Overview of Coming Events in God’s Prophetic Calendar

The next event in God’s prophetic calendar is called "The rapture of the church." The verb form of the word "rapture" means "carried away." Jesus will come in the clouds as our "bride groom" to literally carry away His "bride," the church, up into Heaven (1 Thess. 4:13-18). Jesus does not actually touch down on earth at this time. The unsaved will be left on earth to face a terrible seven-year time of suffering, called "the tribulation."

Jesus and the church saints will move into Heaven for the "judgment seat of Christ." Christians will be evaluated, rewarded and given their future assignments (2 Cor. 5:10; 1 Cor. 3:12-14, Luke 19:17-19). Then comes "the marriage of the Lamb." Jesus is the "Lamb" and His bride is the church (Eph. 5:25-27, Rev. 19:1-7).

Meanwhile, all who were left behind on earth will be suffering "the tribulation." This will include depression, wars, famines, plagues, destructive storms, earthquakes and a one-world government under a cruel dictator, called the "beast" (Matt. 24:21, Rev. 6 & 13).

Surprisingly, there will be a "revival during the tribulation on earth." God will send Moses and Elijah to Jerusalem to present Jesus as the true Messiah (Rev. 11:1-14). Multitudes of Jews will accept Christ as their Messiah and Savior.144,000 Jewish missionaries will go to all nations, resulting in millions of Jewish and Gentile converts to Jesus Christ (Rev. 7:4-14).

The world dictator during the tribulation is not called the "beast" because of his appearance, but because of his character. Actually, he will be very attractive and eloquent (Dan.7:8,11, Rev.13:5-6). First, the European Community will accept him as their leader (Rev. 17:12-13, 18). Then he will convince the Jews he is their Messiah. They will sign a treaty with him and other nations for seven years (Dan. 9:24-27). He will appear to be killed and then come back to life. The world will be so impressed, they will make Him leader of a one-world government. He will bring all religions together and set up a cashless world economy (Rev.13:3-18). When it appears that he has worldwide control, he will seek to destroy all who might give him trouble, including religious leaders, and especially the Jews (Dan. 9:27).

As the seven-year tribulation closes, armies from the whole world will converge on Jerusalem to fight God and destroy His chosen people, the Jews. This leads to the glorious return of Jesus to earth. Landing on the Mt. of Olives with His saints and mighty angels, He will defeat all the armies of the beast at the Battle of Armageddon (Zech. 14:1-3, Rev. 16:14-16, 19:11-21). All the enemies of God will be destroyed.

Jesus will then set up His 1000-year worldwide kingdom called "the millennium." Satan will be bound during this kingdom age. All Old Testament saints, the church and the martyred tribulation saints in their new resurrection bodies like Jesus, will reign with Him on earth.

The tribulation saints who survived the tribulation will go into the millennium in their natural bodies. They will marry, have children and enjoy a golden age of peace and prosperity on earth (Isa. 65:18-20, Rev. 20:4-6). The children born during the millennium must also believe in Jesus to be saved. It is not clear how long they will live in these natural bodies. They may have until age 100 to believe in Jesus, at which time they will either be accursed or, if saved, transferred to be reigning saints with new bodies (Isa 65:20).

Near the end of the millennium, Satan will be released and go out across the world to gather the rebels into his army. This gives a choice to those under 100. A great number will follow Satan, but Jesus will defeat him and his army (Rev.20:7-9). Satan will be cast into the lake of fire, never to get out again (Rev. 20:10).

Next is "the great white throne judgment." This judgment is only for the lost and determines degrees of punishment, not destination. All who appear at this judgment are cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:11-15).

Finally the "New Jerusalem will come down out of Heaven" with pearly gates, streets of gold, a river and the tree of life. All the redeemed will live forever with the Lord in this new Heaven (Rev. 21-22). "Even so, come Lord Jesus!" Plan for it and take everyone else you can with you! Amen.

© Copyright, D. B. Martin