The End

The return of Jesus at the “end of the age” is portrayed as a singular event of great finality. His “arrival” or ‘Parousia’ will be accompanied by celestial and terrestrial upheaval, the appearance of the New Creation, the resurrection of the righteous dead, the judgment and punishment of the ungodly, the “gathering of his elect,” and the cessation of Death. Mortality will be replaced by immortality, and nothing will ever be the same again!

When responding to believers who were denying the future resurrection of the saints, Paul described several events that would either precede the “arrival” of Jesus or coincide with it, including the consummation of the Kingdom of God, the subjugation of all Christ’s enemies, and the termination of Death:

Beach Sunset - Photo by Jessica Ruscello on Unsplash
[Photo by Jessica Ruscello on Unsplash]

  • (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.

Believers who die before his return will be resurrected just as he was. His past resurrection was the “first fruits” and guarantee of the resurrection of believers at his Parousia or “arrival.” It will be a collective affair - All believers will be raised at the same time and reunited with those disciples who are still alive on Earth.

That Day will not come until after He has put “all things under his feet,” just as the Psalmist wrote. His sudden appearance will mark the consummation of God’s Kingdom, and afterward, there will be no more enemies to subdue. “Yahweh says to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool” - (Psalm 2:6-9, 110:1).

Paul described this event as “the END,” and the “Last Enemy” eliminated will be Death itself. No longer will it hold sway over men and women. As the Apostle 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, Paul writes that the resurrection will occur at the Parousia of Jesus - His “arrival from Heaven.” The dead in Christ will be raised 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 “thus will we be with him forevermore.”

In 2 Thessalonians, Paul links the return of Jesus with the “Day of the Lord,” which will include the “gathering together" of the saints by Jesus, just as he predicted on the Mount of Olives. He will dispatch his angels to gather his “elect” from the four corners of the Earth when he “arrives on the clouds.”

All men will see this final event, “All the tribes of the Earth.” It will affect the entire planet if not the Cosmos. His “arrival” and associated events will certainly not be limited to the Middle East or the nation of Israel - (Matthew 24:31, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-9).

THE LAST DAY


Years later, the Apostle Peter warned of coming “scoffers” who would mock and ask, “Where is the promise of his ARRIVAL” or ‘Parousia.’ He also linked the return of Jesus 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).

His “arrival” will mean nothing less than the dissolution of the old order and its replacement by the “New Heavens and New Earth.” The radically altered conditions ushered in by the appearance of Jesus will be permanent.

In his Letter to the assemblies of Rome, Paul also coordinated the bodily resurrection of the saints with the arrival of the New Creation - At present, the entire universe is groaning and travailing while 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).

Beach Twilight - Photo by Lukas S on Unsplash
[Photo by Lukas S on Unsplash]

The Apostolic Tradition consistently presents the day of his “
arrival” as an event of great finality. It will mean nothing less than the resurrection of the righteous, the gathering of the elect, the consummation of the Kingdom of God, the judgment of the wicked, the end of Death, the arrival of the New Creation, and the end of the present age.

On that day, “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality… Then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”  All this will result from the victory that God has achieved already “through our Lord Jesus Christ.” – (1 Corinthians 15:50-57).



RELATED POSTS:
  • The Final Day - (The New Testament moves inescapably from the death of Jesus to the last hour when God judges the wicked and vindicates the righteous)
  • Defeating Death - (Paul reminds Timothy of Christ’s resurrection and victory over death since false teachers are denying the resurrection of believers)
  • The End of Death - (The arrival of Jesus at the end of the age will mean the end of the Last Enemy, namely, Death - 1 Corinthians 15:24-28)

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