Jesus came on a mission to save us, lived a sinless life, was murdered using a cross, buried in a tomb, resurrected from the dead and ascended into heaven. Wow! That’s a lot of good news for us! So what happens next?
The next piece of good news is that Jesus will be coming back for his own. The scene of Christ’s second coming is described by the apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:16–17 (ESV): “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.”
At that point, we are done with this earth as we know it and we move on to judgement. Revelation 20:11–15 describes the scene: “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
Some look upon this event with fear and trembling, thinking that Judgment must be a bad thing. IT’S NOT OR AT LEAST IT DOESN’T NEED TO BE! In fact, it can be looked upon as a wonderful happening. In 2 Timothy 4:7–8, when he was close to the end of his life, the apostle Paul shared his attitude concerning Christ’s second coming. He said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” (ESV)
The news about Jesus is good news (that’s what the word “gospel” means) for some. But it’s only good news if you are prepared. The Bible quotes God as saying, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” That Scripture continues: “Indeed, the ‘right time’ is now. Today is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2 NLT). I pray that you can look forward to that day.
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