The Final Seven Things
The Scriptures indicate that at least seven things will definitely happen at the
end of the world. These things we can know about through the inspired revelation
of God. There will certainly be countless facets of these events and how they
will effect each one of us. Will it occur in my lifetime? Will I be ready? What
will I be doing?
Consider seven things which we know for sure will happen at the end of time as
we know it now, and at the dawning of eternity.
Jesus Shall Return
"But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are
Christ's at His coming, then comes the end, when He delivers up the kingdom to
the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power."
(1 Corinthians 15:23,24). One thing Jesus will do at the end is deliver up His
kingdom to the Father. Many people have the concept that Jesus is returning to
set up His kingdom on earth and reign over it for a thousand years. However, the
Scriptures teach He is coming back only to gather His kingdom together and to
take us home.
In fact, citizens of His kingdom will rise to meet Him in the air (1
Thessalonians 4:17). As close as the Bible puts Him to the earth is the sky
above. The faithful meet Him there, and He delivers us home.
Once, when people of Jesus' day also had the mistaken idea that He came to be
king over an earthly kingdom, Jesus would have no part of it (John 6:15). Later,
He explained to Pilate that His kingdom was not of this realm (John 18:36). He
also told His disciples that He was going to go away and prepare a place for
them so that they could one day go and be with Him there "in (His) Father's
house." (John 14:1-3)
The Dead Will Be Raised
"Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs
shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; those who did the good deeds to a
resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of
judgment." (John 5:28,29). There is a place from which the dead will rise. This
resurrection will be of "all who are in the tombs" both the doers of good deeds
as well as of bad deeds. There will be a resurrection (Acts 24:15). When Christ
returns, we will receive either life or judgment.
The Living Will Be Changed
"Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of
God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a
mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed." (1 Corinthians
15:50,51). There will also be living people on the earth when Jesus returns. The
dead will rise from the tombs, but what of the living? They will be changed.
This will be necessary because these bodies we have presently are prone to wear
out. We need something new, eternal and spiritual in nature, with which to enter
into eternity. We will have it. "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is
sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in
dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;
it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural
body, there is also a spiritual body." (1 Corinthians 15:42-44; see also 1 John
This Present Earth Will Be Destroyed
"But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass
away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the
earth and its works will be burned up." (2 Peter 3:10; cf. vss 9-17). Nothing
will be left of the earth beneath nor the stars above. We sometimes get so
attached to the present system that we forget that it is temporary.
It should be pointed out that the Bible speaks of three distinct heavens. One is
a spiritual place. This is not under discussion here as it is not made up of
elements of matter. The atmosphere around our planet is what the Bible calls the
"first heaven." It will be gone. So will "the second heaven" which is where the
stars are. When the elements are destroyed, so will they be.
The Judgment of All
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be
recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether
good or bad." (2 Corinthians 5:10). The final judgment will also accompany the
end of time. It will be a time of reckoning and the carrying out of eternal
decrees. We know about all there is to know about this judgment. We know who
will be judging and who will be judged. We know what the basis and standard of
judgment will be. We know what the possibilities are regarding reward or
punishment. We certainly need to be prepared for this final event, for if we are
not, then there simply is no other recourse or provision for redemption,
forgiveness and victory (see also Hebrews 9:27; Romans 2:16; 14:11,12; John
Christ Will cease His Reign
"For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last
enemy that will be abolished is death." (1 Corinthians 15:25,26). At the final
resurrection when death is abolished, the Lord will deliver up His kingdom to
the Father, as we have already seen. Jesus is not coming again to begin His
reign, but to end it. He now reigns over His kingdom from His heavenly throne as
Lord (Colossians 1:13; Acts 2:30,31; Hebrews 1:8). This is in accordance with
the ancient prophecies (Daniel 7:13,14).
Until that final day, when that last enemy finally yields, Jesus reigns at God's
right hand. But the last enemy will yield. His name is death.
Christ Will Deliver The Kingdom to His Father
"...then comes the end, when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father,
when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power." (1 Corinthians
15:24). We already mentioned this earlier when we discussed Christ's return and
the purpose of it. "And when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son
Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, that
God may be all in all." (1 Corinthians 15:28). No enemy of God is left
unconquered. Every sin has either been punished in judgment or paid for by
Christ. All the faithful are at home with their Father and share His glory.
Everything is right. That is the meaning of the phrase "that God may be all in
all." Everything is finished, complete, and perfect (Colossians 1:19,20).
By Jon W. Quinn
From Expository Files 15.2; February 2008