Final Note

The arrival of Jesus will mark the end of the present order and the commencement of the age to come and the New Creation

Jesus will return at the “end” of the present age in great power and glory. His “arrival” will result in the judgment of the ungodly, the resurrection and vindication of the righteous, the New Creation, and the termination of death – Thus, it will be an event of great finality.

ACCORDING TO JESUS

For example, in the parable of the Wheat and the Tares, humanity is divided before him into two groups - The just and the unjust. The “wheat” is gathered in the “barn,” while the “tares” are tied into bundles and burned. The wheat represents the “sons of the kingdom,” and the tares symbolize the “sons of the evil one” who sowed the “tares,” and the “harvest” is at the “end of the age” - (Matthew 13:24-30).

The parable of the Sheep and Goats pictures all nations gathered before Jesus for judgment upon his arrival - “Then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.” The “sheep” inherit the “kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,” but the “goats” are cast into "everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” - (Matthew 25:31-46).

Thus, in both parables, one group receives everlasting life and the other “everlasting punishment.” There is no third group, no in-between or neutral state - (Matthew 25:31-46).

In his ‘Olivet Discourse,’ Jesus declares that when the “Son of Man comes” he will be accompanied by his angels. All nations will mourn at his arrival, and he will send his angels to “gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” - (Matthew 24:29-31).

ACCORDING TO PAUL

In his first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul writes that at his “arrival,” the righteous dead will be raised, and together with those saints who remain alive on earth, the entire church will “meet him in the air” as he descends from heaven.

The presence of Jesus will be heralded by “the voice of an archangel and the trumpet of God,” and from that point, believers will be with him “forevermore.” Instead of “wrath,” God has appointed believers to obtain salvation through Jesus.

In contrast, the “Day of the Lord will arrive with sudden destruction” upon the unprepared, and “they shall in no way escape.” That same day will bring salvation to the faithful but destruction to the wicked - (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 5:1-7).

In his second letter, the Apostle writes that the righteous will be vindicated when Jesus is “revealed from heaven with his angels,” but their persecutors and all “who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” will pay the ultimate penalty - “Everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord.”

On that day, Jesus will be “glorified in his saints.” Once again, we see that the righteous are vindicated and the wicked condemned at the arrival of Jesus in glory - (2 Thessalonians 1:5-10).

Paul labels that event the “arrival” or parousia of Jesus, the “Day of the Lord,” and the “revelation of Jesus from heaven.” Regardless of which term is applied, on that day, Jesus gathers his saints and judges their persecutors, including the “man of lawlessness” - (2 Thessalonians 2:1-9).

To the Corinthians, Paul states that on that day the righteous dead will be resurrected, the kingdom of God will be consummated, and the “last enemy, death” will cease. All this he places under the term “end” (“then comes THE END”). Moreover, the saints will inherit the kingdom and receive “immortality” - (1 Corinthians 15:20-57).

PER PETER & JOHN

Peter links the judgment of the wicked, the dissolution of the existing creation, and the arrival of the New Creation to the “arrival” of Jesus. All these events will occur on the “Day of God” - (2 Peter 3:3-13).

The book of Revelation also connects the judgment of the wicked to the coming of Jesus. On that day, “every eye will see him” and “all the tribes of the earth will wail because of him.”

The “Day of the Lord” will be the day of His “wrath” against the wicked. It will be characterized by great celestial and terrestrial upheaval, and the victory of the “Lamb” will culminate in the New Heavens and New Earth – (Revelation 1:7, 6:12-17, 11:15-19, 16:12-21, 19:17-21).

The New Testament tells a consistent story. The “arrival” of Jesus means the final judgment, the resurrection of the dead, the gathering of all his saints to him, terrestrial and celestial upheaval, the consummation of God’s kingdom, the cessation of death, the final overthrow of all God’s enemies, and the New Creation wherein righteousness prevails forevermore. And thus, THAT DAY WILL END ON A GRAND NOTE OF FINALITY.


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