This post is about the end of the world.
Outline of Revelation
Revelation 1.19 gives you the outline for the whole book.
John is to write:
- What you have seen
- What is now
- And what will take place later
That means the book of Revelation is not chronological; the whole book contains things that have already happened (in John’s day); things that are happening (in the first century); and things that will happen
This is why Revelation is so hard to teach. But today I’m not going to focus on every chapter and every image; I’m going to show you what happens at the very end of the end times.
Signs of The End
In Matthew, Mark, Luke, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Peter, & Revelation we can read about “signs of the end.” Some of those are:
- Wars (and rumours of wars)
- International strife
- Eclipses of the sun and moon; falling stars
True or false: this has happened before in human history?
Which is worse: 9/11 or the Fall or Rome?
Every generation has believed they would be the last generation, including the apostles. Are we living in the end times? Maybe. The bigger question, tough, is: ARE YOU READY? Because here’s what’s going to happen at the end of the end times:
Judgment of Satan
In the Lake of Burning Sulfur:
“Before receiving his eternal punishment, Satan is released from captivity. For a short time he is allowed to rally the nations for a concentrated, major attack upon the church… But in the final battle, Jesus wins and destroys Satan. When the long-awaited destruction of Satan happens, he is thrown into the lake of burning sulphur with the beast and the false prophet, where, the Bible says, they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever (Rev. 20.7-10)
Satan gets defeated but what about people? What is the destiny of every person who has ever lived? Jesus tells two very hard truths about this:
Matthew 7.21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
Matthew 25.31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
So what happens to people after Satan is defeated? Judgment happens. For non-Christians AND Christians.
Judgment of Non-Christians
At the Great White Throne:
John 3.36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.
Remember from the parable we just read:
Matthew 25.41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
Revelation 20.15 If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Judgment of Christians
At the Bema Seat:
2 Corinthians 5.10 For we must all 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.
1 Corinthians 3.11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.
“Crown of Rejoicing” – Awarded to those who win the lost to Christ (1 Thess. 2.19-20)7 Privileges
“Incorruptible Crown” – The victor’s crown; awarded for striving to win (1 Cor. 9.25-27)
“Crown of Life” – The martyr’s crown; awarded to those faithful unto death (Rev. 2.10)
“Crown of Glory” – Awarded to those who make disciples (1 Pet. 5.2-4)
“Crown of Righteousness” – Awarded to those who love Jesus’ appearing (2 Timothy 4.8)
Eat of the tree of life (Rev. 2.7) – Result of a heart full of love for Christ
Not hurt by the Second Death (Rev. 2.11) – result of a sound witness
Stone with a new name (Rev. 2.17) – result of holding to an equal body
The Morning Star and Authority (Rev. 2.26-29) – result of avoiding the world’s lies
Divine Identification (Rev. 3.5) – result of a pure walk
A New Name (Rev. 3.12) – result of holding to things of God
A Throne Given (Rev. 3.21) – result of a fervent and pure heart
The way you live your life for Christ determines the degree of reward you will receive in Heaven.
Your Xbox gamerscore is hay: that will burn away
The number of facebook friends you have is straw: that will burn up
BUT, if you can somehow use your hours playing Call of Duty to make disciples, that will last.
If you use facebook as a way to bring people to Christ, that will last.
What you have been given is not meant to terminate on you. And at the Bema Seat, this is how we’ll be judged.
In Christ all sin is forgiven. You are not trying to earn your salvation. You are working it out and proving it. Sin is paid for. Jesus won. So now you spend your life in a worthy cause: loving Christ and making disciples with whatever ability, affinity, or talent you have been given and you will be greatly rewarded.
How Do We Respond To This?
When he entered Jerusalem as a man he rode a little donkey. When he returns he’s coming on a white war horse.
Jesus came to earth as the suffering servant, but he’s coming back as the conquering king.
Jesus was crowned with a crown of thorns on earth, but when he comes back he’ll be crowned with many crowns, which is a symbol of his total authority over all creation.
Jesus lived as a nobody and was disregarded in his ministry, but at the end every knee will bow and every tongue will confess (finally) that Jesus is Lord.
“Jesus our king will establish his rule and reign over all creation, defeating the human and angelic evil powers, bringing order to all, enacting justice, and being worshipped as Lord.”
Life will be as it was when God last said all was “very good.”
And this is what will happen at the end.
This is what we believe about the end: