View from the Pew – Children of Light

What did you learn from last week’s sermon?

Q1: Name two (out of five) things Jesus is coming back to claim during His second coming?

Q2: Approximately how many years have passed since the first fruits of the “First Resurrection”?

Q3: At least seven years will pass between the resurrection (rapture) of the Church and the resurrection of the Old Testament Saints. How do we refer to this time?

Q4: If you believe that you are resurrected before the Tribulation and before the Millennial Kingdom is established on earth, what is your end-times designation?

Q5: How long will the Millennial Kingdom last, and who will reign during that time?

Q6: What happens to the earth at the conclusion of the Millennial Kingdom?

Q7: Who believes Christ can only come after the Church establishes the Millennial Kingdom?

Q8: What does an A-Millennial believe?

Q9: How many believers will be left behind to suffer in the Tribulation?

Q10: When Jesus comes again, who will rise first, believers who have died or believers that are alive?

Sermon Summary & Answers

Paul has been building toward something really big in his letter to the Corinthian Church. He’s finally going to talk about what every Christian is ultimately and intentionally waiting for – the end of the story! This “end” is our hope. This “end” takes away our worries, anxiety, fear, and brings us joy. Christians don’t face death with despair. We have enormous courage because of the truth of THE END. That end is the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, not to save us, but to claim us and all that is rightfully His.

  1. He is coming to take His own to be with Him.
  2. He is coming to judge the world.
  3. He is coming to redeem Israel.
  4. He is coming to establish the glorious kingdom promised to them.
  5. And then to create the new heaven and the new earth – a place of worship and service forever, in perfection.

We learned last week that the resurrection has a very clear order.

  1. Christ – the first fruits (2,000+ years ago)
  2. The Church
  3. The Saints of Old (Israel) and the Tribulation Saints
  4. The Millennial Saints

At least seven years will pass between the resurrection of the Church and the Old Testament Saints. Scripture calls this the Great Tribulation (the time of Jacob’s trouble – Jeremiah 30:7). At Grace Community Church, we believe that we (the Church) will already be taken to heaven to be with Christ forever (never separated) before the Tribulation, thus also before Christ establishes the Millennial Kingdom on earth. As it regards eschatological schemas, we are “Pre-Millenial & Pre-Trib.” We do not believe that any Saint will be left behind to suffer in the Tribulation.

1 Thessalonians 3:13 says when he comes, we (all His Saints) will come with him.

1 Thessalonians 5:3-5 also backs this up by telling us that day (judgment) will not overtake us like a thief, as it will unbelievers. We are children of light that will not face the dark day of judgment and wrath.

We know our best life is yet to come!

Some Specifics

The Millenial Kingdom will last for 1000 years on earth (not in heaven), and all the glorified Saints (previously resurrected) will reign with Jesus. During this time, people will die. The believers that die will be resurrected at the end of that 1000 years, and all things on earth will be destroyed. Then there will be the resurrection of the dead (damned), and they will receive their final judgment. Finally, there will be a new heaven and a new earth for the believers to live in forever.

Post Millennial Christians believe that Christ will come after the “kingdom.” They think the Church itself (instead of Christ) is responsible for establishing the kingdom to usher in the return of Christ. Believers with this conviction can often fall into revolutionary type attitudes such as talk of establishing God’s law as the law of the land; including imposing judicial penalties as seen in the Old Testament times for crimes or sins committed. There is no Biblical truth to support the Post-Millennial position. The gospel is never spread by sword or political influence.

A (“ah”) Millennial Christians do not believe that there will be an earthly Millennial Kingdom. This means that they do not see God’s promise to give Israel land and a kingdom as a literal promise. They believe Israel has been entirely replaced by the Church. They see the Church as the New Covenant Israel, and the “kingdom” is now.

Paul also talks to believers about end times in 1 Thessalonians. He tells them that staying focused on the glorious end would help them endure the persecution that they were suffering as Christians (1 Thessalonians 2:14-15). Paul also wanted to make sure that the believers knew the order in which believers would be resurrected. When the trumpet sounds and Jesus shouts, those believers who have already died will go to meet Christ first, and then believers that are still alive will be transformed in an instant and join with Christ.

“Our good news – – our Christian hope – – isn’t that life here will be easy … nowhere is that in Scripture. No, our good news – – is that the challenges and pains of this life – – that test us, and strengthen us … they won’t go away – – but in the end … THEY WILL BE WORTH IT!”

Pastor Steve Wilson

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Melissa Strautman

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