End Times

The rapture can occur at any time. It is imminent, meaning there is nothing else that has to happen before Jesus comes again (1 Cor 15:51-52). He will come in the clouds (Acts 1:11; 1 Thess 4:17), and this will happen at the sound of the trumpet (1 Cor 15:52; 1 Thess 4:16). The dead in Christ will rise from their graves (1 Cor 15:52; 1 Thess 4:16), then the believers that are still alive when he comes will be caught up together with the raised dead and they will meet the Lord in the air and forever be with him (1 Thess 4:17).

The “tribulation” begins on earth at the point when all believers are raptured (Rev 4:1) and the Holy Spirit is removed (2 Thess 2:6-7). It is a period of seven years (Dan 9:24-27). Half way through this seven-year period (Dan 9:27; Rev 11:12; 12:13-14) the Antichrist breaks his truce with Israel and profanes the temple in Jerusalem. While this happens on earth, there is the judgment seat of Christ going on in heaven where believers’ works are judged (Rom 14:10; 1 Cor 3:10-15; 2 Cor 4:1-5).

The Second Coming of Christ is as follows: at the end of the tribulation, Jesus Christ will return riding a white horse and will bring all believers with him (Rev 19:11-16) to establish his millennial reign (Rev 20:1-6). During the millennium, believers who were raptured or resurrected will reign with Christ in their glorified bodies (Rev 20:4-6). Also during the millennium, Satan will be bound for one thousand years (Rev 20:1-2), after which he will be released (Rev 20:3). While he is bound, the depravity of man will still be evident because when he is loosed there will be a huge army ready to follow him into battle against the Lord and against the saints (Rev 20:7-9).

There will be a judgment of Satan and fallen angels (Rev 20:10) and believers will take some part in this at least as far as judging the angels (1 Cor 6:2-3). There will be the final great white throne of judgment where all unbelievers will be resurrected and judged (Rev 20:11-15).

The eternal state of believers will be in the new heavens and new earth (Isa 65:17-25; Rev 21). It will be full of incredible and wonderful things, too wonderful to even imagine (Isa 64:4; 1 Cor 2:9). The eternal fate of unbelievers will be eternity separated from God in the lake of fire (Rev 20:11-15) where they will be tormented forever (Rev 20:10).