What Happens During The End Times?



Questions: “What happens at the end times? The end times is the final events of world history as we know it and is foretold by prophecy.  What are the end time events?”


Bible Answers

The end times is the final events of world history as we know it, punctuated by the rapture - tribulation - Battle of Armageddon - Christ returning - Satan being put into the pit - the 1,000 year millennium - Satan’s release - Satan’s final defeat - and mankind’s final judgment, as expanded below. While many believe that these end time events are about to start, the truth is, we can only guess.


For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits [from the cross]; then, when he comes [the rapture], those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power [after the 1,000 year millennium] (1 Cor. 15: 22-24).


The Rapture

The word “Rapture” does not appear in the Bible but is used by Christians to describe an end time event. Rapture comes from the Latin word raptus which means "seize,” "snatch" or "take away." It refers to those who obey and follow Jesus being taken up to meet Christ in the air.


This is the first rapture.  The time when all the saints through out history will rise to receive new eternal bodies combined with their souls.


For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel's call and with the sound of God's trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).


The exact details of the rapture remain a mystery; however, we know that we will be physically resurrected at the Rapture (John 5:29; Acts 24:15; 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18).


I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: Death has been swallowed up in victory (1 Corinthians 15:50-54).  This is when the bodies of both the dead and living saints will be changed to imperishable heavenly bodies and reunited with their soul.

 

Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years" (Revelation 20:6).


There are several theories about the Rapture’s timing:




There is insufficient scripture to define when the rapture may occur. Most scripture indicates Pre-tribulation rapture and most Christians believe so, or at least they hope so. While few in number, there are scriptures one can use in making a case for Mid and even Post-tribulation.


I suspect that God intentionally keeps some things a mystery, including the timing of the rapture and tribulation, because God does not want us to be slack concerning these matters, but to remain prepared.


New Bodies

Believer’s Bodies

At the rapture, the bodies of the dead in Christ are raised into the sky and receive new eternal heavenly bodies, then those in Christ who are alive, likewise rise into the sky and receive new heavenly bodies.


We can gain some perspective of what our new heavenly bodies will be like by reviewing Jesus’ new heavenly body after His resurrection.  Jesus was able to eat and drink, the disciples could touch Him, and He had a body of flesh and bones but without physical limitations.  His body will last perfectly for eternity and He is able to move through walls and ascend into the sky.


"See my hands and my feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have" (Luke 24:39).

 

So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. … It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body (1 Corinthians 15:42-43).


Unbeliever’s Bodies

Matthew 5:29-30 tells us that unbelievers will be thrown into hell with an eternal body. Unlike believer’s glorified bodies, unbeliever’s receive a corrupt body, subject to the pains and torments of hell.  Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the one who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (Matt10:28).  





















The 7 years of Tribulation

The Tribulation is a seven-year period where everyone on earth will experience worldwide hardships, disasters, famine, hail, fire, water turning to blood, a third of the sun, moon, and stars being struck down, smoke that darkens the sun and the sky, attacks of locusts on those who do not have God’s mark, war, pain, and suffering.  At this time, over 66% of all life on the earth will be eliminated before the Second Coming of Christ takes place. For a better description of the horrors, fears, terror, and deaths of the tribulation, read Revelation, chapters 6.


Were does the 66% death come from? Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague (Rev. 6:8), and four angel … were released to kill a third of mankind (Rev. 9:15), and A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur (Rev. 9:18).  100% - 25% - 33% - 33% = 33.6% of humanity left and 66.4% dead. This does not include those killed by Satan (Rev. 13:7 and 13:15), by every kind of plague (Rev. 11:6 ), by those killed by bitter water (Rev. 8:11), and those killed by 100 pound hailstones (Rev 16:21).


The first half of the seven years is milder in comparison to the second half when the anti-Christ is in power.  For more detail, click.


This is an additional opportunity for mankind to awake to their God and what God expects from them if they expect to go to heaven.  For many, their hearts are so hardened that even while being surrounded by destruction and knowing the destruction is from God, calling them to repent, they will not.


Jesus said,  For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be (Matthew 24:21).


Christian evangelism during the tribulation

Christianity started in Israel and was only preached to the Jewish people for about 15 years until Christ Called the apostle Paul to go and evangelize the gentiles (non-Jews). If all the Christians are Raptured at the beginning of the tribulation, then who will be evangelizing?


In the whole land [Israel], declares the Lord, two thirds shall be cut off and perish, and one third shall be left alive. And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested (Zechariah 13:8-9). “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel (Revelation 7:3-4). God saves 1/3 of Israel and refines them, turning their hearts back to Him. Many believe that this occurs during the second half of the tribulation and that God calls the sealed 144,000 out to evangelize because all Christians had been raptured.


Jesus’ Second Coming and The Battle of Armageddon

At the end of the seven-year tribulation, the Antichrist will launch his final attack on Jerusalem, ending in the battle of Armageddon. Then Jesus Christ will return, destroy the Antichrist and his armies.


At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory (Matthew 24:30).


Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while (Rev 20:1-3).


The 1,000 year Millennium

In the New Testament, there are more than 300 references to the return of Christ.  In Jesus’ first coming, He was the suffering Servant. In Jesus’ second coming, He will be the conquering King. Jesus originally came as a humble baby. The second time Jesus comes, He will come with the armies of heaven.


The Millennium will be a period of peace, love, and brotherhood when all nature lives in harmony similar to the original Garden of Eden.  Sin as we know it today will no longer exist since the devil will be chained in the pit, war will no longer exist and Jesus will rule the world.  The world will rest in peace, for the knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.


All governments will be subject to godly people and Israel will be the leading nation in the world.


More will accept Jesus during the millennium than during any other period.  However, even with Jesus ruling the world in peace and prosperity without the devil being present to tempt, some will still want to be the lord of their own life and refuse to ask Jesus into their life.


Satan’s final defeat

Throughout history, Satan has been facing defeats.  He thought he had won with Christ’s crucifixion, but he lost, he thinks he will win at Armageddon, but he will lose, and on being released from the pit at the end of the 1,000 years, he will made his final play to defeat God.


And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea.  And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever (Rev 20:7-10).


The final Judgment

After the 1,000 years and Satan’s final defeat, where he is thrown into the lake of fire, comes God’s final judgment of mankind.  This is the second resurrection of the dead. This resurrection will include all the unsaved from the beginning of time and the saved since the rapture, a thousand years earlier.  …that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust (Acts 24:15).


Who will be Judged

All humanity will stand before the Great White Throne of God’s Judgment to be judged for their actions and deeds during their lifetime.    


…for we shall ALL stand before the judgment seat of Christ (Romans 4:10).


The unsaved will be judged according to their deeds and be punished accordingly.  The saved will also be judged according to their deeds and will be rewarded accordingly.


For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to what he has done, whether it be good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10).


Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment (John 5:28-29).


Great White Throne

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15).


For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23).


Is hell permanent

And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal (Matthew 25:46).


Those who choose to worship Satan’s kingdom rather than God will spend eternity in hell.  And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for any one who receives the mark of its name (Rev. 14:11).


New Heaven and New Earth

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful (Revelation 21:1-5).


Final Comment

Should you hear of millions of people suddenly disappearing, then the rapture has taken place, or if natural and man made terror occurs as has never occurred before, then the second half of the tribulation has started.


The odds are that you will not be alive by the end of the seven-year tribulation.  But you still have a choice. You can die in your sins and go to hell, or you can die forgiven and washed in the blood of the lamb by accepting Jesus as your Lord and go to heaven.


If you are now in the tribulation period and the rapture has taken place, it is because you have believed the devil.  


It is time to realize that the devil has been deceiving you and that your only hope is Jesus.  He loves you so much that He died on the cross for you. All you need to do is repent of your sins and accept Jesus as your Lord. Why? Because God is sinless and no matter how much He loves you, He will not let you into heaven with your sins. Those who repent will go to heaven to be with the Father and Jesus and those who do not repent will go to hell.  


Nothing impure will ever enter heaven, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or lies, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life (Revelation 21:27).


For details on asking Jesus into your life, if you have not, please read the section on Salvation, click.  



Next Section - When is the end-rime harvest?

End Times and Christ's return to earth.

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