By Kit Olsen
The Antichrist’s reign of terror during the Tribulation fueled by Satan and assisted by the False Prophet (the unholy trinity) will end with the physical, literal return of Jesus the Messiah. Accompanied by His army of believers and holy angels Jesus will annihilate the Antichrist and his armies, which will have surrounded Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:2). The surviving population and nations will be judged. This judgment is by Christ as described in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 25:31-46). The Antichrist and the False Prophet will be cast alive into the Lake of Fire.
“Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone” (Revelation 19:20).
All those who survive the Tribulation will be gathered before the Lord and judged. Those who believe in Him through the witness of the 144,000 and their converts will enter into the millennial kingdom. These people are referred to as the sheep (Matthew 25:33). Everyone who refused to believe in Jesus will be judged for their sins, found guilty and cast into the Lake of Fire to join the Antichrist and the False Prophet.
“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25: 41, 46).
This group of unsaved people standing before the Lord will not be cast into hell (Hades, Sheol, abode of the dead), as were the unrepentant that have died before them. They will be thrown directly into the Lake of Fire where they will exist in this eternal penitentiary with the devil and the fallen angels.
The dominion of the final world kingdom will be taken away, consumed and destroyed, replaced at long last first by the Lord’s 1000-year millennial kingdom, then followed by the eternal order (Revelation 20:11; 21:1).
“And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (Daniel 2:44).
The saints will inherit the earth:
“Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.’ “This is the end of the account.As for me, Daniel, my thoughts greatly troubled me, and my countenance changed; but I kept the matter in my heart” (Daniel 7:27-28).
The entire rejuvenated earth will be given to believers to rule over. We will rule over those saved during the Tribulation years including their descendents from generation to generation.
“No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; for the child shall die one hundred years old, but the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed” (Isaiah 65:20).
Believers will rule with Jesus the Messiah who will be the Sovereign Ruler:
“And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’—as I also have received from My Father” (Revelation 2:26-27).
The rule and reign of believers with Christ will last throughout all of eternity:
“There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever” (Revelation 22:5).
After the 1,000-year millennial kingdom there will be a pause when God will judge the wicked in hell (Great White Throne judgment). They will be judged for every sin they have ever committed in thought, word, deed and motive. They will have to give an account for every sin. Because they rejected Christ as Lord and Savior they will of course be found guilty and cast into the Lake of Fire. This punishment will continue for eternity never, ever to end.
If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please understand there is little time left before the Tribulation begins─when all hell breaks loose on this earth─a time so terrible people will be begging for rocks to fall upon them to escape the horrors they face. Revelation 6 tells us that people will be begging to die for the wrath of God will be so fierce and intense:
“And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders,the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains,and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” (Revelation 6:15-17)
As the old saying goes, “Tomorrow is promised to no one.” Anyone of us could take our last breath this very day. Death can be a very imminent event. Ruling and reigning with the King of kings and Lord of lords is a God-given promise to all those will have placed their trust in the Messiah of Israel. Chasing after riches and power in this life will soon come to an abrupt halt. Nothing in this life can remotely compare to the glory that the Lord has prepared for all those who belong to Him.
Please don’t wait to make a decision for Christ if you have not, yet. Satan is working overtime to deceive every man, woman and child into believing that the God of the Bible is a fictional character and that hell doesn’t exist. Much of the world is in a hypnotic-stupor blinded by the father of lies, the devil (John 8:44). Let go of the fleeting thrills of this world and fully-commit your life to Christ.
Jesus warned, “Let no man deceive you” (Matthew 24:4).
“But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).
In the book of Luke there is a true story of a greedy rich man suffering eternal torment upon death, while Lazarus was comforted and carried to a place of rest by the angels, when he died. The rich man desperately wanted to get out of hell but could not –it was too late for him to repent.
In the story of the death of the rich man and Lazarus, which was not a parable, Jesus taught about the reality of heaven and hell. He explained what happened to the rich man when he died to show the horrors of hell. He contrasted the agony of the rich man with the rest, contentment and peace of Lazarus who was taken to Paradise. Abraham, the father of the nation of Israel, was the protector of Paradise. This is why it is called Abraham’s bosom.
“There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day.But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’”
Countless people in this life wear themselves out to achieve fame, celebrity and recognition amongst their peers on various levels; they want and need to be on the “winning” side. Sadly, these same dynamics can be found within some Christian circles where there are those who exude superiority over other believers forgetting we are to be humble servants before God not emulating the movers and shakers of this fallen world. Treating fellow believers with disrespect and rude disregard is symptomatic of a haughty spirit, which the Lord abhors.
Winning, power and control are everything for far too many people. The majority of the wealthiest most powerful and influential people on earth today deny the truth of Christ. Unless they genuinely repent from their unbelief before they die, they will have a terrifying future like the rich man described in Luke. If you want to be a real winner, choose the side of Almighty God who created you. He died to save you from eternal damnation, to give you a phenomenal life in a place where even the streets are pure gold. In Christ we are already victorious. Striving and never really arriving is a futile energy-zapping way of living. As overwhelmingly frustrating and painful as this life can be we must focus on the promises of Christ and know this is not our true home and that His future plans for us are extraordinarily abundant and real.
“The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass” (Revelation 21:21).
Perhaps in this life you haven’t quite made it to the “top” in your field. Maybe you are very distressed by this. Let go of the world’s mantras and expectations and realize they are meaningless. Nothing in this life outside of what we do for Christ matters once we physically die. And die we will. Our eternal existence and fate rest on the decisions we make while we are alive — whether we accept or reject Christ for who He says He is: Our “great God and Savior” (Titus 2:13). After we die, our souls remain completely conscious and enter immediately into heaven or hell. If you are a believer, another exist from this life apart from physical death is in the coming Rapture, when we will receive our perfect glorified immortal bodies (1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).
In Christ’s future kingdom every believer will have a significant role of importance, eternally. All believers are considered heirs of God, a much higher calling than even the highest-ranking positions found in the power structures of this present world-system. As a redeemed child of the living God, who better to work for than your heavenly Father, the triumphant King of the universe? Place your trust and faith in Him and Him alone. Allow the Lord to pull you out of the wretched strongholds of this life and carry you into His eternal kingdom where you will live a life of royalty. Run to Him while there is still time, cry out to the Lord so you too, will have a special place in His coming glorious kingdom, forever, in the awesome joyful Presence of the Great “I AM.”
“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together” (Romans 8:15-17).
Yes, all true born-again believers will rule and reign with Christ and that magnificent time cannot come soon enough. Even so come Lord Jesus.