Author: Ron Graham
Seven Events of the Last Day
—What will happen when Jesus comes?
Does the Bible teach that there will be one last day for this world? Yes, and the Bible tells us what events will happen on that last Day.
We do not know when the end of the world will be, but we do know what will happen on the last day —the day of the second coming of Christ. The end of the world may come within our lifetime. It could even be today or tomorrow.
Yet even if we die before it comes, we will be there, alive again, to experience it all. So we need to know exactly what events will take place at the second coming. Therefore the Bible is very plain about what will take place.
1 The Visible Return of Jesus
Paul tells us about how, at the second coming of Christ, "The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire..." (2Thessalonians 1:5-10). John tells us, "Behold he is coming with the clouds and every eye shall see him..." (Revelation 1:7).
2 The Resurrection of All the Dead
According to Paul, this will be "a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked" (Acts 24:15). Paul has wonderfully explained and described this resurrection (1Corinthians 15:35-58).
John saw a vision of the resurrection. "I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne... the sea gave up the dead who were in it, and death and hades gave up the dead who were in them..." (Revelation 20:12-13).
Long ago, Daniel was promised he would rise from the dead (Daniel 12:13). Jesus tells us how the dead will be raised at his second coming: "An hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; those who did the good, to a resurrection of life, those who did the evil to a resurrection of judgment." (John 5:28-29).
3 The Judgment of All Mankind
Jesus describes how, when he comes in his glory, all nations will be gathered before his throne, and all mankind will be separated either to eternal life or eternal punishment. (Matthew 25:31-46).
Paul says that Jesus will "judge the living and the dead at his appearing" (2Timothy 4:1), and "we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ" (Romans 14:10).
John saw a vision of the judgment of all mankind. "I saw a great white throne, and him who sat upon it... 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).
Are you ready for the Judgment Day?
4 The Rapture of the Saints
Imagine the event that Paul describes when "the Lord himself shall descend with a shout" and "we shall be caught up together... in the clouds to meet him in the air" (1Thessalonians 4:13-18).
Imagine first that you are in that company, rapturously rising into the sky, forever to be with the Lord and his angels in heaven. Then, on the other hand, imagine that you are left behind watching them go. Which do you prefer?
John saw a vision of two witnesses. A loud voice called them from heaven saying, "Come up here!" The two witnesses went up into heaven in a cloud observed by their enemies. There followed destruction in the city (Revelation 11:12-13).
All Christians can take courage from this, because even though they be killed and scorned, they will, when Jesus shouts the upward call, rise like the two witnesses and joyfully ascend to glory.
5 The Burning Up of Planet Earth
This planet will be "burned up" (2Peter 3:10-13). You won't be able to stay here any longer. So take the Hebrew writer's advice: "Let us gratefully offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire" (Hebrews 12:27-29).
6 The Destruction of Satan
God has prepared eternal hell for the Devil and the demons (Matthew 25:41,46). In the final visions of the Revelation, the casting of Satan into hell is vividly portrayed (Revelation 20:7-10). The most important thing for us, is that we do not unwittingly get caught up in this, but that we grasp the salvation that Jesus offers (Revelation 20:11-15).
7 Entering the New Jerusalem
Jesus promised, "In my Father's house are many mansions... I go to prepare a place for you... I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am there you may be also" (John 14:2-3). In John's visions, this is represented as the new Jerusalem, the heavenly city of God in a new heavens and new earth (Revelation 21:1-7).