Christian Apologetics Study

ESCHATOLOGY IN THE HOLY BIBLE

Aug
09

Eschatology is study of biblical prophecy, analysis of the last days, the examination of God’s final judgments, the exploration of heaven and hell, and the discussion of good versus evil. Eschatology investigates major topics revealed in biblical subjects.

PHYSICAL DEATH

The Holy Scriptures says all humans will die (Hebrews 9:27). The only exceptions will be people who are raptured to Heaven before reaching physical death such as Enoch described in  Genesis 5:21-23 and Hebrews 11:5-6; Elijah mentioned in 2 Kings 2:1-11; the Church Saints discussed in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 1 Corinthians 15:51-58, and Revelation 4:1-4; Mid Tribulation Saints mentioned in  Revelation 7:9-17; and the 144,000 Jews discussed in Revelation 14:1-5. Most humans will experience physical death because sin exists in the planet Earth (Romans 5:12).

THE INTERMEDIATE STATE

The “intermediate state” refers to the time between physical death and physical resurrection. Believers in Messiah exist wonderfully in the Messiah’s presence, while nonbelievers are distressed by their departure from the Lord. Both believers and nonbelievers wait for their physical restoration and adjudication at history’s end.

THE SECOND COMING

The Holy Scriptures reveal that Messiah Yeshua will return to Earth, in a physical body (Acts 1:11). No one knows exactly when this event will occur (Matthew 24:36), and it will catch many people by surprise-like “a thief in the night” (Luke 12:39-40). Although no one knows the exact day and hour, we can know from the Holy Scriptures the season His majestic return to Earth. Messiah Yeshua’s parables (particularly in Matthew 24-25) refer to the Second Coming and encourage believers to be alert, faithful, and intense in our activity for God.

THE RESURRECTION

By the end of human history, all who have died will come to life. Every human body from all of history will be resurrected. For believers, this resurrection will happen during Messiah Yeshua’s breathtaking  second coming, and their bodies will be transformed into new, perfected supernatural bodies (1 Corinthians 15:35-56). The Holy Scriptures says there will be a resurrection for nonbelievers, unto eternal death (John 5:28-29).

THE JUDGMENT

There will be a time when the Messiah judges humankind’s spiritual condition, based on their relationship to him. Believers and nonbelievers will be judged at different times. There will be a judgment for believers following the Rapture event to determine their rewards in Heaven. There will be a judgment for nonbelievers to determine their degree of punishment in Hell. There will be a judgment for fallen angels and demonic powers to determine their degree of punishment in Hell.

THE FINAL STATES

The Holy Scriptures reveal that Heaven is a place of everlasting joy, where believers in Messiah Yeshua will live in God’s presence. The Holy Scriptures reveal that Hell (particularly the lake of fire located in a supernatural dimension in the Earth’s center) is a place of anguished separation from God. Where a person goes, according to the traditional view, depends upon decisions made in this life.

However, A few believers argue that evil people will simply be destroyed, rather than be forced to suffer punishment throughout eternity. They argue that the Holy Scriptures are not completely clear in its presentation of Hell, and that many of the Scriptural passages discussing Hell take place during poetic and prophetic passages that need not always be interpreted literally. Such believers teach the gospel of annihilation.  While other believers, including the great writers and thinkers as C. S. Lewis and eschatology expert Rev Clarence Larkin, believe that some who never knew Messiah Yeshua by name during their lives will still, through the activity of the Holy Spirit, spend eternity with God in heaven. This view is based on the writings of St. Paul in Romans chapter 2. These theologians teach the inclusive gospel.  Whereas other Christians believe God will save all of humanity, though some humans will take longer than others. Eschatology experts describe this as the ecumenical gospel of universalism, which will be preached by the anti-Messiah and the false prophet when they enter the scene of human history.

THE MILLENNIUM

Many believers say there will be time when Messiah will reign as king on Earth. This period is called the Millennium and is expected to happen before the final judgments. This belief is based on Revelation 20:4-7. Those who think that Messiah will return personally to begin this period are embrace the doctrine of pre-millennialism. Others, who teach that the kingdom will be established through the successful preaching of the gospel, believe in the doctrine of post-millennialism. Still others believers embrace the doctrine of a-millennialism because they do not believe that there will be any Earthly reign of Messiah at all; they interpret the thousand years mentioned in Revelation 20 as a poetic symbol.

THE GREAT TRIBULATION

The Holy Scriptures describe time of great anguish, or “tribulation,” which will come upon the Earth, a time worse than any in human history. Eschatology experts describe this period as the 70th week mentioned in Daniel 9:24-27, and they believe it will last seven years. Some believe the church will be on Earth to suffer through this time, and that the Messiah will not return until the end of the period. This is called post-tribulation rapture theory. Other p

rophecy scholars teach the pre-tribulation rapture theory, which says Messiah will first come to take his believers away before the great Tribulation and then Messiah will make an open display of his glory before the whole world at the Battle of Armageddon. Still others  teach the mid-tribulation rapture theory, which says the church will be present for the first half of the seven years but will be removed before the worst part of the Tribulation begins.

RELATED SOURCES

Prophetic Visions by Dr. Maurice Sklar; The Signature of God by Dr. Grant Jeffrey; Commentary on Psalm 83 by Bill Salus; Commentary on the Book of Obadiah by Dr. John McTernan; Dispensational Truth by Rev, Clarence Larkin; Blood Moons by Rabbi Mark Biltz; Blood Moons by Pastor John Hagee. Commentary on Blood Moons in the 21st Century by Barry Setterfield.

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