Things to Come: Part Two
When the moment comes that God has decided upon, the Lord Jesus is going to come again. We do not know when it will be, but it may be any time—even today. Jesus tells us to watch for His coming (Matthew 25:13). Suddenly there will be a shout, which we shall hear, and the voice of the archangel and the trump of God. Then those who have been believers and have died, will be raised from the dead, and will have beautiful strong bodies like the Lord Jesus. Believers who are still alive will be changed so that they will be like Jesus too (1 John 3:2; Philippians 3:20-21), and they will be caught up together with those who have been raised from the dead to meet the Lord in the air. (Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52.)
At this time the Lord Jesus will not come all the way to the earth, but we shall meet Him in the air, and He will take us back to Heaven with Him. Have you ever seen a magnet pick up a needle? When the magnet comes near, the needle will hop right up to meet it. But the magnet will not pick up pieces of wood. So when Jesus comes, all who are Christians will go to meet Him, but those who are not saved will not go, any more than wood will rise to a magnet. The unsaved will be left here on the earth, and they will have much trouble and sorrow.
After we have been taken to Heaven with the Lord Jesus, there will be a time of judgment for us. Only Christians will be there, and of course they will not be judged for their sin, for Christ died for their sins, and washed them all away, so that there is not even any record of the sins any more. They are forgiven, forgotten, gone. But God does have a record of our works after we have been saved, and it is about these works that we are to be judged. Have we built our life with good works (Ephesians 2:10) which are strong and beautiful like gold, silver, and precious stones? Or have we built our life with poor works that are weak, and not pleasing to God like wood, hay, and stubble (1 Corinthians 3:12-13)? The judgment will try our works, just as fire would show the difference between gold, silver, and precious stones, wood, hay, and stubble. God knows whether we have tried to please Him or not. If our works have been good, we shall receive a reward at this judgment (1 Corinthians 3:14) but if they have not been good, if we have been lazy and disobedient Christians, we shall lose our reward, even though we ourselves shall be saved, yet it will be as though we had just barely been saved from a burning house, without a thing to take with us (1 Corinthians 3:15).
Then there is going to be a great time of rejoicing in Heaven. Those who have rewards will be glad to lay them down before the Lord Jesus. Those who did not receive a reward will be thankful that they are saved at all. Then there is to be a great feast, called the marriage feast of the Lamb, the Lord Jesus. When your mother and father loved each other very much they were married so that they could always be together. So the Lord Jesus always wishes to be with His own people, His Church. He is called the Bridegroom, and the Church, all the believers, is called the Bride. There will be great joy, and from that time on we shall never, never be separated from the Lord Jesus again (Revelation 19:7-8; 1 Thessalonians 4:18).
- Why must we be made like Christ?
- What will the judgement be like for followers of Christ?
- Why will we not be judged for our sins?
- Why will Christians have great joy at the end of the age?
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