaiah 35:1,2 and Amos 9:13).

b. The curse on the earth will be reversed (Genesis 3:17 and (Isa. 11:6-8), although not entirely lifted until the end of the millennium.

c. Longevity (Isaiah 65:20).

D. Conclusion

1. The end of the millennium will see the last and final revolt of man and Satan against God and His rule. For a thousand years God will have given all mankind the most ideal conditions under which to live and will have spread the knowledge of the Lord throughout the world.

2. The fact that man will openly oppose God after such benefits will serve to prove that change in outward conditions does not meet man's basic need. Inside he still will be a rebel unless he has had a change of heart through regeneration.

3. The opportunity to revolt against Christ will come when Satan will be loosed (Revelation 20:7-9). Reformation is not the same as regeneration and betterment is not conversion; this last revolt will prove once again that it is the heart of man that needs a work of supernatural grace. --Ryrie

VII. THE ETERNAL STATE

A. Final accomplishments -- Revelation 20 -- the state following the millennium, the final phase of history of the present heavens and earth.

1. Final victories (preparing for eternal state):

a. Over Satan -- Revelation 20:7-10.

b. Over world powers -- Revelation 20:7-10.

c. Over death -- Revelation 20:13 and I Corinthians 15:25,26.

2. Final judgment of men -- Great White Throne:

a. Resurrection of the wicked -- Revelation 20:5,13.

b. Judgment of all works -- Revelation 20:13.

c. Casting into the lake of fire -- Revelation 20:14,15 and Matthew 25:41.

3. Final judgment of the world -- II Peter 3:10-13

B. Final submission to the Father -- I Corinthians 15:24-26

C. Final manifestation -- Revelation 21 and 22:

1. In the new heavens and the new earth -- II Peter 3:13; Isaiah 51:6 and 66:22; Revelation 21:1.

2. In New Jerusalem -- Revelation 21;2,3 and 21:9-27.

3. In new mercies:

a. Provisions (Rev. 22:1,2)

b. Removal of curse (Rev. 22:3)

c. Presence of God (Rev. 22:3-5)

d. Service (Rev. 22:3)

e. Life and health (Rev. 21:4 and 22:1-5)

VIII. JUDGMENTS

A. Judgment seat of Christ (I Corinthians 3:10-15)

1. The purpose is not to determine whether they are saved or lost, it rather determines the reward or loss of reward for service which will be due each individual believer (Rev. 11:18).

2. The judgment seat of Christ is mentioned in II Corinthians 5:10 and Romans 14:10. In Romans, however, it is called the judgment seat of God. The event is explained in more detail in I Corinthians 3:9-15.

3. The meaning of judgment seat

a. There are two different words translated "judgment seat" in the New Testament:

1) "Citerion" used in James 2:6 and I Corinthians 6:2,4. It means the place where judgment is given; the bench of judges.

2) "Bema" -- "In Grecian games in Athens, the old arena contained a raised platform on which the president or umpire of the arena sat. From here he rewarded all the contestants; and here he rewarded all winners. It was called the "bema" or reward seat. It was never used of a "judicial bench." --Pentecost

b. So associated with this word are the ideas of prominence, dignity, authority, honor and reward, rather than the idea of justice and judgment.

4. The time of the judgment seat of Christ -- between the rapture and the second coming of Christ.

a. In Luke 14:14 reward is associated with the resurrection of the righteous, since the resurrection of the church age will take place at the rapture (I Thessalonians 4:13-17) reward must be a part of that program.

b. When the Lord returns to earth with His bride (the church), to reign, the bride is seen to be already rewarded (Revelation 19:8).

c. Notice I Corinthians 4:5; II Timothy 4:8 and Revelation 22:12. When Christ comes for His own (at the rapture) He will bring with Him their reward.

5. The place of the bema of Christ -- in the Heavenlies -- I Thessalonians 4:17 and II Corinthians 5:1-8.

6. The Judge will be Christ -- II Corinthians 5:10.

7. The subjects will be the believers only -- II Corinthians 5:1-9.

8. The basis of the examination:

a. The Christian is not being judged for sin. The salvation given the believer has perfectly delivered him from all judgment -- Romans 8:1; John 5:24 and I John 4:17.

b. "The word translated 'appear' in II Cor. 5:10 might better be rendered 'to be made manifest' so that the verse reads, 'For it is necessary for all of us to be made manifest.' This suggests that the purpose of the bema is to make a public manifestation, demonstration or revelation of the essential character and motives of the individual." --Pentecost

c. II Corinthians 5:10 says that we will be rewarded according to whether our deeds have been "good" or "bad." The word "bad" is "phaulos." The usual words for "bad" in the New Testament are "kakos" or "poneral" which mean evil and therefore something sinful. However, the word "phaulos" used in II Corinthians 5:10 is not talking about evil but about something that is worthless. So, we are not judged here concerning good and evil, rather, concerning our worthfulness for the Lord. The purpose of this judgment is to reward Christians for things that they have done of worth for the Lord -- I Corinthians 3:10-15.

9. Results -- I Corinthians 3:10-15

a. Rewards based on human strength or man's glory will

be lost.

b. Rewards won -- There are five crowns mentioned

in Scripture. These crowns are representative, but surely not exhaustive, of the believers rewards.

1) Incorruptible crown -- for those who get mastery over the flesh -- I Corinthians 9:25.

2) Crown of rejoicing for introducing people to Christ --

I Thessalonians 2:19, and Joy -- Philippians 4:1.

3) Crown of life for those enduring trials -- James 1:12.

4) Crown of righteousness for loving His appearing --

II Timothy 4:8.

5) Crown of glory for being willing to feed the flock

of God -- I Peter 5:4.

c. Revelation 4:10 makes it clear that the crowns will not be for the eternal glory of the recipient, but for the glory of the giver. -- Note I Corinthians 6:20 where we are told that the believer was redeemed in order that he might bring glory to God.

B. Judgment of the Gentiles

1. Circumstances: This is the judgment of living Gentiles at the second coming of Christ -- Matthew 25:31-46. It will take place on the earth in the valley of Jehoshaphat -- Joel 3:2.

2. Basis: The treatment of Jews during the tribulation period -- Matthew 25:40. To do good to the Jews during this time will involve a real risk of one's own life, so doing these things will be evidence of new life in the doer's heart. . . . being regenerate saves them; doing these good works proves that they are regenerated.

3. Result: "Those whose lives have given evidence of the new birth will become citizens of the kingdom -- Matthew 25:34. Those whose works proved their lack of eternal life will be condemned to the lake of fire (verse 41). Those who do enter the kingdom will enter with their earthly bodies; they will marry, bear children and become the means of populating the millennial earth." --Ryrie.

C. Judgment of Jews

1. Circumstances: Those Jews who live through the tribulation period will also be judged -- Ezekiel 20:34-38. The Lord also spoke of this judgment in a parable -- Matthew 25:14-30 -- and placed it immediately after His return.

2. Result: The unsaved Jews will be cut off from both millennial and eternal life, for no rebel will enter the millennium -- Ezekiel 20:37 and Matthew 25:30.

D. Judgment of Fallen Angels

The fallen angels will be judged at "the great day" -- Jude 6 -- this is probably when Satan is judged at the end of the millennium -- Revelation 20:2-10. Believers will apparently have a part in executing this judgment -- I Corinthians 6:3.

E. The Great White Throne Judgment -- Revelation 20:11-15

1. Circumstances: At the conclusion of the millennial reign the unsaved dead of all time will be judged. All the redeemed will have been raised and judged previously, so only the unsaved will be left -- Revelation 20:6. Christ will be the Judge -- John 5:22 -- and the judgment will take place in space (Rev. 20:11).

2. Basis:

a. The Book of Life

b. Works. . . There will be degrees of punishment in eternity -- Luke 12:47,48.

3. Result: Second death -- Eternal separation from God in the lake of fire.

IX. RESURRECTIONS

A. Resurrection of the just

There will be several stages, it will not happen all at once:

1. Rapture -- dead Christians -- I Thessalonians 4:16.

2. Redeemed of the tribulation period -- Revelation 20:4 -- at the second coming.

3. Old Testament saints -- probably with tribulation saints, but not clear -- Daniel 12:2.

4. Millennial saints -- not mentioned in Scripture, probably will be immediately transferred to the New Jerusalem.

B. Resurrection of the unjust

All will be raised at the end of the millennium -- Revelation 20:11-15. "At their resurrection they will apparently be given some sort of bodies that will be able to live forever and feel the effects of the torments of the lake of fire."



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