About Last Things
We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost, the saved unto the resurrection of eternal life and the lost unto the resurrection of damnation and eternal punishment in a literal and physical hell. We believe in the personal, bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ before the seven-year tribulation, His second coming to earth after the tribulation to establish His millennial reign on earth and the final triumph of His eternal kingdom.
- We believe that physical death involves no loss of our immaterial consciousness (Rev 6:9-11), that the soul of the redeemed passes immediately into the presence of Christ (Luke 23:43; Phil 1:23; 2 Cor 5:8), that there is a separation of soul and body (Phil 1:21-24), and that, for the redeemed, such separation will continue until the rapture (1 Thes 4:13-17), which initiates the first resurrection (Rev 20:4-6), when our soul and body will be reunited to be glorified forever with our Lord (Phil 3:21; 1 Cor 15:35-44, 50-54). Until that time, the souls of the redeemed in Christ remain in joyful fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor 5:8).
- We believe the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life (John 6:39; Rom 8:10-11, 19-23; 2 Cor 4:14), and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Dan 12:2; John 5:29; Rev 20:13-15).
- We believe that the souls of the unsaved at death are kept under punishment until the second resurrection (Luke 16:19-26; Rev 20:13-15), when the soul and the resurrection body will be united (John 5:28-29). They shall then appear at the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev 20:11-15) and shall be cast into hell, the lake of fire (Mat 25:41-46), cut off from the life of God forever (Dan 12:2; Mat 25:41-46; 2 Thes 1:7-9).
The Rapture of the Church
We believe the personal, bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ before the seven-year tribulation (1 Thes 4:16; Titus 2:13) to translate His church from this earth (John 14:1-3; 1 Cor 15:51-53; 1 Thes 4:15-5:11) and, between this event and His glorious return with His saints, to reward believers according to their works (1 Cor 3:11-15; 2 Cor 5:10).
The Tribulation Period
We believe that immediately following the removal of the church from the earth (John 14:1-3; 1 Thes 4:13-18) the righteous judgments of God will be poured out upon an unbelieving world (Jer 30:7; Dan 9:27; 12:1; 2 Thes 2:7-12; Rev 16), and that these judgments will be climaxed by the return of Christ in glory to the earth (Mat 24:27-31; 25:31-46; 2 Thes 2:7-12). At that time the Old Testament and tribulation saints will be raised and the living will be judged (Dan 12:2-3; Rev 20:4-6). This period includes the seventieth week of Daniel's prophecy (Dan 9:24-27; Mat 24:15-31; 25:31-46).
The Second Coming and the Millennial Reign
- We believe that after the tribulation period, Christ will come to earth to occupy the throne of David (Mat 25:31; Luke 1:31-33; Acts 1:10-11; 2:29-30) and establish His messianic kingdom for 1,000 years on the earth (Rev 20:1-7). During this time the resurrected saints will reign with Him over Israel and all the nations of the earth (Ez 37:21-28; Dan 7:17-22; Rev 19:11-16). This reign will be preceded by the overthrow of the Antichrist and the False Prophet, and by the removal of Satan from the world (Dan 7:17-27; Rev 20:1-7).
- We believe that the kingdom itself will be the fulfillment of God's promise to Israel (Is 65:17-25; Ez 37:21-28; Zech 8:1-17) to restore them to the land that they forfeited through their disobedience (Deut 28:15-68). The result of their disobedience was that Israel was temporarily set aside (Mat 21:43; Rom 11:1-26), but will again be awakened through repentance to enter into the land of blessing (Jer 31:31-34; Ez 36:22-32; Rom 11:25-29).
- We believe that this time of our Lord's reign will be characterized by harmony, justice, peace, righteousness, and long life (Is 11; 65:17-25; Ez 36:33-38), and will be brought to an end with the release of Satan (Rev 20:7).
The Judgment of the Lost
- We believe that following the release of Satan after the 1,000-year reign of Christ (Rev 20:7), Satan will deceive the nations of the earth and gather them to battle against the saints and the beloved city, at which time Satan and his army will be devoured by fire from heaven (Rev 20:9). Following this, Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone (Mat 25:41; Rev 20:10), whereupon Christ, who is the Judge of all men (John 5:22), will resurrect and judge the great and small at the Great White Throne Judgment.
- We believe that this resurrection of the unsaved dead to judgment will be a physical resurrection, whereupon receiving their judgment (Rom 14:10-13), they will be committed to an eternal conscious punishment in a literal place called the lake of fire (Mat 25:41; Rev 20:11-15).
We believe that after the closing of the millennium, the temporary release of Satan, and the judgment of unbelievers (2 Thes 1:9; Rev 20:7-15), the saved will enter the eternal state of glory with God, after which the elements of this earth are to be dissolved (2 Pet 3:10) and replaced with a new earth, wherein only righteousness dwells (Eph 5:5; Rev 20:15; 21:1-27; 22:1-21). Following this, the heavenly city will come down out of heaven (Rev 21:2) and will be the dwelling place of the saints, where they will enjoy forever fellowship with God and one another (John 17:3; Rev 21-22). Our Lord Jesus Christ, having fulfilled His redemptive mission, will then deliver up the kingdom to God the Father (1 Cor 15:24-28), that in all spheres the triune God may reign forever and ever (1 Cor 15:28).