Staying Faithful in View of His Appearing
“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom…” (2 Timothy 4:1)
Jesus’ resurrection and our future life
- Jesus was resurrected from the dead, made appearances to at least 500 followers, then ascended back into heaven. Jesus will one day return. The time between His ascension to heaven and His return to earth is called the “until” time—until His appearing. Luke 21:24
- Jesus’ Kingdom now is a heaven-initiated kingdom. Every Christian is part of that kingdom. Even now, Jesus has all authority over heaven and earth. Ephesians 1:21-23
The “until” time is a time of waiting. Lots of believers have died while waiting over the past 2000 years. There isn’t much information, but there’s enough to provide some clues.
What doesn’t happen at death.
- Your soul is not annihilated, disappear or cease to exist. Luke 16:19-31; Philippians 1:23
- Your soul doesn’t just sleep or become a floating spirit. You will have conscious enjoyment of the afterlife. 1 Corinthians 15; 2 Corinthians 5:1-10
- Your soul is not reincarnated into another life form as a second chance to improve your afterlife. You die only once then are judged. Hebrews 9:27
- You don’t go to purgatory so to be purified to get to heaven. Your immediate entrance into heaven is guaranteed by your faith in Christ. Colossians 1:22; 2 Corinthians 5:5
- You don’t become an angel. Angels are beings that were made by God at Creation and are entirely different from humans. Colossians 1:15-17 Hebrews 1:13-14
What does happen at death
- You fall asleep on earth and wake up in heaven. The Bible teaches no time delay in the transition. 1 Thessalonians 4:14
- Your soul moves out of this earthly body and is instantly made perfect.
- All Christians who die will receive get a heavenly dwelling fashioned for believers. Then, we will get an immortal body like the one Jesus has. 1 Corinthians 15:35-54; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 John 3:2
- You are immediately with the Lord where you can enjoy all the blessings of heaven forever. And, we’ll finally get to see His face. Luke 23:43; John 17:24; Philippians 1:23
Moving into new bodies
- When the “until” time is over, Jesus will appear to complete our new creation. Those who are alive when Jesus comes will be caught up together with those coming with Him from heaven. The phrase “caught up” in Latin is rapturo and in English is “rapture.” In this event called “The Rapture,” Jesus also brings the souls of dead believers with Him, confirming that we are with Him after we die. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
- All believers get to move into new bodies when Jesus comes for us. We shall be changed instantly. God will create a totally new body for each of us to move into. They will be like Jesus’ body—human, robust, fully functional, remembering our past and people, yet slightly different in appearance and abilities. Our sin nature will be gone forever! With a perfect body and soul, a permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit, there will be no capacity for us to sin ever again. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52
Moving back to Jesus’ Kingdom on earth
- We’ll be moving back here because we will be coming with Jesus (His Second Coming) for the battle against His enemies and staying on to serve Him as King of planet Earth. This Kingdom will last a thousand years (the Millennial Kingdom) with Jerusalem as His capital. All will see His visible Kingdom on the earth. Revelation 1:5; 17:14; 19:16: 20:4
- King Jesus will be the King of kings—the supreme political ruler as well as the spiritual leader and object of worship. Righteousness and justice will prevail globally for everyone. There will be worldwide peace among people and even among animals. Isaiah 11; 65
- All Christians will move back to earth in our resurrection bodies and participate with Jesus in administering His earthly kingdom. Many natural humans who stayed faithful to God and survived the Tribulation will continue to live in the Kingdom.
- At the end of the 1000 years according to Revelation 20, Satan will be released from bondage. He’ll instigate a rebellion among non-believing people, and finally be defeated.
Moving up to God’s forever earth
- After that time, God will renew the universe and the earth, removing all aspects of sin, and will move His heaven to the renewed earth. God’s headquarters will be called the New Jerusalem. This is moving up to God’s forever earth—gorgeous and
- For now, the hope of heaven and the glory of Christ’s Kingdom on Earth should transform our perspective on death. Death hurts! But in Christ, we share in His victory over death. We grieve now, but we shouldn’t grieve as those who have no hope. We can trust our God to provide grace for us when the time for our death comes.
Let Jesus satisfy your heart with His faithfulness. Then, make the choice to stay faithful to Him for the rest of your life.
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