Lesson Twelve • Jesus' Return
- Have you ever watched a movie about the end of the world? What was it? How did it make you feel?
Some of you probably thought of movies like, “2012,” “The Day After Tomorrow,” “Independence Day,” “Armageddon,” or “I Am Legend”. Others might have thought about the “Left Behind” series. When I was young, there was a movie called, “A Thief in the Night.” It was about the rapture and possible scenarios of how the “end times” could play out. The movie really made me think about what this world will be like after Jesus comes back.
- What is your understanding of what the world will be like after Jesus comes back?
When I use the term “end times,” I am referring to the time period surrounding the end of the world as we know it. There is a book in the Bible that is dedicated to telling us about that time. It is called Revelation or The Revelation to John. It is a prophetic book, one that tells us about the future. There are also other passages throughout the Bible that give us more insights into the end-time events. Even with this information, Christians do not agree 100% on the order of events or even what will happen during the events described in Revelation. What we can be sure of is this, Jesus is going to come back and take His followers to spend eternity with Him.
- What are some end-time terms that Christians use?
Some of the important terms in the Bible regarding the end times are Rapture, Tribulation, second coming, Millennium, judgment, Hell, and Heaven. It would be good to look at these words.
- What is the Rapture?
The Rapture is the event where Jesus comes back and calls all of His followers to Heaven. In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, we read,“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”
- What is the Tribulation?
The Tribulation is a seven-year period where a bunch of terrible things are going to happen on the Earth and many people are going to die (Revelation 6:1-19:6).
- What is the second coming? What is the difference between the Rapture and the second coming?
The second coming is the time when Jesus actually steps back on the Earth and defeats His enemies. Read Revelation 19:11-21. During the Rapture, Jesus will not come all the way to Earth. He will call us up to meet Him in the air.
- What is the Millennium? (Not the Millennium Falcon)
The Millennium is a period of 1,000 years of peace on Earth where those who have chosen to follow Jesus will live with Him on the Earth (Revelation 20:1-6).
- What kind of judgments are going to happen?
There will be two different judgments. One is where Jesus will give each individual their eternal destination based on their relationship with Him, and one where those who are spending eternity with God, will get their rewards for obeying Jesus’ commands. If you do not accept Jesus as your Lord, you will not make it to the second judgment.
- What do you know about Hell? Who is going to be there? What will it be like?
Hell is a place of eternal separation from God. It is also called the Lake of Fire. There will be immense pain and suffering forever. It will be dark and people there will be alone (Revelation 20:15).
- What details do you know about Heaven? Who is going to be there? What will it look like?
Heaven is going to be an amazing place! When you have time, you can read Revelation 21:1-22:5 and get a description of the details. As far as who will be there, the Bible tells us that God is the one that will be there that will have our attention. Yes, the angels will be there and all of those who believe in Jesus and have accepted His payment for their sins will be there as well, but our attention will be had by God.
When we watch movies about the end of the world, there are usually aliens, zombies, or natural disasters that are going to end humanity. However, when we read the Bible, we find that the truth is God will destroy the world after He collects those who love Him to Himself and send the rest to spend eternity away from Him in Hell. This is a serious and scary thing to think about but it is imperative that you make the decision to follow Jesus today if you have not already, so you can spend eternity with God and not in eternal torment alone.