FoundationsForGrowing

The End Times: Part V

by Joanna Pierce on June 01, 2016

Last week, our study of the Book of Revelation and the End Times revealed theories identifying the 2 witnesses in Revelation, their characteristics, and purpose. We also uncovered the symbolism of the woman and child—pointing to Israel (the church) and Jesus Christ—and ended with a discussion of the Marriage Supper. This week, we will continue our study on what we will experience after the rapture as well as the Judgment Seat of Christ.

How We Will Be After the Rapture

We learned last week the church will engage in the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7), which will be an experience unlike anything else on this earth. However, there is much question as to what will happen to each individual after the rapture occurs. Scripture gives us varying clues.

Changed

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality (I Corinthians 15:51–53, KJV).

Not everyone will be asleep (dead) during the rapture, but everyone will be changed. Scripture tells us this change will happen quickly, and we will be changed to something immortal.

Like Jesus

John gives further insight into our future state:

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is (I John 3:2, KJV).

John may be writing from the context of how He knew and recognized Jesus when He was alive during His 33.5 years on the earth, and/or during the 40 days after his resurrection from the dead (Acts 1:3). John saw Jesus “show” Himself to the disciples after the resurrection (John 20:19, 21:1), which theologians indicates a supernatural manifestation. On several accounts, Jesus appears in the middle of a room without entering through natural means.

Jesus was also a very tangible being; He encouraged Thomas to touch Him (John 20:27). Additionally, Scripture notes when Jesus had risen from the dead, He dined with His disciples (John 21:12–15; Acts 10:40–41).

Our immortal body will not have constraints of this life, but will be “glorified.” We don’t know if eating and drinking will be required nourishment, or if it will be something we will partake in only for fellowship purposes. And, we don’t know if we’ll be able to manifest ourselves in places like Jesus did to His disciples. All we know is we will be like Him—the rest is yet to be determined!

Judgment Seat of Christ

The Judgment Seat of Christ is not referring to the final judgment (White Throne Judgment). This is an event in itself where all caught away (raptured) believers will be held accountable for what they did or did not do in the kingdom (Revelation 14:13). Paul states:

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences (II Corinthians 5:10–11, KJV).

Before we come to Christ, it’s about what He can do for us: salvation through baptism and remission of sins. But, after we’ve followed the plan of salvation (repentance, baptism in Jesus’ name, and the infilling of the Holy Ghost), we are to work hard to minister unto others about the judgment of God and how to escape His wrath.

The Judgment Seat of Christ will be to determine our responsibilities and rewards in Christ’s new kingdom in the Millennial reign (a time period where there will be a new heaven and new earth). We will be judged on our priorities, if we were faithful stewards of treasures God put in our hands, if we sought His kingdom, if we loved others, if our goal was to be like Him, if we put His kingdom before our own life, etc.

Scripture tells us every man’s work will be put through the fire and judged (I Corinthians 3:10–15). If our works in life were only wood, hay, and stubble, we’ll have made heaven, but our reward won’t be as great as those who build their foundation on solid materials.

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on June 01, 2016