From the Genesis Fall to today, people have been trying to reshape the Godhead according to their own ideas. How ignorant and foolish of us! Paul explains that “truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a Day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:29-31).
The last Day is also called the Day of Judgment. Those who are in Christ shall be judged at the beginning of the Day, when He comes for those who are judged to be “in Christ.” All other people, both past and present at that time, will be judged at the end of the 1,000-year Day.
The basis of that judgment is if we have the righteousness of Christ, having received that gift by grace through faith. In short, the only criterion for that judgment is if we believe in Jesus as our personal Savior. He holds this position by virtue of having overcome the penalty of sin, which is death. Overcoming death is resurrection—being raised from the dead and living forevermore.
This resurrection is our blessed hope as well. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5).
This is our inheritance as joint-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17). It is an incorruptible inheritance in the same way that our reborn spirit is sealed and incorruptible. The fullness of our salvation is guaranteed. This is the hope of our calling as the ekklesia, the called-out Church.
The Chronos Lesson: It is clear that the foundational disciples and apostles came to understand the appointed times and had seen it as an integral part of the Gospel message within the first century of the Church. Paul wrote in 1 Thess. 5:1 that “concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.”
Unfortunately, you may have heard someone preach that the rapture and the end-times sequence of events wasn’t really part of the New Testament message. Really? Then why was the first sermon that was preached on the Day of Pentecost by Peter (Acts 2) all about the end-times?
Peter explained that what the people were witnessing was the outpouring of the Spirit prophesied by Joel. Furthermore, this outpouring came because it was now the last Days. Peter marked the times from the prophets to Jesus’ earthly ministry, to Jesus’ ascension, where He is awaiting the restoration of all things. As we draw nearer to the end of this age, we should expect a similar timely hour of outpouring.
All of the confusion about the rapture and the end-times comes from teachers and preachers ignoring all the prophetic pieces about the end-times placed in God’s Word. Think about this: they ignore one-third of the Bible! Granted, it is sometimes hard to let go of our preconceived ideas.
Hebrews 12:5 reminds us: “And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: ‘My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him.’ ” The Greek word for chastening actually means correction and being teachable. Just as we need to humble ourselves to receive salvation, we need to humble ourselves to receive God’s Word for time and season. 1/10/24