What we believe and teach

- Eschatology -

 

 

The state of man after death

 

Man consists of body, soul and spirit. When he dies, his spirit returns to God who gave it, his body returns to the dust because it was taken out of the ground, while his soul continues to live consciously in another world.

When a Christian dies, his soul goes immediately to Paradise, which is a marvellous heavenly place prepared for the saints, to be with the Lord Jesus Christ. He remains there consciously awaiting the resurrection of life. There he praises the Lord, but he does not intercede for the living who are on the earth. Peace reigns in Paradise, there are no sufferings in Paradise and the glory of God illuminates everybody and everything. That’s why to us to die is gain. The dead who die in the Lord are blessed because they rest from their labors. The New Jerusalem, which was seen by John in a vision while he was on the island that is called Patmos, is a real city, a heavenly city.

When a sinner dies, his soul goes immediately to Hades (Greek word which means ‘the unseen world’), which is a place of torment located in the heart of the earth. Hades is a place without any order, full of thick darkness, where sinners are tormented by fire, which causes them terrible pains and sufferings. In Hades there is weeping and gnashing of teeth and the wicked await the resurrection of condemnation.

 

The coming of Christ and our gathering together to Him

 

The Lord Jesus Christ will come back in His time on the clouds of heaven with power and glory, and with the holy angels. He will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first, then we who are alive and remain shall be changed by the power of God and we will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. In that day all those who are Christ’s will receive a body which will be like the glorious body of Christ. Therefore their bodies will be immortal, powerful and glorious. In that day the redemption of our body, which we are eagerly waiting for, will be fulfilled.

The coming of Christ and our gathering together to Him will take place after the falling away has come and the man of sin (that is, the antichrist) has been revealed. The man of sin will oppose and exalt himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, and will set himself up in God’s temple proclaiming himself to be God. He will perform all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. In that day the Lord Jesus will consume the man of sin with the breath of His mouth and will destroy him with the brightness of His coming. We reject the doctrine called ‘secret rapture.’

The coming of the Lord is near. The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Let us see to it that we abide in Christ, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.

 

The judgment seat of Christ

 

After Christ has come, we will appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. Therefore each of us will be rewarded according to his conduct. That’s why we must live a holy and blameless life, having a pure conscience before God and men, hating and fleeing every form of evil, because in that day each of us will give account of himself to God.

Every minister of the Gospel must see to it that he builds on the foundation, which is Christ, with valuable things, that is, gold, silver, precious stones, and not with vain things, that is, wood, hay and straw; because the day of Christ will bring to light each one’s work, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward; if anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

 

The millennial reign and the following events

 

When Christ comes, a thousand-year reign will begin, during which Christ will reign with His saints on the earth. During this reign Satan will not be able to deceive men because when Christ comes he will be bound and cast into the Abyss, which will be locked and sealed over him to keep him from deceiving the nations any more until the thousand years are ended.

When the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, to gather them together to battle. They will go up on the breadth of the earth and surround the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire will come down from God out of heaven and devour them. Then Satan will be cast into the lake of fire burning with brimstone (or the everlasting fire), where he will be tormented forever and ever.

Then the heaven and the earth will be annihilated by God (they will flee from the presence of God and there will be no place for them, and God will create a new heaven and a new earth) and the final judgment will take place. All the sinners will rise and appear before the throne of God and they will be judged according to their works, by the things written in the books. And they will be cast into the lake of fire burning with brimstone, which is the second death, where they will be tormented forever and ever. In that day the angels of Satan will be judged, who went with him when he rebelled against God, as well as the angels who did not keep their proper domain but left their own abode to fornicate with the daughters of men (God cast those angels into a prison called Tartarus, putting them into chains of darkness to be reserved for judgment).

After the final judgment, the Holy City, that is, the New Jerusalem, whose architect and builder is God, which was prepared by God for the elect, whom He has chosen, will come down out of heaven and settle on the new earth in which there will be no longer any sea. And the saints will reign forever and ever. To God be the glory in Christ Jesus now and forevermore. Amen.

 

 

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