Thursday, December 23, 2010

Chronology of Apocalypse: Eternity

After Jesus crushes the rebellion at the end of the Millennium, the final disposition of all things (judgment) will be made. First, the Devil is thrown into the Lake of Fire without further delay (and I would conclude all the demons with him). The Lake of Fire is a condition of torment prepared for rebellious spiritual beings, but is capable of receiving physical subjects as well. There is no escape from, nor cessation of its condition--it is an eternal, perfect state.

Hades is emptied as the dead remaining there are raised to life (body and soul reunited) to face judgment. The sea is mentioned as holding the dead separately from Hades, which is more significant of the bodies which are being restored than it is to the souls of the drowned. Sheol/Hades was never a place of ultimate punishment, but more akin to a storage area for disembodied souls. The natural (created) condition of human beings is physical and spiritual, and all the dead will be returned to that condition before judgment takes place. So, at this time everyone who ever lived will be in their natural condition, ready to face final disposition.

Judgment will by two kinds of books. One is the Book of Life, the others are the Books of Record (my name, not the scriptural name). If one's name is not found in the Book of Life, the Book of Records will determine the nature of judgment against that individual (i.e. how hot will be their eddy in the Lake of Fire). If one is found in the Book of Life, the Book of Records will determine the nature of rewards that one will experience in God's presence (i.e. our normal conception of heaven). Either way, it is true faith in Christ which is the marked difference between one class and the other.

Anyone raptured prior to the Millennium (the Church, the 144,000, the martyred mark resisters) has nothing to fear at all from this judgment, for they all are already in their eternal condition, which is alive with Christ. The dead raised in order to face this judgment are in a heap of trouble, by and large, I'm not certain any of them will escape judgment. Their works will not excuse any of them, and only those who died during the Millennium, unmarked, could possibly have true, saving faith in Christ (otherwise they'd have been raptured). Those found in the Book of Life enter eternity with Christ, those not are thrown in the Lake of Fire to burn eternally.

Everything that had to do with this current, temporal, existence is then done away with: Death and Hades and the damned are thrown into the Lake of Fire, and in a flash, the heavens and earth are made new (no death, no entropy).  God's habitation, the heavenly Mount Zion, the New Jerusalem, descends upon the new Earth, and eternity as it should be takes flight. No Devil, no demons, no death, no disease, and no damned will be there anywhere but bound in the roiling fires of the Lake. The righteous in Christ live on forever, free to move about the cabin, and enjoy the adventure with our heavenly pilot.