The Christian faith is built around some fundamental events that exalt the glory of God. These events exalt God’s glory because they put His merciful nature and awesome power on display. Some of these events have already occurred in the past and others we are waiting to take place. Moses splitting the Red Sea, found in Exodus, is an amazing event that displays God’s awesome power; Jesus Christ the Son of God bearing the sins of the world displays God’s merciful nature. These two events are one of many foundational events for the Christian faith.
There are many other future events that will occur that also support our faith. In our Heaven and Hell series, we addressed three of them.
- The Return of Jesus
- The Resurrection of the dead
- The Final Judgement
JESUS IS COMING
The Bible is filled with texts of Jesus Christ coming back for a second time. We see this truth in Revelation 22:12 where Jesus Himself says, “Behold, I am coming soon.” We also see this in Acts 1:9-11 as Jesus is ascending up into Heaven and His disciples were standing and watching Him. As they were watching Him, two angels said to the disciples, “this Jesus, who was taken up from you into Heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into Heaven.” We see this in many more texts such as 1 John 2:28 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16.
This event creates a lot of questions concerning the timeline of when Jesus will actually return and often times the most important question is ignored. The question we should most be concerned with is, are we ready for His return? Do we live like the Judge of the universe is coming back or are we growing weary of awaiting His return. This event is something every believer should be looking forward to. We should be praying for Jesus to bring His kingdom to this rebellious world. So the challenge is, are we part of the rebellious world we live in? If so then more than likely we are not ready for the return of Christ.
THE DEAD RAISED
The resurrection of the dead is something every believer should hold firmly to. Throughout scripture and throughout church history the resurrection has been under attack. In the Gospels a religious/political group called the Sadducees rejected the idea of people being raised from the dead, and the apostle Paul dealt with people rejecting the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15. Rejecting this idea forfeits one’s right to spend eternity with Christ in Heaven. It is simply because how will one get to Heaven once they die? There has to be a resurrection in order for those who have passed away to inherit the wonderful kingdom of God.
Accepting the resurrection creates questions as well. Questions like what will our resurrection bodies look like? Will we be recognizable to our loved ones? Will we hold onto our racial identities? In brief the answer is yes, yes, and yes! Our bodies will be perfect and without sin which means no pain. We will be recognized just like the disciples recognized Jesus in His glorified body in Luke 24. We will have our ethnic identity because the Bible, in Revelations 5 and 7, speaks of nations, tribes, and tongues worshipping together.
The last event the Bible points to is the Final Judgement. We see this idea in Revelation 2:23 as Jesus says, ‘I am he who searches hearts and minds and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.” We also see this in Revelation 20:11-12. Once we die, we will be judged by what we did in this world. This is not saying our salvation is determined by what we do because we know the Bible teaches salvation is by faith alone. We do not earn and cannot earn God’s salvation, but we do receive rewards from being obedient. If not, then what is there for Christ to judge? What we store in our hearts and minds will be judged by God and holiness and purity will be rewarded. Jesus Himself tells us this in Luke 14:12-14 as He teaches us to serve and cater to the poor, crippled, and lame because although they may not repay you, God will repay you in Heaven. Paul also echoes this in 2 Corinthians 5:10.
The bible clearly teaches there is a final judgment and what we do in this world matters. Our actions are not meant to impress God in order to receive our ticket into heaven. The Bible tells us our just actions are filthy rags to God (Isaiah 64:6). But the Bible also tells us what we do in this world matters. Are you serving yourself or God’s kingdom? We constantly must analyze why we do, what we do. Are we searching for rewards here on this earth or are we eagerly searching for heavenly rewards that will last forever?
To hear this sermon in full detail, click on the link below