To fully answer these questions, we must review the sequence of end-time events as written about in the Bible and how they affect both believers and non-believers. Though Biblical scholars differ in their understanding of these complex issues, they agree in their understanding of the effects of these events on those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
We are now in what is called the Church Age which began following Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection and the subsequent arrival of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. This Church Age will continue until what is called the rapture, when we believers and all deceased believers in Jesus Christ will be “taken up” from the earth and be forever with Christ. As to your question ‘When’, it would appear we are getting closer and closer to this event. As mentioned in 2 Timothy 3:1-7 and elsewhere in scripture, “…. sin will abound and man will deny and even mock Christ at this time.”
Then a period of time known as the Tribulation will begin and last for seven years. During this period, there will be massive devastation and loss of life and there will be a world leader known as the Antichrist sitting on a throne in Jerusalem. It is described in the Book of Revelation.
Immediately following, a period known as the Millennium, i.e. 1000 years, will begin. It will be ruled by Christ and we as believers will be with Him as leaders. There will be also present those Jews and others who accepted our Savior during the Tribulation. This is generally referred to as the Millennial reign of Christ. Following this period comes the final White Throne Judgement by Jesus described in the Revelation to John at the end of the Bible. That ushers in the of the eternal dwelling for believers in the new Heaven and eternal separation from God (hell) for the non-believers.
While the exact sequence of the events I have just described may be debated, the important thing for you is to answer the question: Where will you be? Have you made your life’s commitment to Jesus?
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First, we need to remember that God is holy and will not have sin in any form in His presence. Basically, sin is disobedience. Breaking God’s commandments and laws is sin. Jesus even went further; he said that hateful thoughts and the like are also sin. So, by these standards, all have sinned and fallen way short of God’s standard of perfection.
Consequently, with sin came death to mankind. This is the ‘price to be paid.’ Death is universal. All men and women die. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27, “it is appointed unto man once to die and then the judgment.”
There is no purgatory and there is no reincarnation.
It is important to remember that death separates but does not annihilate. In other words, when a person’s body dies, it is not over. In fact, there are three deaths as a result of man’s sin. This is important to understand.
- Spiritual Death:
The original sin happened in the garden of Eden. It separated man, Adam, from God spiritually; this is spiritual death.
- Physical Death:
Adam’s sin brought about natural death which separates the spirit and the soul from the body.
- Eternal Death: For the unsaved there is final death which separates man from the mercy of God forever.
This eternal separation means that man will continue to exist but without hope and without ever experiencing God’s love again. He or she is then condemned for all eternity; condemned to a place where Jesus said, “there is utter darkness and weeping and gnashing of teeth; a place from which there is no hope of escape.
It is clear from God’s word that death is certain and without faith in Christ it is the worst possible outcome a human being could ever experience.
Finally, one last thought on death to keep in mind. God sends no one to Hell. Actually, people choose to go there when they reject God’s loving offer of grace and salvation in Christ. The good news is that in Christ we have passed from death to life. (John 5:24)
Some religions suggest that evil is just an illusion. That it is a condition of the mortal mind. Others have said it is a result of ignorance and superstitions and if you don’t think about it evil will go away.
Our life experiences argue otherwise. We lock our cars and houses. We have security systems. We have laws against murder, rape, child abduction, lying under oath, etc. Yes evil is real.
It came about when Adam and Eve used their gift of free will to disobey God. There was only one commandment and they chose not to keep it. At that moment the human race and the earth began to experience the opposite of God’s goodness, evil.
Evil is the absence of God. We see it expressed in pain, suffering, discord, war and death. The ‘good news’ is that God reigns and one day evil will be overthrown. All those who put their trust in him will live eternally where there is no pain, no suffering and no death.
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The simple answer is, no. But the forces of evil can both influence and tempt you, even if you are a Christ-follower.
As a child of God, with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, you are protected from any inroads of demons. In John’s gospel, he reminds us that “Greater is he that is in you than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) The “ he ” John is referencing is God, in the form of the Holy Spirit, who is within all believers. That Holy Spirit is greater than the spirit of evil represented by Satan.
Satan uses many devices to draw Christians away from God. He is a master of deceit and uses all manner of temptations to try and separate a Christian from his Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. In fact, it was on Jesus, that Satan tried all of his tricks to tempt Jesus to turn his back on his Father and the mission he came to earth to fulfill. Jesus was tempted in all the ways that a Christian may be tempted, but he did not give in, he did not sin.
Unlike Jesus, we are not God, and all people, Christians and non-Christians alike will sin. But, if you sin and you confess that sin to God and ask for his forgiveness, he will forgive and bring you back into a right relationship with him. The good news is that God also gives you the power to flee from temptation and not enter into sin. You have been given the free will to decide how you will respond. Choose wisely.
This is another most intriguing and somewhat perplexing question. It has been considered many times down through the ages by Christians and non-Christians alike. Back in 1320 AD Dante wrote the book, Divine Comedy, and it was published finally in 1472 AD. It describes his view of what torment might be like in various levels of Inferno or Hell. It is of course fictional but worth reading to get one perspective on torment in Hell for body and soul.
We, however, always look to see what God has said in His inspired Word, the Bible. First, in many references it says that Hell is a real place, a place that was initially created for Satan and the fallen angels. (Jude 1:6) It is also a place for all those who have rejected God’s free gift of redemption and salvation in His Son, Jesus Christ. The Scriptures are very clear that there is no condemnation or punishment or torment for those who have trusted in Jesus as Savior and Lord. (Romans 8:1) That’s the good news! Jesus, who spoke more about Hell than heaven, described Hell as a place where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. In other words, a body.
In the book of Revelation there is reference to the resurrection of the dead nonbelievers with bodies as it says every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God. (Philippians 2:9-11) Unfortunately, it will be too late for those to enter heaven as they made their choice while on earth to say no to God. Hebrews 9:27 says, “It is appointed onto man once to die and then judgment.” Again in the book of Revelation 20:11-15 we learn that the unsaved will stand before God in judgment and be cast into hell or the lake of fire for all eternity.
Finally their unsaved souls will be in constant torment and anguish. They will forever regret the choice that was made to reject Jesus. They will lament over thoughts like, if I had only listened, or if I hadn’t been so stubborn, or if I had only believed, or if I only trusted in Jesus. God gives everyone an equal chance to have eternal life and be forever with Him in heaven. So choose wisely while there is yet time. Jesus is calling. We trust that you will say yes.