When Jesus returns to earth, we will either be with Him or we will go to meet Him. What will it be like?
5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance—
As stated on February 26th, “What we know or don’t know about heaven shapes how we live our lives. Our VISION determines our hope.” Our hope, in turn, determines what values we place on things, people, events, etc. Let’s look at the hope given us in God’s Word:
Jesus is coming back to earth:
11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. Revelation 19:11
19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army. 20 But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image.The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.21 The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse… Revelation 19:19-21
Those who are in heaven will be with Him:
14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. [we are with Him, but we will not fight–we don’t have any weapons!]
Those who are alive at the time of His Return will be caught up to join those coming with Him:
17 After that [the dead in Christ rising first], we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 1 Thessalonians 4:17
Jesus is headed to Jerusalem, and so are we!
3 Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle. 4 On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives [the very place to which the angels foretold He would return when He ascended! See Acts 1:11], east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. 5 You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. Zechariah 14:3-5
8 On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter. 9 The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name. Zechariah 14:8-9
4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge [see 1 Corinthians 6:3]. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. [literal? I think so. Also referenced in verses 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7]
6 Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.
What will it be like?
- Rarely will a person die during these 1000 years (Isaiah 65:20).
- We will live in houses and work the land, which will produce like it did BEFORE the FALL (Isaiah 65:21-23).
- The wolf and the lamb will feed together without fear or temptation; so will the lion and the ox, for both will eat straw [Isaiah 65:25].
- Jesus Himself will live with us and reign physically from Jerusalem. He will be available to us and will answer us before we call–even while we are still speaking He will hear (Isaiah 65:24).
- There will be a stream that begins at the throne on the Temple Mount and will flow east toward the Mediterranean Sea and west to the Dead Sea. It will get bigger and bigger until ships can navigate on it! It will also turn the Dead Sea into fresh water! Along its banks will be many trees–the trees of life (Ezekiel 47:1-12, Revelation 22:2).
- We will have jobs, some pertaining to the temple (Zechariah 14:16, Isaiah 66:20, 22); some will judge angels and other disputes (1 Corinthians 6:2), and most will work the land that will work for us (Isaiah 65:21-22).
- We will worship the LORD God and Jesus Christ, Yeshua HaMashiach, and enjoy His physical company. IT WILL BE GLORIOUS!!!
After the 1000 years, Satan is loosed again to deceive all those born to the nations (who were still alive upon Christ’s return) but did not receive Christ’s Lordship in their hearts (evidently, there will be many). Christ will subdue them along with Satan and his horde, judge them, and cast them into the lake of fire for eternity. He will then remove the division between the first and second heavens and the third heaven (Where God lives) and the New Jerusalem will descend to the earth (it is 1400 miles cubed!). The LORD God will be our LIGHT from then on (even though the sun, moon and stars will still be with us), and we will live in eternal glory with the Trinity and our brothers and sisters in Christ. What a future He has in store for us!!!
With these things in mind, why would we put ANY stock in this world? Jesus told us,
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21
Abba, You have a wonderful Plan for us! WOW! To think that I had narrowed my gaze to just this world. Thank You for lifting my head and allowing me to see in Scripture all that You have in store for us. I praise You for Your greatness, for Your glory, for Your graciousness, and for Your grace. May I devote myself to You and to speeding your Coming along. Amen.