Tuesday, May 3, 2011

FHCO: Your Future in Heaven (Part 2)

Future Hope Conference Online
Your Future in the:
Bible - Tribulation - Rapture - Millennial Kingdom - Heaven - Q&A


Nathan Jones
Nathan Jones
Evangelist & Web Minister
Lamb & Lion Ministries


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Timeline of the Saved

For those who are rescued from the punishment of our sins, for those who were saved from God's wrath, for those who have accepted Jesus' gift of salvation, let's cover what life will be like for you after you die. Let's say today you go outside and a tornado sucks you up. You are now dead. The following is what happens to you if you believe in Jesus as your Savior.

1) Go Right to Jesus
Right after death your spirit will go right to Jesus. Immediately upon death you are ushered into the presence of Jesus by His angels in Heaven. You can find that in Luke 16:22.

2) Receive an Intermediate Body
When you get to Heaven, you will be given what is called an "intermediate body." It's a real body. You are not a ghost. You are not going around moaning "Ooooowwhhhh." God alone is spirit, as John 4:24 tells us, but the rest of us have bodies. You are in Heaven with a real body, and thank goodness, it is clothed. We will not spend eternity naked. I am glad for that!

Your intermediate body will also be recognizable. The people who are up there with you will be able to recognize you. We can see examples of that from the Bible, like Samuel when he came back and King Saul immediately recognized him. Lazarus and the Rich Man in Luke 16 recognized each other. Moses and Elijah when they came with Jesus to the Transfiguration, what did Peter say? "Hey, let me build a tent for you guys." We don't build tents for spirits. They were clearly in recognizable, physical bodies. And, look the Tribulation Martyrs. When the people who will die in the Tribulation are up in Heaven, what are they wearing? They are wearing white robes. They've got physical bodies. So, you too will receive an intermediate body when you die.

3) Resurrection and Rapture
You will next experience the Rapture of the Church. If you live in Heaven with Jesus up until the time of the Rapture — that time when Jesus comes for His Church to glorify their bodies and take them to Heaven to be with Him forever — you will be part of that, too. You will get to experience your own resurrection as your earthly body which is what sleeps in the ground is combined with your intermediate body, and you will receive what is called a resurrected or glorified body.

The order of it goes that first the dead in Christ are resurrected and raptured, and then those who are alive at the Rapture. But, it's like there's no discernible time between the two groups getting raptured, for it all happens in the time it takes to snap, in a twinkling of an eye. First Thessalonians 4:16-17 explains this, "For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever."

4) Tribulation Activities
While we in our glorified bodies are up in Heaven with Jesus, that's when the earth will enter into a stage called the "Tribulation." It's seven years of time when the world is punished for its continual rebellion against God. This punishment is only for those on the earth and is not for those who are up in Heaven.

Those in Heaven will experience three things while the Tribulation ravishes the earth:

The first activity is a judgment called the "Judgment of the Just," as 2 Corinthians 5:10 describes. But, it's not a judgment for salvation. You are in Heaven so you are already saved, right? Instead, it is a judgment of what you were doing while on earth. Remember that we were created in this life to do good works, that we were created in Christ Jesus to do on His behalf. So, you should be asking yourself just what are you doing with all your time and energy?

At the Judgment of the Just, we are going to be rewarded based on the quantity of our good works, meaning how much we used our time and talents. We will be judged on the quality of our good works, meaning how much effort we really put into trying to do a good job of reaching people for Christ and serving others in His name. And, we will be judged on our motivations. Did we do those works to glorify ourselves, or did we do them for somebody else? It will be the greatest reward ceremony in all of history, and we will get into what those rewards will be a little more later.

The second activity will be a party. It has this real eloquent name — the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Basically, it's a "Welcome to Heaven" type of party. God loves parties. He's not all gloom and doom like some people falsely tell you. God loves a good party. Jesus went to parties all the time while He was on earth. God is going to throw a big party, a celebration, for those of us who are in Heaven reunited with Him forever.

The third activity we'll be involved in while in Heaven during that Tribulation period is that we are going to prepare to return with Jesus to Earth, as Revelation 19 describes. Since Jesus will be fully decked out in warrior apparel, we too I assume will get some kind of armament. We are going to get a horse to ride back on, too. I don't really know how to ride a horse just now, but we will get some kind of thing to ride back on, and my hope is that instead it will be some kind of cool car. So, we will return with Jesus back down to earth.

5) Jesus' Second Coming
The next thing in our new life that we'll experience is Jesus Second Coming. There are about 500 prophecies in the Old Testament and one in 25 verses in the New Testament concerning Jesus' Second Coming, so there's a lot of description of this event.

We are told that we will accompany Jesus when He returns. Revelation 19:14 describes this return, "The armies of Heaven were following Him, riding on white horses, dressed in fine linens, white and clean." Well, there is my answer, I am not returning in a hot car. I'm going to have to ride a horse.

When we get to Earth, we are going to watch Jesus all by Himself defeat the worst scoundrel in all the world's history. He's ten times worse than Hitler ever was. This evil guy the Bible says will be called "the Antichrist." He's the eventual conqueror of the earth, but his rule will be short. Jesus upon His return will defeat the Antichrist and his army at a battle called Armageddon and with just a word Jesus will destroy all those armies that follow Satan.

We will witness Jesus ordering an angel to take Satan and have him chained up and dropped into a pit. Satan will no longer torment the world. Jesus will send the Devil into a deep pit for a long, long while.


10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nathan, if the wedding supper of the Lamb is in Heaven will the feast described in Isaiah 25:6-12 be a feast on Mt. Zion on Earth after Armegeddon when the OT and Tribulation Saints are resurrected? Thank you

Anonymous said...

I was about to tell you that the
Bible says horse and horse it will
be but I see you corrected yourself.
:)
Kem

Expected Imminently said...

In an earlier post Laura wrote that there is no such thing as a ‘fallen sin nature’. Yet she admitted she still struggles with sins.

Why do we still struggle with sins?

If it isn’t the result of the as yet unredeemed fallen flesh and its sin nature, then what will prevent us from sinning throughout eternity?

We are physically born with no human spirit – it is dead. This is why physical death eventually comes to all. As descendants of Adam, his original sin is imputed to all of us; it is because of this original sin, that we are sinners and thereby it is our nature to behave as sinners do, by sinning personal sins. We are ‘cut off’ from any contact with the Father.

Jesus came and was our substitute as the ‘last Adam’ taking onto Himself the guilt for Adams original sin. It is framed within a legal context that sin was imputed to Jesus by way of Credit and Debit.

We are unrighteous sinners with nothing to our credit. Jesus is credited with righteousness and he has no debit.

When we believe/faith in Jesus to deliver us from the penalty of sin, which is death, we are credited with the righteousness of Christ and Christ is credited with our Un-righteousness. While still alive on the cross, Jesus’ paid the penalty for original sin of spiritual death, when he said ‘it is finished’. It was DONE, there and then – but he still had to pay for the deeds done in the flesh, so he died life for a life.

When we are ‘born again’, it is our human spirit that is made alive and connected with God and our relationship begins with our Heavenly Father. Our fallen humanity still exists, the price is paid, but the redemption of our flesh and it’s nature is still awaiting the resurrection.

1Peter1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, RESERVED IN HEAVEN FOR YOU. 5.Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be REVEALED IN THE LAST TIME.,

The spirit now alive in the believer wars with the flesh.

Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

BUT - Jesus Christ!

Sue

Expected Imminently said...

Laura said "By the way, I've spent way too many years being sin focused, and it didn't help me stop sinning one bit! In fact, my sin focus had the exact opposite effect (more sinning)! From now until I go home, I'm going to focus on Christ. After all, He's much more worth looking at!"

We are saved from sin by God’s Grace, through faith – not works. This is why you have been struggling, trying to clean up your sins by focussing on them – no doubt dealing with feelings of guilt; at last you realise it can’t be done by any works on your part. Gal 3:3 “…having begun in the spirit are you now being made perfect by the flesh?

Being focussed’ is works of the flesh and not faith.

Normally I would be inclined to encourage you to ‘keep your eyes upon Jesus’; but in this instance I think you may be just swopping one work for another – the fleshly effort of focus?

Rather it is recognising that Jesus HAS done all the work necessary, and the work of the Holy Spirit is to bring you to perfection. Your part is to believe all the promises of God and apply them by faith “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”. Phil 1:6

ALL sin has been dealt with, sin is no longer the issue and there is now no condemnation for those in Christ BUT our personal sins grieve the Holy Spirit and mar our fellowship with our heavenly Father. This is what 1John1:9 is all about, agreeing with Him that our behaviour has fallen short and caused a rift between us and our heavenly Father.

If we regard iniquity in our heart he doesn’t hear us.
This is reacting to what the Holy Spirit has decided to shine a light on, what he NOW wants to deal with. It does NOT involve examining our navels, or grovelling around bringing to mind all the rotten things we have ever done, and stirring up huge swells or remorse. Some think this is what repentance is all about, like R.C. penance where, among other things, they flagellate their flesh to atone.

Biblical repentance simply means a ‘change of mind’.

Sue

Nathan Jones said...

Anonymous, interesting find Isaiah 25, and a beautiful picture of rejoicing after trials!

The timing of that feast is difficult to pin down, for in verse 8 it says God will remove the disgrace of his people, which could mean just Israel (Isaiah's usual subject) or all the peoples of faith from time under one heading "his people". But, also in verse 8 death is swallowed up, which is a picture of eternity, with the New Jerusalem on Earth.

I'd say this passage most likely isn't about the Marriage Supper of the Lamb because of these timing clues, but it certainly paints a wonderful picture of our eternal rejoicing and celebrating with Christ.

Anonymous said...

You're right, Nathan, there will still be death in Millenium Kingdom.

Anonymous said...

Nathan, no one has the choice to "be saved." Our names were written in the Lamb's Book of life before God created the world.
Eph 1:3-6 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved."

"A denial of sovereign election is an UTTER DENIAL OF GOD. Those who do so may call themselves Christians, but they practice atheism. A God whose hands are tied is no god at all. A God who cannot exercise a sovereign perogative to have mercy on whom He will, is no god.

Such a pigmy God is smaller and less significant than the Governor of the State of Kentucky who can pardon and refuse to pardon whom he will. A God without election is a god without a throne, a god without purpose, a god without reverence, and NO GOD AT ALL!" ---Pastor Don Fortner of Grace Baptist Church

AGE said...

Pastor Don,

Your God, as defined by Calvin, turns the Lord into a monster who arbitrarily sends bazillions of unlucky ones to hell. Hardly seems "just" to me, and to multiplied millions of other Christians who love the Lord just as much as you do, who find predestination, foreknowledge, election, and personal responsibility (choice) ALL to be scripturally compatible with the sovereignity of God. Without getting into a drawn out discussion on Calvinism vs Armenianism, and to an exegetical defense re: the superiority of Arminian theology (IMHO), you cross the line when you proclaim that those who disagree with your version/opinion of the Truth are atheists (hence, going to hell) and in "UTTER DENIAL OF GOD". The bellicose tone of your comments are more of an error-filled "rant" than an appeal to follow any "truth", and they deny the sanctifying grace/work of Christ in the believer. You also, IMHO, are in danger of violating 1st Cor. 13:2, 1st Cor. 14:40, and Phil. 4:8. The Governor of Kentucky may be a Pigmy god, but I wouldn't assume he's going to hell because he's a Democrat! Tone down the rhetoric for the sake of the sheep and the non-believers...please! Sorry God doesn't fit the box you want to put Him in, and I'm really glad He is the arbiter of where I spend eternity...not you! God is sovereign, on His throne, and on the throne of this sorry Arminianist's heart. BTW...please say hello to John Wesley when He greets you in Heaven, even though you don't think he should be there!

Nathan Jones said...

Salvation has always been about faith (Eph. 2:8; Heb 11), so "whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free" (1 Cor. 12:13) anyone who has this saving faith is in God's eyes considered "elect." I think the best definition I've heard concerning being chosen also called predestination or election is: "if you're saved, then you've been predestined and are one of the elect."

Getting the human mind wrapped around the Bible's teaching on predestination and election is hard because mankind thinks linearly, while God knows all events at all times. God knows if we will use our free will to choose Him and Jesus' salvation before we are even created, which predestines us to be one of His. Those God knows won't choose Him, He "sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness" (1 Thes. 2:11-12).

Outside of salvation, God can choose a person or people group to do His will, such as Israel being the chosen nation from whom the Bible is written and the Messiah is born out of. Even enemy nations like Babylon and Assyria were chosen by God to bring Israel at times in their history to judgment and repentance.

So, the term "chosen" can be used differently depending on the subject, but in the salvation sense it is for anyone who by God's grace has that faith which saves.

Larry S. said...

The bible backs up everything the author says except for one detail. In the email I received, under the heading "All Roads Lead to Heaven" he states, "Nobody born automatically goes to heaven". I believe the Word supports this statement, EXCEPT when a child dies as a result of abortion, in the womb or before the "age of accountability". I don't have scripture to back this up, but I believe that God is gracious enough to allow a baby who dies in the womb to enter heaven. does anybody have scripture to either back t his up or refute it? Please advise, thank you. Sincerely, Larry Schoen Manchester, MD integrity852@yahoo.com