THE COMING KINGDOM OF GOD
Throughout the preceding lessons it has been shown that God will set up a Kingdom on this earth and that Jesus Christ will return from heaven to reign as king over it.
• “In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.” (Daniel 2:44)
• “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15)
• “And when he [Jesus] had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:9-11)
• Jesus also told the parable of the nobleman who went into a far country to receive for himself a Kingdom, and then return (Luke 19:11-27). In this parable Jesus portrayed that he would go to his Father in heaven, but gave assurance that he would return to set up God’s Kingdom on earth.
Events from the Present Time until Jesus Christ Returns
Taking these broad facts let us now follow through the remarkable detail that is provided in the Bible, showing the sequence of events that will take place from now through to the establishment of this Kingdom. As we gather these references to gether, we are impressed with the logical way by which God will transform this world at the return of Jesus Christ to the earth, and the benefits that will result for mankind.
Moral Decline to Continue
The world will continue its alarming moral decline, which inevitably breeds corruption and violence. The effects produced are similar to those recorded of the days of Noah and Lot, when the earth was “corrupt before God and...filled with violence” (Genesis 6:11-13) as a direct result of man forsaking God’s ways. The outcome was marriage breakdown and the disintegration of family life. Men and women were filled with an all-consuming desire to indulge in every kind of base and evil behaviour (Genesis 6:1-2,5). Jesus Christ himself said that the world would sink again into this state prior to his return (Luke 17:26-27; Matthew 24:36-39). The depraved immorality that brought the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah would be rampant in the world at his return (Luke 17:28-33).
A lover of God’s ways must surely be distressed by the prevalence and acceptance of pornography and the placarding of immorality and violence in society today.
A Time of Fear and Terror
Another problem the world will face leading up to the return of Jesus Christ will be widespread fear and uncertainty of the future. When Jesus was asked by his disciples of the signs that would lead up to his return he said that there would be “men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth” (Luke 21:26). The violence and threat of terrorism that has brought fear, death, suffering and destruction to so many was foretold by Jesus. Yet Jesus went on to say: “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (v27-28). The terror and fear that is so widespread today is yet another sign that Jesus will soon return.
The “Latter Day” Invasion of Israel
The prophets Ezekiel and Daniel both predict the rise of a northern military confederacy that will sweep down into Israel and the Middle East at the very time when society is in this morally degenerate state. Ezekiel in his 38th chapter and Daniel 11:40-45 give the outline of this latter day conflict in Israel and the Middle East (many scholars suggest this northern power is led by Russia—see Lesson 16 and map for details of these events).
The prophet Zechariah, in chapters 12 to 14, also adds further detail regarding this invasion. When this northern confederacy of nations makes its united military push into the Middle East, which will draw “all nations” into this conflict, Israel is established there as a nation and
Jerusalem is under Jewish control (Ezekiel 38:8,12,16; Zechariah 12:3-5). This very fact, which may not seem startling at first, identifies events which could not take place before 1948, for it was only then that the nation of Israel was established for the first time in nearly 2000 years.
As we read through Zechariah 12 to 14 we note the following details:
• God will make Jerusalem the centre of international controversy (Zechariah 12:1-3).
• All nations will gather to fight over Jerusalem and the Middle East (Zechariah 14:2-8; Ezekiel 38; Daniel 11:40-45).
• In this conflict the Jewish population of Israel will suffer greatly (Zechariah 12:1-2), and many will be killed (Zechariah 13:8, 9–14:3).
• By this time Jesus Christ will have returned and will reveal himself personally to the people of Israel— “They shall look upon me whom they have pierced” (Zechariah 12:9-11; cp John 19:37).
• Jews will ask him: “What are these wounds in thine hands?” and he will answer: “Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends” (Zechariah 13:6). They will finally be convinced by this startling evidence that he is indeed their Messiah.
• God, will cause a tremendous earthquake to split the Mount of Olives. This will terrify the concentrated military might of the nations and
bring about their overthrow (Zechariah 14:4-8; Ezekiel 38:18-22).
• The northern confederacy will be destroyed “upon the mountains of Israel” (Ezekiel 39:1-6).
• God, through Jesus Christ, will be proclaimed King— “the LORD shall be King over all the earth” (Zechariah 14:9).
• Jerusalem will become the centre of universal worship and just government, to which all who survive among the nations shall go to learn of God’s ways and to worship Him (Zechariah 14:16; Jeremiah 3:17; Isaiah 2:2-4; Micah 4:1–2)
Armageddon—God’s Wrath upon the Nations
The message of the Old Testament prophets, which speaks of all nations converging on Jerusalem in a massive military invasion of Israel as they strive for world domination, is also described for us in the book of Revelation. There the conflict is called “Armageddon” and is recorded in Revelation 16:14-16. The apostle John was shown events that will culminate in the destruction of this political and military might that comes against Israel at the return of Jesus Christ. In verse 14 John saw a spirit of “madness” (AV “devils”) going forth to gather the kings of the earth “to the battle of that great day of God Almighty”. The place where God gathers these nations is “called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon” (v16). Here John gives a remarkable clue to the meaning of the word “Armageddon”. The New Testament is written in Greek, but John says that this word is in the “Hebrew tongue”. The word literally means “sheaves in a valley for threshing, or judgment”. God intends to gather the nations as a man gathers in the harvest, to thresh or judge them, and reveal His great power and authority to this godless age.
The prophet Joel used similar language when he foretold the gathering by God of the “heathen” (or godless Gentile nations) for harvesting and threshing, that is, for judgment (Joel 3:9-17). Notice the sequence. Joel speaks of all nations building up arms and military weapons. Then they gather for the conflict in “the valley of Jehoshaphat” (meaning, ‘God’s Judgment’), which is identified as the Kidron Valley on the east of Jerusalem, between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives. There they are “harvested” in “the valley of decision” (mg “threshing” v14). The end result is that the LORD God of Israel utters His voice and “the heavens and the earth shall shake” (v16). He becomes the hope of His people Israel, and dwells in Jerusalem through the person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (v17) as “Lord of lords, and King of kings” (Revelation 17:14).
The Return of Jesus Christ—“Behold, I come as a thief”
Both in Zechariah and Revelation we are specifically told that it is at the height of this great conflict in Israel between the northern confederacy of nations, Israel, and all other nations that Jesus Christ will reveal himself in power against the nations (Zechariah 12:10-11; 13:6). In the account in Revelation of this “battle of that great day of God Almighty” we note that here a warning is given: “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame” (Revelation 16:14-16). Thus while this gathering of nations for war in the Middle East is progressing, the faithful servants of Jesus Christ are told that this is the time to expect the return of their Lord. They are given a warning regarding their personal preparedness for this great event, and told: “Blessed is he that watcheth”. There is a need for us to be ever watching for his return, prepared to meet him. The parable of the wise and foolish virgins graphically teaches that some of those who knew that their Lord would return were not ready when the cry went forth, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him” (Matthew 25:1-13). The lesson that Jesus taught from this parable was: “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” (v13).
Jesus Christ has warned us to watch for his return, and be clothed in the garments of righteousness and good works, lest at his appearing our lack of faithfulness be revealed to our shame (Revelation 16:15). The first step in preparing to meet him is to believe the Gospel and be baptised into his name (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 8:12).
The Resurrection and Gathering to the Judgment Seat of Christ
All the great promises of the Old Testament depend for their fulfilment on the resurrection of the faithful to receive their reward. There will therefore be a gathering, both of the living and those who have died and been raised to life again, to appear before Jesus Christ for judgment at his return to the earth. This is referred to in many places in the Bible. The following quotations speak of this resurrection and judgment:
• “I charge thee [Timothy] therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick [Greek zao, ‘living’] and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom.” (2 Timothy 4:1)
• “There shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” (Daniel 12:1-3)
Daniel foretold the time of resurrection and gathering to judgment. He stated that the resurrection will be “at that time” (Daniel 12:1), referring to
“the time of the end” when“the king of the north” and his confederate powers sweep down into Israel. (Daniel 11:40). In the midst of this terrible “time of trouble” for the nations of the world, the resurrection and judgment will take place.
There will be rewards given at the time of judgment; some will receive immortality, and will enter into the Kingdom, to assist Jesus Christ to establish God’s ways upon the earth. However, the unfaithful will be dismissed from his presence in shame, to die again for ever.
This appearing before the judgment seat of Christ is referred to in the following quotations:
• “We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ... every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:10,12).
• “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
• “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” John 5:28-29).
“Many that sleep shall awake”—Who are the “many”?
The question has often been asked: “Shall every person that has ever lived since Adam and Eve be raised to be judged?” The simple answer is, “No”. Only those who are responsible to God among the dead and the living will be taken to give an account before Jesus Christ at his return. When Jesus commanded his apostles to go forth and preach the gospel, he said: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16).
Here we have two classes of people. There are those who believe and have been baptised. They will stand before Christ to give an account of their service and if they have remained faithful they will be given immortality. Jesus made this clear in some of his parables; eg the five wise and five foolish virgins (Matthew 25:1-13); the faithful and wicked servants (Matthew 25:14-30; cp Luke 19:11-27). Here we see that there will be a division at the judgment seat between faithful servants and those who proved to be unfaithful in their service to God.
However there is another class of people who are responsible to God for they heard and understood the Gospel message, but rejected God’s offer of salvation. They will be raised and condemned at the judgment seat of Christ for refusing to obey. They heard but did not believe. Anexample of this class is to be seen in Ananias and Caiaphas who heard and spoke with Jesus, but rejected him and did not believe. They will be raised to account for their unbelief and wickedness at Christ’s return (Matthew 26:64).
There is yet another class of people—those who have never heard the Truth of God’s Word. This embraces the vast majority of people. They have lived their lives in ignorance of God and His Son. They will not be raised to be judged for God will not raise people to punish them for their ignorance of Him. Of this class we are told: “They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise” (Isaiah 26:14); and again: “Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish” (Psalm 49:20).
To grasp the simple Bible teaching on who shall appear at the judgment seat, let us set it out as follows:
Immortality and the Reward of the Faithful
Though many believe they have an ‘immortal soul’, we have seen that the Bible clearly shows that man is mortal; he dies and returns to dust. Among the vast number of the dead there are those who are said to “sleep”, for though dead, they will be awakened by the call of Jesus Christ at his return. In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul contrasts the mortality common to us all as descendants of Adam with the wonderful hope for all who have “put on Christ” through baptism, saying, “In Adam all die — in Christ shall all be made alive... at his coming” (v22-23).
Paul describes the change of nature that those judged faithful will receive: “This mortal shall have put on immortality”, for “death is swallowed up in victory” (v51-56). Thus, those “who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality” will receive
“eternal life” (Romans 2:7).
Reigning with Christ
The faithful servants of Jesus Christ will rejoice to be involved in the glorious work of establishing the Kingdom of God under his guidance. They will reign as kings and priests on the earth (Revelation 5:10). Their role will be twofold. The function of a king is to rule, in this case with divine authority. A priest mediates between God and man, educating people about God’s laws and showing them how sin must be put away. Thus the saints will reign as kings to establish the law and order of the Kingdom, and officiate as priests to instruct the mortal population of the earth in the ways of God.
One of the first works to be performed by the faithful saints, then immortal and “equal unto the angels” (Luke 20:36), will be to go forth with the Lord Jesus Christ to take control of the nations, who will be invited to submit willingly to Christ or be conquered by force (Psalm 2; Psalm 149:5-9; Revelation 2:26-27; 17:14).
Israel will be Regathered
As seen from Zechariah 12 and 13, there will be a terrible slaughter of the Jews living in the land, and only by the intervention of Jesus Christ will some be saved (13:8,9; 14:1-3). Their amazing deliverance and the evidence of “the wounds” in the hands of their Deliverer (13:6) will be sufficient to completely humble them (12:10-14). Then they will gladly acknowledge him, whom their fathers rejected and crucified, as their “Messiah”.
The call will then go out to the remainder of Jewry, scattered still throughout the world, to come and acknowledge Jesus Christ as their King (Jeremiah 30:10-11; Ezekiel 20:33-38). Their regathering is likened by God to the exodus of the people of Israel from Egypt under Moses (Jeremiah 16:14–15).
These Jews will also be required to acknowledge Yahweh as the God of Israel and Jesus Christ His Son as their Messiah. At last they will be enlightened about God’s purpose in sending Jesus Christ and will learn that he died that their sins might be forgiven (1 Peter 2:24; Isaiah 53:4). They will be made to accept that this “new Covenant” was confirmed in his blood (Matthew 26:28; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 8:8–12). Those who will not submit will be counted as rebels and “purged out” and will “not enter the land of Israel” (Ezekiel 20:38).
Those who respond will be united with the Jews that are already in the land of Israel and become one nation again with them. Ezekiel depicts this united Israel under Christ’s rule in these words: “Thus saith the LORD God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all” (Ezekiel 37:21-22; cp Jeremiah 23:3–8).
A Call to Turn from Error and Accept God’s Truth
One of the most dramatic challenges and changes that the majority of people worldwide will have to face is that their religion has been utterly false. They will come to the stunning realisation that their religious leaders have been wrong in their teaching, and they have been following man-made superstition.
Just as the Jews will be made to realise that their understanding of what the Bible taught about the Messiah was wrong, so millions of people will
see that they have been following lies and vain superstition. It will not be only non-Christian religions that will be made aware of the error of their beliefs, but the majority of “Christian” religions will also realise that they have been following lies and fables taught in the name of Christ.
Both Peter and Paul foretold that error and fables would be taught in the name of Christ and many would follow these teachers.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
“There shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you” (2 Peter 2:2-3).
History has proved these predictions correct and the multitude of Christian churches confirms the accuracy of these prophecies. The true faith, as taught by Jesus Christ and the apostles, was perverted as men sought to gather followers after themselves. New doctrines were introduced and the people, not able to read the Bible for themselves, were unable to see the errors that were being introduced. A church system was set up with bishops and archbishops, and finally the pope. The Protestants, though objecting to some of the excesses of the Roman Catholic Church and separating from it, took with them the main false doctrines that the church had adopted.
However the apostle John saw the day when Jesus Christ is back in the earth and the proclamation will go forth: “Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” (Revelation 14:6-7).
People will then be given the opportunity to turn from the superstition and lies they have been taught, and to acknowledge that God has sent Jesus Christ back to the earth to set up His Kingdom. We are told, however, that Christianity will not readily accept Christ as King. John foresaw that the Roman Catholic Church, together with other Christian churches, will mount a challenge against the authority of Christ but their ambition will prove futile, for “the Lamb [Jesus Christ] shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful” (Revelation 17:14).
The whole Roman Catholic system, including many churches not far removed from her doctrines, aptly described in the Bible as “Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth" will be utterly destroyed (Revelation 17:5). In that day it will be said of this apostate system as was said of the ancient empire of the same name, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen” and “shall be found no more at all” (Revelation 18:2-3, 21). People will then realise that this system of religion that has dominated the lives of millions for nearly 2000 years was but a man-made religion that could not offer its followers salvation. It did not follow Christ’s ways at all and was in fact the subject of many prophecies in which God warned people to beware of its apostate ways. The warning of Christ is clear— “Come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities” (Revelation 18:4-5).
With false religions—Jewish, Christian and others —all exposed as error, the way will now be open for the education of the world in God’s ways of truth. Having overthrown all opposition—political, military and religious—Christ and his immortal saints will then commence the great work of establishing the Kingdom of God on earth.
The Lord shall be King over all the Earth
Jerusalem will be the capital of the Kingdom, and will be acknowledged as such by all nations (Jeremiah 3:17-18). It will be the centre of just government and of education in “the word of the LORD”. In fact, people of all nations will go up to Jerusalem from year to year to worship the king, Jesus Christ, and to learn of God’s ways:
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:2-4).
“And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles” (Zechariah 14:16).
All nations will be subject to Christ’s rule (Revelation 11:15), with Israel being governed by the twelve apostles (Matthew 19:28).
There will be a Temple, “a house of prayer for all nations”, built in Jerusalem, to which all nations will come to learn of God’s ways and to worship Him (Isaiah 56:7). Most nations will come up joyfully, but those who refuse to come will suffer for their rebellion (Zechariah 14:16-17). The details of this Temple are set out in the last chapters of the prophecy of Ezekiel (40-48). From these details we can gain a mental picture of this magnificent building in which the Lord Jesus Christ will officiate.
A word picture of this Kingdom and the benefits bestowed by the King for all mankind is portrayed in the words of Psalm 72 and Micah 4:1–5. Everyone will feel the immediate beneficial influence of Christ’s reign, as “the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever” (Isaiah 32:1,17).
The 1000 Year Reign of Christ
The Apostle Paul states that Christ is to reign on earth “till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death”.
When “all things” are subject to Christ then he will deliver up the Kingdom to God, “that God may be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:24-28). Then truly “the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD” (Numbers 14:21).
The period of the duration of the Kingdom is given for us in the book of Revelation. There we learn that Christ and his immortal saints will reign for 1000 years (Revelation 20:4-6). After six thousand years of preparing a people to give honour and glory to His name, a further thousand years is set aside in the Divine plan for the King and his immortal saints to fill the earth with God’s glory. Throughout this millennium the mortal population of the earth will have opportunity to give faithful and obedient service to God and to Christ as King.
A description of some of the changes that will take place, with the associated blessings that will be experienced by the mortal population when harmony exists between man and his environment, is given in several places of Scripture (Isaiah 11:4-9; 65:17-25; Amos 9:11-15).
This period of the 1000 year reign of Christ will conclude with a second and final resurrection and gathering to judgment of those who have lived during the period of the Kingdom. This event is described in Revelation 20:12-15. We notice that at the conclusion of this judgment “death and hell [the grave] were cast into the lake of fire” (v14), meaning they shall be finally swept away for ever from the earth. Then “there shall be no more death” (Revelation 21:4), for mortality will be taken away forever from the earth (1 Corinthians 15:25-26). In Revelation 21:3-4 we read of this wonderful time: “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away”. At this time, as Paul foretold,
“God will be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28).
Thus the Kingdom of God on earth is the final step towards the fulfilment of that glorious purpose that God had from the beginning—to fill the earth
with His glory (Numbers 14:21). Those who are His sons and daughters, having developed through the trials of life a character like His, will be there with Him. This glorified community will be then united with the Father and His Son, as Jesus himself prayed just prior to his crucifixion (John 17:20-23).
“Thy Kingdom Come”
From the above overview we now have an enlightened understanding of this glorious Kingdom that God will establish upon the earth. According to God’s revealed timetable He will very soon send Jesus Christ back to commence this great work of transforming the world, assisted by his faithful and immortal followers.
With faith in the sure Word of God and the hope that it offers, we now can enter fully into the spirit of the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples: “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10).
As we now await this day that God has promised, it is our privilege and responsibility to respond to Him in faith and obedience. The apostle Peter encouraged the disciples in his day, and likewise us today, when he said: “Give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:10-11).
1. Jesus Christ will return to the earth (Acts 1:9-11) to set up the Kingdom of God on earth (Daniel 2:44; Revelation 11:15). In the parable of Luke 19:11-27 Jesus Christ foretold that he would ascend to heaven to his Father’s right hand and later return, at which time his servants will be judged and rewarded.
2. Prior to the return of Jesus Christ the world will continue to decline to depths of immorality similar to the corruption and violence that brought God’s wrath on the world in the flood of Noah’s day (Genesis 6:1-13; cp Matthew 24:36-39; Luke 17:26-27), and the destruction of
Sodom (Genesis 19; cp Luke 17:28-33).
3. The prophets give detailed accounts of the invasion of Israel and Jerusalem by a northern confederacy. This invasion will take place when the Jews are back in the land of Israel and Jerusalem is under their control (Ezekiel 38; Zechariah 12-14).
4. At the height of this international conflict Jesus Christ will reveal himself with the power and authority of God, to cause all people of the earth to acknowledge God and accept him as the Messiah and Lord (Zechariah 12:9-11; 13:6; 14:4-9).
5. Armageddon is a Hebrew word descriptive of God’s great judgments that are to be poured out on all nations at the return of Jesus Christ
(Revelation 16:14-16; Joel 3:9-17).
6. The return of Jesus Christ will be completely unexpected, except to those who have been faithfully watching and preparing for that great day (Revelation 16:15; Matthew 25:1-13).
7. The first step in preparing to meet the Lord Jesus Christ is to believe the Gospel message and be baptised (Mark 16:15-16).
8. When Jesus Christ returns to the earth he will raise from the dead those who must be judged, and gather together with them those responsible to judgment who are alive (2 Timothy 4:1; Daniel 12:1-3; John 5:28-29).
9. Those gathered for judgment must give an account of their service to God (Romans 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10). Many parables depict the judgment seat of Christ when he returns (Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:11-27).
10. Those who have been ignorant of God and His Word will not be brought to judgment. If they have died they will not be raised (Isaiah 26:14).
11. Immortality will be the reward for those who have faithfully endeavoured to serve God and Jesus Christ throughout their lives (Romans 2:7; 1 Corinthians 15:51-57).
12. The faithful servants of Jesus Christ will assist him to establish the Kingdom of God on earth (Revelation 5:10; 20:6).
13. Whereas Jesus Christ will reveal himself to the surviving Jews in the land of Israel when he returns (Zechariah 12:9-11; 13:6), the Jews still scattered throughout the world will be regathered to Israel, there to acknowledge that this same Jesus whom their fathers crucified is
their Messiah (Ezekiel 37:21-22; Jeremiah 23:3-8).
14. All nations will be called upon to honour Jesus Christ as King (Psalm 2:10-12), and to respond to the call to worship and serve God (Revelation 14:6-7).
15. The apostate systems of Christianity headed by Roman Catholicism, together with non-Christian religions, that have all deceived the nations with their false teaching, will be exposed and destroyed (Revelation 18:2-3,21; 17:5).
16. Jesus Christ will reign as King from the city of Jerusalem, the capital of the Kingdom of God on earth (Jeremiah 3:17; Isaiah 2:2-4; Zechariah 14:9,16).
17. A Temple will be built at Jerusalem to which all nations will come and worship God. It will be called “a house of prayer for all nations” (Isaiah 56:7; Zechariah 14:16-17).
18. The Kingdom will be renowned for righteousness and peace (Psalm 72; Isaiah 32:1,17).
19. Jesus Christ’s reign on earth will continue for 1000 years (a millennium) (Revelation 20:2-5; 1 Corinthians 15:22-28), after which there will be a resurrection of all those who have lived and died in that period.
20. At the end of the millennium there will be no more death, as there will be no mortals remaining on the earth (Revelation 21:3-4).
21. God’s purpose to fill the earth with His glory will then be fulfilled (Numbers 14:21). God will be “all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28).
Lesson 25 - Questions
1. List two Bible quotations that teach that God’s Kingdom will be set up on earth.
2. Give a Bible quotation that states that Jesus Christ will return to the earth.
3. In what area of the earth will the nations be gathered for Armageddon?
4. When will the resurrection of the dead take place?
5. Who will be raised and gathered to judgment?
6. What reward will be given to the faithful?
7. When Christ returns to set up God’s Kingdom, what will happen to the Jews who are scattered throughout the world?
8. What will be the capital city of this Kingdom?
9. How will the nations of the earth learn God’s ways in the Kingdom?
10. How long will the reign of Christ continue?
11. What will happen at the end of the millennium?
12. In what way will life on earth be different beyond the millenni