Events still to come

I wrote the following in response to a post on Reddit some time back, and I thought it might be useful to share on my website as well, for those who aren’t necessarily entirely familiar with eschatology and what the various books of the Bible say is still to come. I should say, this is an updated version of an older article I once published, for those who find it familiar. I’ve now added links to scriptural references and to extended exegesis based on systematic theology, in order to support the various assertions I make throughout the article, which is why I’m re-publishing it (so please be sure to click the links as you read if you aren’t familiar with the scriptural basis for some of the claims). Keep in mind that the following is based on a “Concordant” interpretation of Scripture, which means it’s coming from a Premillennial Dispensationalist perspective (and a Hyperdispensationalist perspective at that, although there are Ultradispensationalist “Concordant” believers as well) rather than an Ammillennial or a Preterist (or even a Partial Preterist) perspective. And so, without further delay, here is a list of events that are still to come:

Before the tribulation begins (or at least by the midway point, although more likely shortly before it begins), the dead members of the body of Christ (meaning those who believed Paul’s Gospel) will be resurrected, and they, along with the still living members, will be vivified (made immortal) and taken to the heavens (which means taken somewhere in outer space) at the event known as the Snatching Away.

Next comes the tribulation, in which 144,000 Israelites (these won’t be Gentiles, but will be taken from each of the 12 tribes of Israel, although many of them will quite likely not have known they were Israelites — of the 10 “lost tribes” — since they’ll have grown up in Gentile nations) will proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom and help many Jews come to believe in Jesus as their Messiah and as the Son of God. Near the beginning of the tribulation, the Christian religion will become very popular, likely having been popularized by the one known as the false prophet and the one known as the beast (sometimes referred to as the antichrist), although it will be destroyed around the mid-way point, and many of its followers will be killed by spirits, with the false prophet then proclaiming the beast as the one to worship (a deep study of Daniel should explain where I’m getting this from). Around the mid-point of the tribulation, the beast will betray Israel, and many Israelites will become slaves among the Gentile nations.

At the end of the tribulation, Jesus will return to the earth, touching down on the Mount of Olives the same way He left, and will cast the beast and the false prophet into the lake of fire (most likely referring to evil spirits possessing actual humans, with the humans presumably dying in the process, since mortal humans can’t live while on fire).

He’ll then send angels to gather all Israelites from all over the world to Israel to judge them, and those who believed their Gospel and endured to the end will get to live in the kingdom in Israel, while the others will be cast into the metaphoric “furnace of fire,” meaning they’ll weep and gnash their teeth because they’ll have to live in the “outer darkness” of the rest of the world, far from the light of the kingdom.

He’ll also gather the nations to Israel to be judged, around that same time, and those who treated Jews and other Israelites well during the tribulation (it’s Israelites who are Jesus’ brethren in this judgement, not Gentile Christians) will get to live in, or at least much nearer to, Israel, while everyone else will also be forced to live in the eonian fire (mistranslated as “eternal fire” in some Bible versions, but it’s only temporary, and metaphorical at that), which is the same “furnace of fire” that the non-believing Jews will have to live in, meaning the other side of the planet from Israel, where they (well, more likely their distant offspring) will be prepared for the devil and his angels to rise up against Israel one last time at the end of the Millennium (the “fire prepared for the devil and his angels” isn’t the lake of fire, it’s a figure of speech for the locations that the “goats” will be living in).

Next, 75 days after Jesus’ return to earth (compare the numbers in Daniel 12:11-13 to the numbers in Revelation 13:5 to understand the 75 day difference), those dead members of the Israel of God (meaning all the righteous Israelites throughout history up to that point, as well as Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and any of their righteous family members) will be resurrected and vivified (this is known as the resurrection of the just, as well as “the former resurrection,” which most Bible versions mistakenly call “the first resurrection”). I’m not dogmatic about this next statement, but my belief is that the still living members of the Israel of God will not be vivified at this time, but will remain alive during the Millennium by eating of the fruit of the tree of life, which will likely be returned to the earth at that point, or moved from a hiding place to Israel if it’s been on earth all this time. Either way, they’ll remain on earth to help the 144,000 rule over the earth.

Satan is also bound up in the submerged chaos (often rendered as the “bottomless pit” in popular Bible versions) around this time, where he’ll be bound for 1,000 years to plot his revenge, which he’ll carry out when he’s released at the end of the Millennium, as already mentioned, although he’ll once again fail, and this time be bound in the lake of fire for the duration of the fifth and final eon, known as the Eon of the Eons in Scripture (I should note, we’re currently living in the third eon, with the Millennium being the fourth eon).

Afterwards, earth and the rest of the universe will be destroyed, but a New Heaven and a New Earth will be created to replace them (this is necessary because the universe as it currently is would eventually cease to exist anyway, so the whole thing has to be “rebuilt” in order for it, and us, to exist forever), and anyone who is dead will be resurrected, but not vivified, for the Great White Throne Judgement (this Judgement might take place prior to the creation of the New Heaven and New Earth, but they both take place around the same time).

Some will then be cast into the lake of fire to die a second time, although I suspect most will make it onto the New Earth to live through that final eon in mortal bodies (albeit bodies that don’t die as long as they partake of the fruit and leaves of the tree of life, although there will still be death on the New Earth, at least until the final eon ends, even if those who get to live in the New Jerusalem never have to worry about dying again). During this eon (as well as the one before it, which was the Millennium), the body of Christ is reconciling “fallen” celestial beings to God, and the Israel of God is bringing humanity under subjection to Christ (although, as far as humans go, this was likely all accomplished during the Millennium).

Finally, at the end of this final eon (at the time those of us in the body of Christ refer to as the consummation of the eons), after all still living humans and all celestial beings (including Satan) have been reconciled to God, Christ will resurrect those who died and who were burned up in the lake of fire, and vivify them, as well as vivify all the mortal humans (presumably including the members of the Israel of God who haven’t been vivified yet, presuming they weren’t vivified at the second coming), which will be what “abolishes death,” as Paul put it. He’ll then turn all reign over to His God and Father, who will then be All in all (not just All in some), which means every human who will have ever lived will have been saved by this point. I should add, details when it comes to this final eon are not particularly clear (some of it is based on having to properly interpret parables, among other highly figurative language), and there is reason to believe that some will be working in some way to pay “the uttermost farthing” during it (don’t confuse this for working for salvation, though, since this isn’t actually connected to salvation), or perhaps that those who died the second death will be resurrected (but not vivified) at various points during the eon as well, after their “sentence” has come to an end, but we know for sure that they’ll all be resurrected and vivified (which means finally saved — one hasn’t fully experienced salvation until they’ve been vivified) by the end of it.