Last Things (pt. 2)

Cosmic Eschatology

Cosmic eschatology deals with the future of all creation. Cosmic eschatology answers questions about the end of this present world, and the return of Jesus. Cosmic eschatology is not an easy topic to understand. In fact, many faithful Christians disagree on matters of cosmic eschatology. With this in mind it is important that we depend on the teachings of Scripture to help us understand this complicated issue.

The primary teaching within the realm of cosmic eschatology is the second coming of Jesus.

The Bible teaches that Jesus is coming back a second time to vindicate His church, and fulfill His promises to Israel.

John 14:3: If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.

This second coming could happen at any time.

Mark 13:35-37: Therefore, be on the alert—for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep. What I say to you I say to all, ‘Be on the alert!’

Jesus’ return will happen in two phases. First, Jesus will gather up all the Christians in the world. This phase is known as the Rapture.

2 Thessalonians 2:1: Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him…

The Second phase of Jesus’ return will be His ultimate Revelation. At this time Jesus will come back and defeat all those who have rebelled against Him.

Revelation 19:11-21: And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.” And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.

It is difficult to determine the exact timing of the Rapture and the Revelation in relation with one another. However, the Bible does make it clear that Jesus’ return will launch His Millennial Kingdom on earth.

Revelation 20:4b: Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

During this time Jesus will reign on the earth for 1000 years. During this time Satan will be confined, however at the end of the 1000 year period Satan will be released for one more rebellion.

Revelation 20:7: When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison

This rebellion will not last long before Jesus defeats Satan, and imprisons him eternally in the lake of fire (hell).

Revelation 20:10: And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

After Satan has been defeated all those who rebelled against God by rejecting Jesus will be judged for their sin, and sentenced to hell.

Revelation 20:11-15: Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

After all of this has been completed God will create the new heaven and the new earth thus beginning the rest of eternity.

Revelation 21:1: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.