The Bible and the Future- Part 5
The Final Battle and the Eternal State
Now we come to the end of the thousand year reign of our Lord Jesus Christ in His earthly kingdom, long foretold by the prophets. With the Millennium completed, the final stage is set in the drama of history. Satan, the great deceiver, is loosed for a little season. The first thing he does is to begin to influence men to rebel against God. He gathers an army together for a final showdown between good and evil, and attempts to attack God's people at Jerusalem. This fight is known as the battle of Gog and Magog (Revelation 20:7-9).
I. Satan's Judgement
Apparently the fight doesn't last very long because Scripture indicates that fire comes out of heaven and destroys the army of Satan. Then Satan himself is given his final judgement. He is thrown into the Lake of Fire, where the Beast (Antichrist) and the false prophet were sent 1000 years earlier.There they all will remain forever.
II. The Great White Throne Judgement
Then all of the dead that rejected God and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, will be raised. What follows is one of the saddest prophecies in the Bible (Revelation 20:11-15). At the Great White Throne judgement, those who are judged, are judged according to their works. The Bible states that no one can ever be saved according to works because there is none righteous enough to deserve salvation (Titus 3:5). But these people refused to accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, so they have rejected the only means of being accepted by a holy God. Scripture indicates that they also will be thrown into the Lake of Fire.
III. The New Heavens and New Earth
Then after one of the saddest events of prophecy comes the most joyous time in all of Scripture. The consummation and fulfillment of all prophesy takes place when our Lord creates the New Heavens and the New Earth. The change is both a spiritual and physical one. The Apostle Peter indicates that the elements of this present universe will be destroyed with a fervent heat (II Peter 3:10). And everything becomes changed and reconfigured for eternity. In the New Heavens and Earth there will no longer be the curse of sin. The New Jerusalem descends out of Heaven from God and God now dwells among men forever. Our God will wipe away every tear from every eye. The Scripture uses a lot of negatives to describe it. There will be no more death, no mourning or crying or pain; for the first things are past away (Revelation 21:1-4).
IV. The Dispensation of the Fullness of Times
The final stage in the consummation is called the dispensation of the fullness of times by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 1:10. Jesus has conquered Satan, sin and death and has placed all things under His feet. Everything and everyone is subject to Christ. Then our Lord turns it all over to God the Father, so that He might be "all in all" (I Corinthians 15:20-28). This doesn't mean that Christ will cease to reign. His reign is eternal, as promised. But now Christ will reign in His former glorious place within the Trinity, subject to God the Father, as it was eternally designed for Him to do.
And so ends the final chapter in Biblical prophecy. We now enter the Eternal State. In other words, those who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have an eternity of joy and peace to look forward to in the end. No earthly sorrow can compare with the glory that the Lord has prepared for us in eternity. For the believer, in this life, the best is always yet to come. But my concern is for those who haven't yet trusted Christ. It is my hope that this look at the Bible and the future will spur someone reading to put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Be sure that one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. The only question for you now is will you bow now, or later. Your eternal destiny depends on your decision.