Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | August 9, 2021

Today’s Christianity, Heaven Bound!

The Rapture will be Over Before Christians can even Realize it’s Happening!

Our mortal bodies, our tents, as they are called in the Bible, were always intended to be temporary housing and must be either left behind or totally transformed by the power of God! In 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 it is written:

50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

There will be no time to worry about the transition, it will be over before we know it’s happening! After that, we, as human beings, will be entering into what is unexplored territory for us! Fortunately, this is very familiar territory for the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior and our God!

It does not surprise me that little is written about the details of heaven; there has been nothing in our experience that would prepare us for the wonders we will encounter when we get there. Imagine trying to describe New York City to an individual that had lived their entire lives in a mud hut in the middle of nowhere; there’s no frame of reference, no words in their vocabulary to describe what they will see.

I’m confident the realities we will discover when we get to heaven will be infinitely greater than anything we can imagine! In 1 Corinthians 2:9 it is written:

But as it is written:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Some Unfinished Work

While the true church will have been called home to heaven, there remains some unfinished work on earth that must be completed before the Lord’s triumphant return at the time of the Second Advent. The Bible does not specify the exact time involved other than to mention Israel’s last seven years God had promised to them.

I have written more on this in the three-part series, “The Seventy Weeks of Daniel,” In this series, I discussed the final period of 490 years, given to Israel, cut short by seven years by the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ and Israel’s rejection of the kingdom offer being made at that time.

Those last seven years are still in the future and will be known as the Tribulation; they will be a time of terrible judgment on the earth!

Since there are a number of unfulfilled prophecies remaining, I have projected a period of up to 12 years between the rapture of the true church and the Second Advent.

Events in Heaven

The Bible references two events that are scheduled for Christians in heaven before the Second Advent, with the Judgment Seat of Christ coming first, and the Marriage of the Lamb coming second.

The Judgment Seat of Christ

One point must be made absolutely clear, the Judgment Seat of Christ is primarily an awards ceremony where our brothers and sisters in Christ receive their awards for services rendered to the Lord Jesus Christ. It will be a time of great joy and happiness for all.

Works done in the power of the Holy Spirit and to the glory of God will be rewarded; works done in the power of the flesh and for self-glory will be discarded and have no value in heaven.

The Lord Jesus Christ paid for the sins of Christians at the First Advent; there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” and those who are not in Christ Jesus will still be on earth!

The purpose of the Judgment Seat of Christ is to evaluate the works done by the Christian to determine which of those works have eternal value in heaven and to reward those who do. This event is referenced in 1 Corinthians 3:9-15 where it is written:

For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

It is likely each of us have foundations built with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, and straw. The Apostle Paul probably thought, as Saul, the Pharisee, that he was building an eternal foundation before God as he persecuted the church.

In Revelation 21:4 it is written:

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

We all carry a knowledge of past sins which, on occasion, have been used by our sin nature to torment us and cause sorrow! I rejoice in the thought the memories of past transgressions will be included among those former things which have passed away!

The Marriage of the Lamb

The second heavenly event that will take place before the Second Advent is the marriage of the Lamb. Christians have been enormously blessed by the indwelling of God, the Holy Spirit when they are born-again. The Holy Spirit is given as a pledge for the glories that will later be given to them in full.

The marriage of the Lamb represents the consummation of the pledge that was made with the two becoming one; Christ and his church united forever! What a joy to meditate on the future God has planned for us!

Next, we will cover the Second Advent and the victorious return of the Lord Jesus Christ!

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