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Lots of Resurrections and Lots of Raptures

Scripture is clear that there will be 2 completely separate resurrections and raptures. One is the resurrection and rapture of the eternally saved righteous and one is the resurrection and rapture of the eternally condemned unrighteous. Both of these resurrections and raptures happen at 2 separate times and will involve 2 separate judgements by God based on the rewards for a life lived.

The resurrection and rapture of the righteous involve the Bema Seat Judgment at which time believers will receive two rewards (II Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:4). The first reward will be eternal life or immortality. The term immortality occurs when a person is born or has a beginning but now, through the power of the Holy Spirit, will live eternally. This designation is not the same as that of God. God is eternal as He has no beginning and no end. Therefore, to ask the question where did God come from is non-sensible. It would be like asking what does the color violet or chartreuse taste like. You cannot ask an invalid question and expect a valid answer.  Some may ask for an example of a physical object with no beginning and no ending. That would be a ring which is a physical object yet has no beginning and no end.

The second reward received at the Bema Seat Judgment is one of governance. The more faith in Christ a person showed during their lifetime, the more their faith grew (James 1:12). The more a person’s faith grows the more it matures and the greater the works or fruits they will produce. The greater the number of works produced, the greater the responsibility a person will be given during the Millennial Reign of Christ on earth and possibly beyond. So, for the believer, their life on earth is a period of spiritual growth in preparation for their coming governance. Therefore, the Secret of Life is not only enjoying the passing of time but more importantly, experiencing spiritual growth that brings you closer and closer to God. While only faith in Christ allows a person access to eternal life, the works a person produced through faith in God are stored in heaven and will be rewarded (Matthew 6:19-21; John 14:6).

The Second Coming of Christ will occur at the end of this age. At that time, He will give a command and all the unrighteous people on earth will be instantly destroyed. Their spirits will be released from their bodies and confined down into Sheol also known as Hades in Greek and Hell in English. Then, at the end of Christ’s 1000-year reign on earth, all the bodies of the unrighteous dead will be resurrected from the earth. Their spirits will leave Sheol and re-indwell their bodies, and they will all be raptured off the earth. They will then appear before the Great White Throne Judgement of God where a review of their lives will take place. Therefore, it will be exactly as the Bible states, all people will be judged by God. The difference is, the righteous will experience the First Resurrection, be judged at the Bema Seat and receive governance rewards for their life’s work. The unrighteous will experience the Second Resurrection, be judged at the Great White Throne Judgement Seat of God and receive their reward of condemnation for a life lived in continuous rebellion against God. People often refer to this life review phenomenon when they say that their lives flashed before their eyes (John 5:28; Acts 24:15; Revelation 20:1-15).

Most people believe that the rapture is a single event that removes Christians from the earth to be with Christ just before the 7-year Tribulation period on earth.  However, the rapture of the righteous has in fact been an ongoing series of events. As far as we know, the first rapture of the series started with a man named Enoch who was deemed righteous by God through faith (Genesis 5:21-24; Hebrews 11:5). God raptured Enoch off the earth so that he would not drown in the coming great flood. The Bible only lists his name because he was in the linage of Christ. But it may have been that God showed His mercy on any number of other righteous people throughout the earth by saving them in this way from the coming flood. God has a history of keeping His beloved ones safe from times of Tribulation. Next, we have the rapture of Elijah (II Kings 2:1). Then we have the rapture of Isaiah, who either physically or in a vision saw the Lord or Christ sitting on a throne high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple (Isaiah 6:1-3, 6-7).

Now scripture tells us of the raptures of Jesus. It is important to remember that there are 2 types of rapture. The one most people think of is the rapture into Heaven. But there is a second type of rapture in which a person is removed from one place on earth and deposited to another place as with the Apostle Philip. Jesus’ first rapture event was on resurrection Sunday morning April 5th, 33 A.D. to meet with God the Father in heaven (John 20:17). The second was later that Sunday evening when He descended into Sheol for a second time in order to lead all the spirits of the righteous into heaven to be with Him in the presence of God (Ephesians 4:8). It was at this time that He also allowed the spirits of a certain number of saints to indwell their resurrected bodies and walk into Jerusalem to be seen by family and friends. Who these particular saints were and how many were resurrected is not revealed. We are only told, “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the Saints which slept (were dead) arose, (resurrected) And came out of the graves (indwelled with their spirits taken out of Sheol) after His (Jesus’) resurrection (Sunday afternoon) and went into the holy city (Jerusalem) and appeared to many.” (Matthew 27:52-53). This is all that is said about the incident but those who were resurrected must have shown themselves to those who would have known them and appreciated the fact that they were now alive in physical bodies and not spirits or ghosts. Then, as suddenly as they appeared, they must have disappeared having been raptured into heaven to be with Christ and the other spirits removed from Sheol earlier that evening (Matthew 27:53-54). This was a small scale resurrection preview that Jesus created in order that His followers would have a better understanding of exactly how the end time great resurrection and rapture would occur. For more information on this event please read the paper, Timeline of the Resurrection”.

Timeline Of The Resurrection
A Compilation of Matthew, Mark, Luke and JohnTo be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you. — C. S. Lewis Jesus was crucified at approximately 9:00 a.m. (Mark 15:25). The term approximately is used as the ancients had no way

Now we come to the many raptures of Jesus. It is important to remember that there are 2 types of raptures. The one most people think of is the rapture into heaven. But scripture tells us of a second type of rapture in which a person is moved from one location on earth to another as with the Apostle Phillip. Jesus’ 1st rapture was when He left His stone tomb with the door in place and waited in the garden to see which of His followers would come to witness His prophesied resurrection from the dead. After He met with Mary Magdalene at the tomb His  2nd rapture was to appear to the group of women who first showed up at His tomb. His 3rd rapture event was when He ascended to meet with God in heaven. His 4th was when He descended back to earth and appeared to Cleophas and his wife Mary as they walked from Jerusalem to their home in Emmaus Sunday afternoon. His 5th was when he disappeared from them at dinner and returned to Jerusalem to meet with Peter. His 6th was when He descended back into Sheol to lead the saints into heaven. He also, by way of this event, satisfied His prophecy of spending three days and tree night in the heart of the earth. His 7th was when He appeared to His disciples during dinner. His 8th was when He disappeared from the room. His 9th was when He appeared one week later to the group only this time including Thomas. His 10th was when He disappeared. From this time forward, Jesus performed many more raptures as He continued to move from place to place in Israel preaching the good news of salvation. He raptured Himself whenever He wanted to meet with the disciples including the meeting  in Galilee. His final rapture event occurred 40 days after His first rapture into heaven Resurrection Sunday. Only this time, He slowly ascended from the Mount of Olives so as to be clearly witnessed by His 11 disciples (Acts 1:9). Jesus could have ascended so quickly He would have seemed to disappear as He did on other occasions (Luke 24:30-31, 36; John 20:24-26). But, He chose to ascend slowly so there would be no doubt in the minds of His disciples that He was now gone from the earth and was back on the Throne of God in heaven (Acts 1:9-11). However, we are told by Paul that the Rapture of the Church at the End of the Age will be so fast that it will not be witnessed by those left behind. Paul says that the rapture will occur in “…the twinkling of an eye…” (I Corinthians 15:52). Today we would say the rapture will occur in a nano second or the smallest amount of time that cannot be divided.

Next, we have the rapture of Philip who is the only person that did not go to heaven but moved instantaneously from one location on earth to another (Acts 8:36-39). He was raptured but was not translated from mortality to immortality. All other resurrections involve either physical bodies being raised to life and made immortal, or living bodies being translated to immortal and both types, now one in the same, are then raptured up into heaven. In this new state of being, those translated will be able to physically move from place to place at the speed of thought just as Jesus could do and Philip experienced. Then, there is the rapture of Paul who, like Isaiah, was not sure if he was raptured physically or in the spirit (Corinthians 12:2-10). Next there was the rapture of the Apostle John on the Isle of Patmos when he witnessed the End of the Age and the Second Coming of Christ to the earth. John also made it clear that he was also not sure if he was raptured physically or only in the spirit. The remarkable understanding concerning these comments is that apparently, the rapture is so quick and gentle that a person is not sure if it is a physical reality or a psychological vision. Hopefully, this will relieve the fear that some believers have of heights, being in wide open spaces or any other phobias they may currently be coping with.

Then there is the future and final rapture of the Two Witnesses as mentioned in the Book of Revelation. This last rapture event occurs just a few days before the return of Christ at the very end of the Tribulation period. This rapture may also include the rapturing of those saints who died during the Tribulation period of natural causes or were murdered by agents of the Antichrist. This would explain the idea of a Post Tribulation Rapture theory as it happens only three days before the Second Coming of Christ.

And then there is the long-awaited and much anticipated Great Rapture of the Church when many billions of people of faith, both past and present, are raptured off the earth just prior to the beginning of the Tribulation period. Scripture does not state that the Tribulation period starts immediately after the rapture. However, common sense tells us that the sudden disappearance of possibly as many as 2.5 billion Christians plus 2.2 billion children will have a tremendous and instantaneous detrimental effect on the 195 nations of the earth. At this time, the 2,000 year old Dispensation or Age of Grace known as the Church Age, will draw to a close over the course of the following 7 year Tribulation period. But as with the pains of childbirth, the stressful Tribulation period will end with the return of Christ and the start of the next great period known as the Millennial Reign of Christ (I Thessalonians 4:13-18; I Corinthians 15: 50-58).

While this resurrection and rapture is the greatest supernatural event since creation, Satan will take advantage of the chaos it creates by launching his plan for world domination. For God, the Tribulation is one last final attempt to cause both Jew and gentile to hopefully choose to repent of their sins, believe in the redemptive power of Christ and receive eternal life. But they will also continue to have the inalienable right to reject His offer and face the prophesied dire consequences. As for Satan, this is a time in which he is allowed by God to exalt the “great lie” that mankind does not need a God to lead and save them. Instead, mankind needs a world leader to create a one world order that will bring worldwide peace. This world leader will be the Antichrist, the son of Satan and together with a false prophet they will form a one world religion with Satan as its god.

The Church Age rapture will involve two events in quick succession. First, the righteous dead will have their bodies resurrected immortal and their spirits will re-indwell their bodies. Next, the living righteous will be translated from mortal to immortal. Then, both groups will meet Christ in the air and be taken to a place He has prepared for them (I Corinthians 15:50-58). Scripture does not specifically say where this place is but most probably it will be in Heaven. The reasoning for this is because the sequence of a traditional Jewish wedding follows the exact timeline of the rapture and Marriage Supper of the Lamb. A Jewish marriage traditionally takes place in the groom’s father’s house. And since the rapture is followed by the marriage of Christ to His Church, then the ceremony must take place in His Father’s house which is currently in Heaven. And while the wedding party will eventually return to earth, the wedding and the wedding reception will take place in the Father’s house in Heaven.

Upon their arrival in Heaven, the saints will first participate in the Bema Seat Judgment. This is a judgement conducted by Christ to determine what a person’s governance authority will be when they return to Earth with Him at the end of the earth’s 7 year Tribulation period (Revelation 19:14). Believers will have their sins removed or edited out of their life story for two reasons. First, Christ has paid for their sins in the eyes of God the Father therefore, only He has the right and power to remove a person’s sin (Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 2:5-12). Second, the Marriage Ceremony of the Lamb will take place in the presence of God the Father thus, anyone with a sin nature in close proximity to Him, would be instantly destroyed. This is why scripture tells us that no person has seen God the Father. The closest you can come to seeing God and live would be to see Jesus (John 14:9). To learn more on what Jesus looked like, please read the paper, What Did Jesus Look Like”. Each saint has the possibility of being rewarded with a crown. There are 5 different crowns each signifying outstanding achievements in five different categories of Christian service. There is a Crown of Life, an Incorruptible Crown, a Crown of Righteousness, a Crown of Glory and a Crown of Rejoicing. These rewards are based on a person’s use of their talents to help grow the Kingdom of God while on the earth. These acts were their voluntary response to the Great Commission that Jesus gave to all His followers just before His ascension (Matthew 28:16-20).

What Did Jesus Look Like?
Just as the sun rises and sets and the swallows return to Capistrano, so it is that every December there will appear multiple network programs on the subject of What did Jesus look like? Each program always ends with Jesus looking like a politically correct man by having a combination

After the Bema Seat Judgment of rewards, the saints will attend the Marriage Ceremony of the saints to the Lamb or Christ. The Book of Revelation clearly states that this ceremony has happened prior to Jesus descending to the earth at His Second Coming. The Apostle John was told to write, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready”. And how has His Wife made herself ready? “… to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine white linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is (symbolic of) the righteousness of saints, and he said to me; Write Blessed are they which are called unto the Marriage Super of the Lamb…These are the true sayings of God.” (Revelation 19:7-9; I Corinthians 9:4-27; Ephesians 5:27; II Timothy 2:5) Then later in verse fourteen we read, “And the armies in Heaven angels (and saints) followed Him (Jesus to the earth) upon white horses clothed in fine white linen white and clean (Revelation 3:5, Revelation 19:14). Here we learn that the saints are raptured, judged for rewards, receive honors, are dressed in clean white garments, attend the Marriage Ceremony of Christ to His Church where the saints are no longer called His bride but instead His wife. So obviously, the wedding has taken place and now the logical final event is the Marriage Super of the Lamb which concludes 4 major events all held in Heaven. The timeline of these events cannot be stated any clearer. This is proof positive that the rapture must have taken place earlier, that the Bema Seat Judgment must have then taken place and that Jesus has now married His church Saints who were once referred to as His Bride but are now referred to as “His wife”.

At the marriage supper, the Saints were finally allowed to drink the 4th cup of wine that was withheld from the disciples by Jesus at the Last Supper. For more information on this subject, please read the paper titled, “The Last Supper and Four Cups”. These four events will seem to the participants to have gone by quickly. And everyone will want the celebration to continue. But on the earth, 7 of the most terrible years in the entire history of the world have passed. Satan and the Antichrist realize that the 7 Year Tribulation Period will end very soon but they do not know the exact date (Matthew 24:36). They know that at that time, Christ and His army of Saints and angels will appear and take back control of the Earth. In the final months of the Tribulation, the Antichrist along with his armies have pursued an all-out assault on Jerusalem in an attempt to eradicate the Jewish race from the earth. This is now the final battle in the War of Armageddon. Satan believes that if he can destroy the Jewish race, there will be no need for Christ to return to the earth as there are no Jews or God’s chosen people left to save.

The Last Supper and Four Cups
Jesus hosted a supper for His disciples on the evening of Thursday, April 2nd 33 A.D. He would be arrested at midnight, endure 7 trials, be crucified Friday morning at 9:00a.m., die that afternoon at 3:00p.m. and be entombed by 5:00p.m. Therefore this

It is now that Jesus brings the joyous heavenly wedding celebration to an end. He announces what has taken place on Earth. He then commands that the wedding party of Saints along with His army of angels follow Him down to the Earth and take back that which He paid for with His blood (Revelation 19:11-16). So, it is fitting that all believers in heaven and those who survived the Tribulation on earth will take part in witnessing Jesus’ Second Coming, the instantaneous destruction of the unrighteous and the establishment of His Millennial Reign of peace.

The final rapture takes place just 3 days before the Second Coming of Christ and involves the Two Witnesses of Revelation who are Elijah and Moses. Some scholars believe that one of the two witnesses is Enoch as he was raptured alive (Genesis 5:22-24). But if one simply reads scripture carefully, it is clear that while Enoch was raptured, he did not possess the pedigree or powers that are attributed to the two witnesses. Enoch was not a Jew and did not live in the land of Israel. On the other hand, Moses both delivered the Law to the Jews and led the Jews back to the Promise Land. Moses died and was buried by God but this event involved a struggle between the Archangel Michael and Satan over his body (Jude 9:22-24). So, Moses’ body must have figured in God’s future plans in some way that does not allow Satan to touch it. Satan may have wanted to desecrate the body, or he may have wanted it to be memorialized in order to cause the children of Israel to sin by venerating and praying to Moses. Second, we see Moses and Elijah at the transfiguration and not Enoch (Matthew 17:2). Third, the Two Witnesses of Revelation have special powers. Both can cause droughts and it was Elijah who brought drought and famine during his ministry (Revelation 11:6; I Kings 18:37-38; II Kings 1:10-12). Both can cause plagues and it was Moses who brought 10 plagues upon Egypt (Revelation 11:6; Exodus 7:14, Exodus 9:8, Exodus 11:10). The Two Witnesses can turn water to blood. Moses turned water to blood (Exodus 7:14-25; Revelation 11:6). The Two Witnesses are said to be able to defend themselves by the use of fire to destroy their attackers (Revelation 11:15).  Elijah had the power to draw down fire from heaven (I Kings 18: 37-38; II Kings 1:10-12). Finally, both Moses and Elijah had their ministries interrupted.

Moses lost his temper and struck a rock to bring forth water when he was instead instructed by God to speak to the rock. Elijah has his ministry cut short because he ran in fear from Queen Jezebel, hid in a cave and prayed that God would kill him. As the Two Witnesses of Revelation, they are now allowed the privilege of finishing their respective ministries. God sends them to evangelize the earth during the final 3.5 years called the Great Tribulation. These two witnesses create a tremendous revival that causes millions of Jews and hundreds of millions of gentiles to be saved. After 3.5 years, God allows the two witnesses to be murdered by the followers of the Antichrist also known as the world leader. However, after their corpses have been on public display in the streets of Jerusalem for 3.5 days, they are both suddenly resurrected and raptured from the Earth (Revelation 11:3-12).

It may be that at this time, all those saved during the Tribulation period but died of natural causes or for their faith are also resurrected and taken to be with Christ. This then would be the final or what is referred to as the Post Tribulation Rapture. There are a minority of scholars who believe that the great resurrection and rapture takes place after the Tribulation period. They believe that the Great Tribulation period is the perfect opportunity to test believers as to the strength of their beliefs. Their reasoning is, if the Christian saints of the past had to endure great hardships and died for their belief in Christ, why should Christians living at the end on the age not be forced to suffer for their belief as well. Thus, they believe that the great rapture of the Church will be post Tribulation. They also believe that the last of the 7 trumps (trumpets) of the Book of Revelation which occurs at the very end of the Tribulation period is the trumpet that signals the Rapture. But actually, the 7 trumpets of Revelation are not to be confused with the Trump of God. This Trump only occurs two times in Scripture. Once at Mount Sinai at the giving of the Law and a second time to signal the Rapture (Exodus 19:19-20; Revelation 1:10-11). So, the Post Rapture theory hangs on a somewhat sadomasochistic theology and a basic misunderstanding of Scripture. Also, while it is true that some Christens have historically been greatly tested, most Christians have lived lives of peace. And while the rewards of Christians who have been persecuted will be great, those Christians that were not persecuted will still receive rewards for the fruits they produced and Eternal life. The real point is, Christians do not have to do anything to receive Eternal life other that have faith in Christ plus nothing else!

This means that one second before the pre -Tribulation resurrection and rapture of the Church, we will hear the Last Trump of God and the voice of Christ giving the command to “come up here” (Revelation 4:1).  And all the followers of Christ will be instantaneously caught up in the air to be eternally with Christ whether it be on Earth, in the atmosphere, in Heaven or some far off galaxy.

So one small final post Tribulation rapture will occur. While it will definitely involve the Two Witnesses, it might also include those of faith who died during the Tribulation period. And this would in turn solve the issue of having all the Christian saints present at the Marriage Super of the Lamb. This group would include Adam and Eve to the last righteous soul on Earth who died before the actual return of Christ.

Therefore, the Bible begins with God bring forth a pristine garden on earth in which a couple lives with their Creator in peace. The following stories do not proceed in a straight line with an ending. Instead, the story proceeds in a circle with the Book of Revelation revealing that the Creator once again returns to transform the World and its inhabitants back to their original idyllic pristine state. And once this happens, He resides on the earth living with mankind in peace and harmony (Revelation 21:1-7). Thus, the story of the Bible has come full circle. The mortal Saints on earth who survived the Tribulation period will serve God’s plan to repopulate the Earth over the next 1,000 years.

Some scholars theorize that Church age believers are resurrected and raptured first and that Old Testament saints are raptured later. Scripture does not state this. In fact, those resurrected and raptured on resurrection Sunday are not differentiated from one another but only referred to as Saints or believers in the one true God. The Book of Genesis tells us that Abraham believed God and that God counted him as righteous (Genesis 15:6). And Peter writes that God has no respect for a person’s status among mankind but instead judges all people according to their faith and works (I Peter 1:17). You cannot hold it against an Old Testament believer in God that they lived and died before the birth of Jesus. Therefore, there is no reason to assume that Old Testament Saints are any less important to God than New Testament Saints. Their rewards will be different but both groups will be allowed into Heaven and both groups serve Christ during the Millennial Reign. The Jews will serve in the Temple in Israel and the Gentiles will rule over the nations. The rewards given to followers of Christ will be greater than those given to Old Testament Saints but both groups will receive rewards (Luke 7:28; Matthew 11:11).

The Church Saints are of a different ranking from the Old Testament Saints. The Church Saints are the virgin Bride of Christ. The Old Testament saints are the Wife of God. Two separate groups with two separate rewards. The Jewish Saints will be bound to the earth. They will live in a greatly enlarged land of Israel and David will rule the nation with many of the Jews assisting with Temple duties. They will conduct worship services and teach millions of people who come from throughout the earth to Israel in order to worship God (Jeremiah 30:9; Ezekiel 37:24; Ezekiel 43). The Christian Saints will rule throughout the Earth on behalf of Christ for one thousand years (Matthew 19:2; Luke 19:17, Luke 22:30; Revelation 3:12). To understand what will happen to the New Testaments Saints after the millennial reign, please see the paper titled, "Time Ends & Eternity Begins".

Time Ends & Eternity Begins
There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind. — C. S. LewisSo, what exactly happens after the 1,000 Reign of Christ on earth? We are given less and less information about this subject as we get closer and closer to the end of scripture. But we can

The Second Coming of Christ ends the long series of resurrections, raptures, judgements and rewards of the righteous Saints. On the last day of the Millennial rain, all the unrighteous spirits of mankind, angels and demons currently held down in Sheol or Hell will be resurrected and raptured off the earth. Again, this is called the Second Resurrection and the unrighteous will now be judged for their works and receive their rewards which will be confinement in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:5,10-15, 19:20).

The wedding of the Lamb of God is in Heaven. Heaven is located in the Spirit realm. Therefore, Heaven exists but it exists in timeless Eternity. The concept of time is no longer relevant in Eternity as it is completely separate from a material Earth with its time space continuum. Though it is said that a day in Heaven is as one thousand years on Earth (II Peter 3:8). This phrase can be taken a number of ways. First, it is saying that time in Heaven is not measured the way it is on Earth. Because life on Earth is currently mortal and life in Heaven is immortal, man is continually focused on time. However, in Heaven,  time is relative and not counted in years but in ages. An age is the amount of time it takes for a plan of God to be revealed, unfold and accomplished. And God is continually and eternally unfolding plans. Many scholars take this phrase to contain a hidden prophecy. This theory goes like this. Literally, this phrase means that as there were 6 days of creation and then God rested on the 7th day, so there will be 6,000 years of rule by man on earth and then a final 1,0000 years of rest during the Millennial Reign of Christ. Figuratively, the phrase means that while time on Earth is measured because man is mortal, time is not measured in Eternity as man will become immortal. However, even though man is now immortal, thankfully his immortality completely depends on his Creator who is Eternal. Prophetically, the phrase is referring to the unfolding of God’s plan for mankind in which there will be an eternal series of ages upon ages, each unique and each planned for the enjoyment of mankind. This concept of time not existing in eternity explains how it is possible that all the righteous who have ever lived can arrive in heaven for the Bema Seat Judgement at the same time.

Time is independent of space and matter. But without space and matter, time cannot exist. When a person dies or is raptured, they instantly step out of the time space matter continuum. They are still conscious but as spiritual beings, time is no longer relevant. They see themselves going through a tunnel or portal but they do not realize that hundred or for some, thousands of years are instantaneously going by on earth. Therefore, all saints from Adam to the last Tribulation saint who is raptured, will all arrive together at the Bema Seat judgment of rewards at the exact same time! Saints are not aware that they have been dead for thousands of years or only a few minutes. They will all meet at the Bema Seat together, be given matching clothing to wear, attend the marriage ceremony officiated by God together, attend the Supper of the Lamb together and all return with Christ to the earth together. From heavens point of view, the hellish 7 year Tribulation period on earth will have quickly gone by as a time of tremendous joy and celebration. It’s just like the old expression says, time flies when you’re having fun!

At this point, the only people left on earth are either the unrepentant, unrighteous or those who have come to have faith in Christ. Because God knows history from the end to the beginning, He caused this final rapture of the two witnesses and possibly recently deceased Tribulation saints, to occur exactly when the last person on earth that could be saved was saved (Isaiah 46:10). When Christ returns, all the unrighteous people of the earth are instantly destroyed (Matthew 24:41; Revelation 19:15-18; II Thessalonians 2:8) This may at first sound terrifying and brutal but there is a reason for the seemingly abrupt ending of these lives.

First, all people of the earth had access to the Book of Revelation and therefore could have easily follow the Tribulation events as they unfold in the exact sequence as prophesied two thousand years earlier. Second, God sent two powerful witnesses and 144,000 Jews throughout the world to preach the immanent coming of the Messiah (Revelation 7:2-8, 11:7). Third, the entire world watched by way of mass media, the resurrection and ascension of the two witnesses. Fourth, God sent three angels to continually circle the earth and audibly preach the Gospel of Christ. And finally, Christ actually appeared in the air coming to the earth followed by His army of angels and staff of saints. A person could have, even at this late date, repented of their sins and been saved. A shadow event of this opportunity was once again given to us by Jesus who promised eternal life to the robber on the cross just minutes before his death. But instead, scripture tells us that the unrepentant on earth who see the Second Coming of Christ run to hide in underground bunkers and caves (Isaiah 2:19; Revelation 6:15). Therefore, there is absolutely no excuse as to why these people did not repent of their sins and welcome Christ. They died because even in eye witnessing Christ’s coming in the clouds of glory, they still refused to repent. They knowingly and willfully rejected their last chance for salvation. Because these people have not been born again and so are not indwelled by the Holy Spirit, as Jesus descends down into the atmosphere of the Earth, the Holy nature of Christ comes into direct conflict with their unholy nature and they instantly fall dead. At that time their spirits are released and confined down in Sheol to await judgment.

Those born again believers on earth that survive the Tribulation, are given greatly extended lives as both a reward for their faith and as a way to repopulate the earth (Isaiah 65:20). At the end of Christ’s 1,000-year millennial reign, all the corpses of the unsaved no matter their decomposition are resurrected. It is then that their spirits held captive in Sheol from the time of Cain to those who died in the final rebellion against Christ re indwell their resurrected bodies (Revelation 20:7-10). This is referred to as the Second Resurrection. Also, at this time, the spirits of the fallen angels will be removed from a separate place in Sheol known as Tartarus for their judgements (Isaiah 45:23).

The unrighteous people and angels are all raptured to the Great White Throne Judgment Seat of God or Christ (Revelation 20:11-15). It is at this time that they will be individually forced to kneel before Christ (Philippians 2:10, Romans 14:11, Isaiah 45:23). They will not want to voluntarily kneel but they will find themselves doing this due to an automatic reflex which will cause all people to spontaneously kneel when in the presence of their creator. They will be individually shown their lives of depravity and the effect it had on people during their lifetime and down through their generations. They will be allowed to defend their many and grievous sins. Many will not take this opportunity to defend themselves believing it was their life and they lived it exactly the way they wanted with no regrets. As far as they are concerned, the merits of their lives speak for themselves and who is God or anyone else to judge them? They, along with the fallen angels, will be found guilty and their reward is confinement in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:11-15).

Any Christian denomination or religion that teaches the doctrine that no one goes to Hell because there is no Hell is both right and wrong. The Old and New Testaments including the writings of Paul are clear that there is a reward for those who have faith in God. And, there is a reward for those who deny God and rebel against Him. However, what confuses these religious doctrines is that at the end of Christ’s rule, sin, death the grave and Hell are all thrown into the Lake of Fire where they are erased from memory (Revelation 2:10-14). This means that the righteous will have their memories of sin, pain, death and the grave completely removed. It also means that they will have the memories of their unrighteous acquaintances removed from their memories. The saints are not present at the Great White Throne Judgement only the Lamb or Christ the Word of God and the Holy Angels (Revelation 14:10). So, there is a judgement and confinement of the unrighteous but, there is also no memory of this event or the participants. God in His mercy, will do this in order that His children are not burdened with an understandable sadness concerning those that are no longer present with them in heaven on earth. God will not allow His children to ever be in a state of mind where they cannot fully enjoy the eternal bliss He has promised them. Believers will be surrounded  by family and friends but they will not have any memories of those who are now missing. The condemned will literally have their names blotted out of the Book of Life, thus, it will be as if they never existed (Psalm 69:28; Revelation 3:22, Revelation 3:19).

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