Then Comes the End

The return of Jesus at the end of the age will be an event of great glory, victory, and finality

In the New Testament, the return of Jesus at the “end of the age” is an event of great finality. His “arrival” in glory will be accompanied by celestial and terrestrial upheaval, the New Creation, the resurrection of the righteous, the judgment of the ungodly, the “gathering of his elect,” and the cessation of death. Nothing will ever be the same again!

When responding to believers who were denied the future bodily resurrection, Paul named several events that will precede the parousia or “arrival” of Jesus, including the consummation of the kingdom of God, the subjugation of all His enemies, the resurrection, and the end of death:
  • (1 Corinthians 15:24-28) – “Then comes the end, when he shall deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father when he shall have abolished all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign till he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be abolished is death.
Disciples of Jesus will be resurrected just as he was but at his parousia. That day will not arrive until after he has put “all things under his feet,” just as the Psalmist wrote. His sudden “arrival” on the “Day of the Lord” will mark the consummation of the kingdom of God, and afterward, there will be no more enemies to subdue - (Psalm 2:6-9).

Paul described this day as “the end.” Moreover, the “last enemy” eliminated on that day will be death itself, and death will no longer hold sway over humanity. As Paul declared:
  • We will not all sleep, but we will be changed, in a moment...the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed...But when this mortal frame puts on immortality, then will come to pass the saying, Death is swallowed up in victory” - (1 Corinthians 15:51-56).
Likewise, in his first letter to the Thessalonians, he taught that the resurrection occurs at the parousia of Jesus - his “arrival from heaven.” The dead in Christ will rise first, then “we that are alive and remain until the parousia the Lord” together with them will “meet him” as he descends from heaven. And in his second letter, Paul identified the parousia of Christ with the “Day of the Lord,” a day that will include the “gathering together" of the saints - (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-9).

Later, the Apostle Peter warned of “scoffers” who will mock and ask, “Where is the promise of his Parousia?” He also linked it to the “Day of the Lord”:
  • God is not slack concerning his promise...for the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are in it will be burned up...But according to his promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth in which dwells righteousness” - (2 Peter 3:3-12).
Thus, according to Peter, the parousia will mean nothing less than the replacement of the old creation by the promised “new heavens and new earth.”

And in his letter to the churches in Rome, Paul also coordinated the resurrection with the arrival of the New Creation - At present, the entire universe groans and travails as it “waits for the revelation of the sons of God...for the creation itself will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the sons of God...even the redemption of our body” - (Romans 8:19-23).

Thus, the New Testament presents the day of his “arrival” as an event of great finality. It will mean nothing less than the resurrection of the righteous, the consummation of the kingdom, the judgment of the wicked, the cessation of death, the arrival of the New Creation, and the end of the present age.



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