This is the sixth blog in a nine-part series where I’m unpacking the idea of something ahead of us that’s “Beyond Human Experience”. When we think of the future with our 21st Century mind-set, however, it’s incredibly hard not to view any predictions (especially the far-fetch ones that are laid out in the Bible) with anything but scepticism. Nevertheless, our Maker – the Creator God – is concerned for those that He has made in His own image. He is so concerned that He’s been actively involved in the affair of humankind and the welfare of the planet from the beginning. Weirdly enough, and as hard as it is to get our head around it, this does also include His active involvement in a global flood that put us all back to square one, as the latest movie Noah’s Ark shows.
If you are at all interested in finding out about the Creator God and His plans for this world, I highly recommend that you start with reading about Him in His book. In the meantime here are two more events that are on the horizon ahead of us. Although my list of events in this and my previous two blogs are not at all in chronological order, these two below are certainly listed as last in the last two chapters of the final book in the Bible: the Book of Revelation.
So, as science fiction or mythological as it may sound to our logical 21st century minds, in addition to a powerful deception, a great tribulation, a ‘rapture’, the arrival of Jesus coming on the clouds, a season where Jesus’ rules over world affairs, there are two more things to mention:
- A Final Judgment Day
“When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city He loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them.”
“With righteousness He will judge the poor, and decides with fairness for the down-trodden of the earth; He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.”
“It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”[i]
- A Cube-Shaped City about ¾ the Size of Australia
Jesus said: “‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
“Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling-place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God ….
And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like crystal clear jasper. It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates … The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia (about 2,400km) in length, and as wide and high as it is long. The angel measured the wall using human measurement, (possibly the thickness) and it was 144 cubits (66 metres).”[ii]
Having said all of the above, the problem for us today (and apart from feeling foolish for believing in what some people call ‘fairy tales’) is that even the best minds on the planet continue to struggle with interpreting these predictions about our future. Some people have gone against Jesus’ teaching and tried to put a date on these events, only to be embarrassed when they haven’t happened. Jesus clearly said that just as in the days of Noah when they were eating and drinking and giving and taking in marriage, right up until the flood waters swept them away, so it will be in the ‘Day of the Lord’ – the day when these things in the previous 3 blogs will take place. But if you are now left wondering where to go from here, just click on my next blog: 3.7 What are Our Options?
[i] Revelation 20:7-9; Isaiah 11:4; Jude 1:14-15 [NASB]
[ii] John 14:1-3 and Revelation 21 (various verses) [NIV]