The Bible tells us that Jesus will return to set up His reign on Earth. No more cruel wars, oppression, and the rule of the greedy and powerful, but a rule of love where God’s plans will be fulfilled. According to some Bible scholars, there are 1,845 references to Jesus’ Second Coming in the Old Testament and 318 references in the New Testament. We refer to the period before His return as the Endtime—which does not mean the End of Time, but the end of the present era, after which Jesus will return to set up His kingdom on Earth.
Along with many other Christians today, we believe that we are now living in the Endtime because of the way the signs of the times, events and conditions that were predicted as precursors to the Endtime are being fulfilled. In our classes on this subject, we will look at some of the main signs as they are described in the Bible, and then we’ll look at how these are being fulfilled in our present day. We will try to give you enough information so that you will be able to discern the signs of the times yourself, as you observe what is happening around you.
What’s Ahead, In a Nutshell!
This is a very brief overview of the chronology of the future.
Jesus returns in the clouds
(Matthew 24:27–30; 1 Thessalonians 4:16)
- The Resurrection and the Rapture
The dead resurrected; the living raptured
All of God’s saved children will have a glorious and beautiful and wonderful resurrection. The Christians who have already died and gone to be with Jesus will arise from their graves and receive new resurrection bodies. The millions of Christians who are still alive on Earth, having survived the Antichrist reign, will be instantly changed, transformed, as they also receive their new eternal bodies.
(1 Thessalonians 4:14–17; 1 Corinthians 15:51–52)
The Marriage Supper of the Lamb
There will be a great feast and a great ceremony, and Jesus will pass out the gifts, the presents, the rewards to all of those who loved and served Him.
- The judgment seat of Christ
Christians will be rewarded for their works.
(Romans 14:10–12; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 22:12)
- The Wrath of God upon Earth
The Lord’s punishments on those who rejected Him and worshipped the Antichrist
(Isaiah 13:9–11; 26:21; Revelation 14:9–10)
- The Battle of Armageddon
The wicked will gather together at Armageddon (the plains of Meggido) in Israel to try to fight the nations who are resisting the Antichrist’s regime. When it looks like the antichrist is close to victory, Jesus Himself, along with His resurrected, glorified, Heavenly forces, will return to Earth again out of Heaven on majestic white horses to utterly defeat and destroy the Antichrist and his forces in the supernatural, catastrophic Battle of Armageddon. Some believe the war will last forty-five days. The battle will wipe out the very worst of the antichrist forces, leaving only those from both sides who are going to remain alive and survive through the Millennium, over whom God’s children are going to rule and reign.
(Revelation 16:16; 18:19–20; Jude 14,15)
- The Antichrist and his False Prophet will be cast into the Lake of Fire
- The Millennium
One thousand years of peace
Then we, the saints of God, along with our King Jesus Christ, will take over the world and set up the Kingdom of God on earth and restore it to the beauty of the Garden of Eden again. This amazing period will last for one thousand years, and therefore is known as the Millennium! During this time people will choose to follow and receive Jesus, or choose to rebel.
(Daniel 2:44, 7:27; Revelation 20:4–6, 2:26–27, 5:10)
- The Devil bound
The Devil will be bound and cast as a prisoner into the Bottomless Pit for this thousand-year period.
- The Battle of Gog and Magog
The final test
As a final test and sifting, at the end of the Millennium Satan is going to be released from his prison in the heart of the earth for “a little season,” just long enough to deceive the remaining unconverted wicked over whom we have been ruling.
- The last battle
These rebels will again follow the Devil, in open rebellion against the Lord and His government, resulting in the catastrophic Battle of Gog and Magog in which God is so fed up with them that He just sends down fire out of Heaven to devour the wicked completely! In fact, He will cause such a horrible fire to come down that it will completely wipe out the entire surface of the earth and the atmospheric heavens shall be rolled back like a scroll.
(Psalm 2:1–5; Revelation 20:8–9; 2 Peter 3:10–13)
- The Devil is cast into hell
- Great White Throne Judgment
The unsaved dead of all ages raised. The books are opened.
After this climactic Battle of Gog and Magog, all the unsaved of all ages will be raised to stand before God Himself in the final Judgment in which “the books are opened” and they will all be given their final sentences according to their works and will be assigned to their places in the hereafter.
(Revelation 20:11–15; Luke 12:47–48)
- New Heaven and New Earth
The Heavenly City comes down to earth.
God’s great Heavenly City will then descend from above to the beautiful, recreated, Garden-of-Eden-like New Earth, and God Himself will dwell with us right here on Earth.
(Revelation 21:1–3, 22:2)
- Only the saved live in the city; unsaved nations outside.
(Revelation 21:24,27, 22:2; Hebrews 11:13–16)
- Eternal life and happiness forever
(Revelation 21:4–7, 22:3)
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There is not one of God’s children who cannot afford to give something to His Work! You may think you can’t afford to give, or you may not be able to give a lot at first, but God blesses everybody that gives, and if you’re not rich, that’s all the more reason you ought to give so the Lord can bless you and help you to have more!
King David once said, “I will not give unto the Lord that which hath cost me nothing!” (2 Samuel 24:24) It doesn’t really count until it costs you something to give, and you are really sacrificing to give, and when you can say, “The love of Christ constraineth me!” (2 Corinthians 5:14)
Remember the little widow who gave her last two mites? When Jesus saw it, He said that she had given even more than the rich, who had only cast in a little of their abundance! Although the smallest of all coins, only part of a penny, it was all she had and the Lord gave her more credit than He did them, by indicating that she had given more than they, because she had given all she had–even more than it seemed she should!–And the Lord honoured her for it! (Mark 12:42-44)
How much has it cost you? Does it hurt? Are you really giving sacrificially to God and His work?