I. HE’S COMING BACK
1. Before their very eyes, says the Bible, Jesus was taken up from the watching disciples, Acts 1:9.
So, it isn’t hard for us to understand that they stood gaping up into the heavens. An angel assured them, Acts 1:11 ‘This same Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.’
From that day to this, the Church has been waiting for the bodily return of the Christ!
II. WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN HE RETURNS?
2. He will resurrect the dead!
His critics were shaken by his claim to be able to free men from spiritual death so he added, John 5:28-29 ‘Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out; those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.’
The apostle Paul speaks of this general resurrection in Acts 24:15 when both the righteous and the wicked will rise.
3. He will destroy death!
1 Corinthians 15:25-26 tells us that Christ is reigning now and that he will reign until he destroys his last enemy — death. Death is destroyed by resurrection. It’s at the resurrection at Christ’s coming that ‘death is swallowed up in victory’, 1 Corinthians 15:23 / 1 Corinthians 15:54-55.
4. He will transform and glorify the bodies of those who belong to God!
The Bible gives us no details about the bodies of those who have rejected God but it does speak of the glorification of the bodies of those who are His.
Christians who are alive when Christ returns will be gloriously changed, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 / Philippians 3:20-21. Those who have died will be raised in glory and deathlessness, 1 Corinthians 15:42-44. These bodies are suited to their new environment — that’s what ‘spiritual’ means in 1 Corinthians 15:44.
5. He will judge mankind! Christ claimed that the Father has given him authority to judge mankind because he himself is Man, John 5:22 / John 5:27.
Paul insists that the judgement of the world is as sure as the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Acts 17:30-31.
And there is no need for us to worry over questions we can’t find fully satisfying answers to, because God is judging us by Jesus Christ. That means everyone, everyone without exception, will be treated fairly.
The Judge of all the earth can be depended on to do what is right, Genesis 18:25. God will right all wrongs! Nothing will be overlooked, and no one will be cheated! Some will be sentenced to eternal punishment, and some blessed with eternal life, Matthew 25:46.
It will be more bearable for some at the judgement than for others, Matthew 11:22 / Matthew 11:24.
6. He will give back to the Father the authority he was given!
The one we know as Jesus Christ left aside the glory and privileges of Godhood when he took manhood upon himself, Philippians 2:5-7.
Rather than continuing to exercise equality with God, He became God’s servant, Philippians 2:6-7. Because he was such a faithful servant to God and man, the Father gave him the honour of ruling mankind, 1 Corinthians 15:24-28.
When he has defeated the last enemy and completed the work the Father gave him, Jesus will surrender the authority given to him. And, in him as Man’s representative, Man will acknowledge his subjection to God, 1 Corinthians 15:24 / 1 Corinthians 15:28.
7. He will take his own to live with him in heaven!
We read this in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 and 1 Peter 1:3-4. The Bible says precious little about the precise conditions in heaven but there’s been so much nonsense taught about it, it’s a wonder anyone wants to go there!
Some have the feeling it’s a place where people float around on clouds, bored stiff and eternally beating on harps. Others have seen it as an eternal monastery where the inmates eternally chant hymns and pray.
Some Bible pictures have been taken literally and applied to heaven. A city with golden streets and jewelled walls, for example. This is only picture-language!
8. God is alive with LIFE!
He won’t be narrowing their lives when he takes his people to heaven. It will be fuller, larger, and deeper there. The world beyond our own has kingdoms, powers, and authorities, just as ours does, Ephesians 1:21.
There is no knowing what marvellous things are ahead for God’s people in that mysterious other world. There isn’t a reason in the world to believe that human history is the sum total of God’s wondrous workings and purposes.
And it won’t really come as a surprise if we learn that earth-history is only one little part of a grand purpose of God which defies description!
Think majestic and great things of God!
9. Whatever else is true, this is true: There’ll be no death there.
There’ll be no children cowering in a corner trying to hide from a drunken father. There’ll be no quiet incurable wards where people cough their way to the grave in pain. There’ll be no racism there, no beatings and humiliation for people of the ‘wrong’ colour or ethnic background.
There’ll be no drug or booze addicts making a shambles of their lives while their fellow-humans make fortunes through their pain.
There’ll be no rat-infested ghettos to drive families to despair, no children weeping in the night because their parents are breaking up and no men driven to near madness by greedy landlords and unemployment.
There’ll be no warmongers there! No stockpiles of nuclear or chemical weapons. There’ll be no husbands, alone and broken-hearted, deserted by selfish wives and no wives, used, and then tossed aside like a worn-out shoe.
10. And Christ will be there!
The great people of human history will be there. People like Moses, Abraham, Paul, Elijah, Esther, Mary the mother of Jesus, Peter, John, Noah, Sarah and Hannah. All your friends and family who have said Yes to Christ.
There will be LIFE there. Real and full and rich! LIFE beyond our most cherished dreams. There will be multiplied millions of wonderful things to be discovered. We will have purpose and place there! Whatever is necessary to make and keep us fully human and fully alive will be there!
Don’t you want to go there?
III. HOW SHOULD WE RESPOND TO ALL THIS?
11. We should do as he asks: Submit our lives to him here and now! In trusting repentance, we should be immersed into a relationship with Jesus Christ as he has urged us to do. Do see Lesson 5 again!
Then with people who have also said Yes to Christ we should enjoy life with God as we love and serve him and the world he loves. We should joyfully look forward to the day when God’s purposes here on earth are accomplished and we join him in the life and adventure planned for us in another world.
Think inspiring things about God!
Please proceed and fill in the evaluation sheet below with your answers. Thank you and God bless your studies.
That’s you finished your study series called God, Life, And People. We hope and pray that you have found them useful and you have learned a lot about our God and what He expects from us. We believe it’s better to please Him than to please the world around us.
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