Intermediate Bible Study
One of the most interesting questions to think about is, "What does the Bible say about the future?" When Jesus left the earth, the angels said, "Jesus shall come in like manner as you have seen Him go into Heaven" (Acts 1:11). We do not know the day or hour (Matt. 24:36), not even the time or season (1 Thess. 5:1), but He is coming again!
But someone might ask, "Why?" He is not coming to die for man. This is the reason He came the first time (Heb. 9:28). He is not coming to start His kingdom, His church. This is what He did the first time (See Matt. 4:17; 10:7; 16:18; Mark 9:1; Col.1: 13,14). But the Bible does say exactly what will happen when He comes.
First, when Jesus returns, the Bible says that at one time all the dead will be raised. Jesus said, "The hour is coming in which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth" (John 5:25).
All that are in the graves come forth at one time. This means that Noah, Abraham and all the righteous men of the Old Testament plus all the evil men who have ever lived - all will be raised! But more important YOU will be there to see Him.
Second, the Bible says that when Jesus comes the earth will be destroyed (Heb. 1:10, 11; 2 Peter 3:10-12). Not only will the evil works on the earth end, but so will the earth itself! "The earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up "(2 Peter 3:10). This earth will be no more after Jesus returns.
Third, the Bible says that when Jesus comes, the Final Judgment will take place. This is why He is to return. God has appointed a day when He will judge the world through Jesus (Acts 17:31) Every man who has ever lived will be there and will give account for how he has lived (2 Cor. 5:10)! But more important, YOU will be there and you will give account how you lived.
Finally, the Bible says that when Jesus returns, the righteous will be with God and the evil will suffer forever (Matt. 25:46).
But what is to be the standard of that judgment? Jesus says that His words will be that standard (John 12:48). Let us suppose that He were to come today, and the Judgment were to take place. What things should we have done to please Him? The rest of this lesson is designed to help you look carefully at yourself so you can know what will happen to you on the Judgment day.
For one to be saved on that day, he must have faith. "He that cometh to God must believe that He is" (Hebrews 11:6) There is no other way; one must believe that God is. Do you?
Not only must we believe in God, but we must believe in Jesus. He said, "Except you believe that I am He you shall die in your sins" (John 8:24). We must believe in Jesus. Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God?
Repentance is a change of mind that causes a change in life. Even the devils believe (James 2:19). Salvation is not by faith alone (James 2:24). You must be willing to change.
Jesus said, "Except you repent you shall all perish" (Luke 13:3). If you believe that Jesus is the son of God, you must repent. Have you repented?
Jesus taught, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mark 16:16). To have true Bible baptism one must have all of the following: (1) Water (Acts 8:36); (2) Much water (John 3:23); (3) Coming to the water (Acts 8:36); (4) Going down into the water (Acts 8:38); (5) A burial in the water (Romans 6:4,5; Col. 2:12); (6) Coming up out of the water (Acts 8:39). Because one's sins are washed away by the blood of Jesus when he is baptized, one must be buried with Christ in baptism (Acts 22:16). Have you been buried with Christ in baptism?
Because the Lord adds the saved to His church, one must be in His church on that day (Acts 2:47). When He returns, it is this church that He will save (See Ephesians 5:23; 1:22,23). It is this kingdom which Jesus will give to the Father (1 Cor. 15:24). After Jesus left the earth, men have started many other churches wearing human names, worshipping in ways not found in the Bible, having human organization, and teaching many things not found in the Bible. Are you a member of the church begun by Jesus?
God expects His people to live righteous lives. The Bible talks of many sins and says we cannot live in sin and please Him. Read I Cor. 6:9, 10 and Gal. 5:19-21 to learn many of the things that displease God. The true Christian must be like Jesus. He should develop the fruit of the Spirit. "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance" (Galatians 5:22-25). Are you trying to live right and to develop the fruit of the Spirit?