EschatologyThe Study of the End Times (Prophecy)
The Blessed Hope
We believe the next great event in the fulfillment of prophecy is the coming of the Lord Jesus in the air to receive to Himself, in the twinkling of an eye, both the dead in Christ and believers who remain alive. The theological designation for this event is the Rapture of the Church (1 Corinthians 15:51–52; Philippians 3:20–21; 1 Thessalonians 1:9–10; 4:13–5:10; Titus 2:11–14; 1 John 3:2).
We believe the Rapture of the Church will be followed by the fulfillment of Israel’s Seventieth Week, a seven-year period of tribulation, the latter half of which is the time of Jacob’s trouble, the Great Tribulation (Daniel 9:24–27; Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:15–21; Revelation 6:1–17).
The Second Coming
We believe that the climax of the great tribulation will be the premillennial return of the Lord Jesus Christ, who will make His enemies His footstool and set up His Kingdom on earth (Zechariah 14:4–11; Matthew 24–25; Acts 1:11; 2 Thessalonians 1:7–10; Hebrews 2:8; 10:12–13; Revelation 19:11–20:10).
For a thousand years following His second coming, Christ will reign over the nations of the earth with a rod of iron in righteousness and justice with peace (Revelation 20:1–10; Isaiah 9:6–7).
The Eternal State
We believe the souls and spirits of those who have believed in the promised Messiah (Jesus Christ) for salvation at death immediately pass into His presence. They remain there in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the body, or translation at the Rapture, when soul and body reunited shall be associated with Him forever in glory. The souls of unbelievers remain after death in conscious misery until the final judgment of the Great White Throne, after the close of the Millennium. Then, with soul and body reunited, they shall be cast into the torments of Hell from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power (Luke 6:19–25; 23:43; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; 2 Thessalonians 1:2–9; 2:11–15)