Author: Ron Graham
We've considered the magnificent promises that Jesus would be King of kings reigning on David's throne, he would be Mediator of a new covenant, and he would be the great High priest having offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for sins. There's another promise, which yet remains to be fulfilled. Jesus will come again and raise all the dead both righteous and wicked. He will judge all mankind, and then transport those who belong to him to their eternal home in Heaven where no one cries and no one dies.
"For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality... then will come to pass the saying, 'Death is swallowed up in victory...' —the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1Corinthians 15:50-58).
As it is appointed for men once to die and after this comes judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eargerly wait for him, he will appear the second time, apart from sin, for salvation." (Hebrews 9:27-28).
We wait expectantly for Christ to come the second time, to accomplish what he once died for. In the meantime we remember his first coming in the Lord's Supper week by week "until he comes again" (1Corinthians 11:23-26).
At the second coming all the dead will rise —from the first person who ever died on earth thosands of years past, to the last person to die perhaps only seconds before Jesus comes. Everyone who has ever died will be resurrected (John 5:25-29, 1Corinthians 15:50-58, 1Thessalonians 4:16-18).
At Christ's second coming the entire world will be burned by intense fire (2Peter 3:3-12). However a "new heavens and a new earth" is promised (2Peter 3:13). Jesus has gone to prepare this new world. He is returning to take us there. "I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself that where I am there ytou may be also" (John 14:1-3).
What a magnificent promise! We have a home with God, and death cannot deprive us of it. "He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning or crying or pain... And the city has no need of the sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb" (Revelation 21:4,23)
We close this lesson with a sobering thought. At his second coming Jesus will not only be gathering in his own, but also destroying his enemies (2Thessalonians 1:5-9). So what is a magnificent promise for believers is a terrifying prospect for the disobedient.
Have you made certain of your place in that everlasting world of the future? Or are you running the risk of death or the second coming of Christ overtaking you as a thief and stealing away your part in the Book of Life?