The Study of Last Things
by James T. Bartsch

Learning about the Future to Live Better Today

"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus." Titus 2:11-13

A Sequence of Prophetic Events

James T. Bartsch,

 1.     The Church presently awaits the Rapture, at which Jesus will return to earth and meet His bride in the air for a joyous reunion. Both living and dead believers of the Church era will ascend in their glorified and resurrected bodies to meet the Lord in the air and be with Him always (John 14:1-6; 1 Cor. 15:50-58; 1 Thess. 1:9-10; 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; Rev. 3:10).

2.     Subsequent to the Rapture, Jesus will evaluate and purify His bride, the Church, at the Judgment Seat of Christ (Rom. 14:10-12; 1 Cor. 3:9-15; 2 Cor. 5:10). Eternal destiny is not at issue here. Eternal purification, reward, and preparation for future service are. At the conclusion of this judgment, Jesus will present to Himself His Bride, the Church, in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing.” She will be “holy and blameless” (Eph. 5:27). It will be time for “the marriage of the Lamb,” for “His bride has made herself ready” (Rev. 19:7).

3.     Meanwhile, there is a time of terrible Tribulation upon earth. This will be a time of unprecedented trouble (Matt. 24:21; Rev. 7:13-14), during which God will “test those who dwell on the earth” (Rev. 3:10). During the Tribulation both God and the Lamb will exhibit fierce wrath (Rev. 6:16-17; 11:18; 14:10, 19; 15:1, 7; 16:1, 19) “against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Rom. 1:18).

4.     When Christ returns at the end of the Tribulation period (we call this return the Second Coming, not the Rapture), He will judge Israel (Ezek. 20:33-38) and the Gentiles (Matt. 25:31-46). No unbeliever will survive these judgments. All will be put to death.

5.     Only believing Jews (Ezek. 20:39-44; Zech. 12:10-13:2, 7-9) and believing Gentiles (Matt. 25:34-40, 46) will be left alive to inhabit the Millennial earth.

6.     These believers will be in their natural bodies and will reproduce and bear children during the Millennium (Isa. 65:20-25).

7.     Satan will be bound for one thousand years, unable to deceive the world (Rev. 20:1-3).

8.     At the end of the Millennium Satan will be released and will deceive many of the inhabitants of the Millennial Earth. They will attempt to revolt and will be destroyed by fire from heaven (Rev. 20:7-10).

9.     God will destroy the existing universe (2 Pet. 3:7-12; Rev. 20:11).

10. Jesus Christ will conduct the final judgment at the Great White Throne. This is apparently the judgment of all the unbelieving dead of all ages. All unbelievers, their names not having been written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:11-15).

11. God will create a new universe, both heavens and earth, in which only righteousness and righteous people (in their resurrected bodies) will exist (Isa. 65:17; 66:22; 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1-8).

12. On New Earth and in New Jerusalem, all will be living in their resurrection bodies. There will be no marriage or reproduction in the Resurrection (Matt. 22:30; 1 Cor. 15:50-55; Rom. 8:13-23; Rev. 21:24  - 22:5). They will serve God and the Lamb and see His face and reign forever and ever (Rev. 22:3-5).

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(Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.  Used by Permission.)

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Published November 3, 2010

Updated July 18, 2016