In this present life, believers often experience persecution, difficulties, suffering, and trials of various kinds. God never promised that it would be any different as long as we are on this earth. However, in the future it will be totally different! God has promised all true believers a glorious future of perfect joy and peace that will never end. This does not mean that our present trials are insignificant, but our knowledge of our wonderful future helps us during our times of trial to be patient and courageous as we look forward to the time when we shall be with the Lord forever.
1. What happens to believers in Jesus when we die?
Our earthly bodies die, but our spirits or souls are taken immediately into the presence of Jesus. The Bible does not tell us in detail what life is like for believers who die in the Lord, but it does give us the assurance that it is far better to be with the Lord than to continue living on this earth. Some believers teach that those who die as Christians will simply be “asleep” until the day of resurrection. According to those who hold this position, the departed souls of believers will be free from sorrow, pain and suffering, but they will not immediately experience the positive joy of being with the Lord. Most believers, however, understand the Bible to teach that being with the Lord after they die is a time of glory and joy and blessing. All believers are confident that being with the Lord is a greater blessing than anything they have ever experienced here on earth.
Jesus told a man dying beside him: “Today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
We know that if the tent, which is our earthly home, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens . . . So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:1,6, 8)
Paul wrote: “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain . . . My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.” (Philippians 1:21, 23)
Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on . . . that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them! (Revelation 14:13)
2. What happens to our bodies when we die?
Our bodies eventually decay and return to dust. They will not become alive again until Christ returns and all those who have died are resurrected. Though it is possible to preserve a body in some form so that it does not decay, bodies that have died will never return to their former state or condition. Death brings the end to a person’s existence on earth. (It is true that a very small number of individuals have been revived after being declared dead, and a few have been raised back to life through the miraculous power of God, but these people all die again at some point.)
God told Adam: “By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust and to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:19)
Man is going to his eternal home . . . and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. (Ecclesiastes 12:5, 7)
3. When Christ returns to earth what will happen to our bodies?
Everyone who died will be raised to life again. Some will rise to an eternal life of glory, but others will rise to shame and everlasting punishment.
There will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust. (Acts 24:15)
All who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment. (John 5:28-29)
Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. (Daniel 12:2)
4. What will the resurrected bodies of believers be like?
The resurrected bodies of believers will be like the glorious spiritual body of Jesus Christ. They will have physical dimensions, just as the body of Jesus does, but they will be far more glorious than their earthly bodies ever were. They will be immortal and imperishable and will never be subject to any of the diseases, weaknesses or problems that our present bodies often have.
The Lord Jesus Christ . . . will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body. (Philippians 3:20-21)
What is sown [buried] is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. . . . Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust [Adam], we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven [Christ]. (1 Corinthians 15:42-44,49)
5. When will this all take place?
The resurrection of believers will take place when Jesus comes to earth again. We do not know when Jesus will return, but we look forward with great anticipation to this awesome time when Christ will be glorified and all who have longed for his appearing will rejoice.
Jesus said: “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:40)
Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:13)
The Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. (1 Thessalonians 4:16)
6. Who will see Jesus when he comes back to earth again?
Everyone! Though only a few people saw Jesus when he first came to earth as a baby in Bethlehem, every person who has ever lived will see him when he returns.
As lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:27)
Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth . . . will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (Matthew 24:30)
Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him. (Revelation 1:7)
7. What will happen to the present universe when Jesus returns?
The universe as we know it will be destroyed and will be replaced by a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1). The “heaven and earth” referred to here refers to the heaven and earth that God created at the beginning of human history (Genesis 1:1). We do not know how the present universe will be destroyed, nor do we know whether this destruction will take place in a moment of time or through a longer process of some kind. However, we do know that the destruction will be universal and extremely dramatic. The means of destruction will be fire just as the earlier destruction of the world at the time of Noah took place through water.
The heavens will pass away with a roar . . . and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed . . . the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” (2 Peter 3:10-13; see also 2 Peter 3:5-7)
The creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. (Romans 8:21)
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. (Revelation 21:1)
8. When will Jesus return?
No one knows the exact time when Jesus will return. In his human nature during his time on earth, even Jesus himself said that he did not know the day or hour when he would come back. However, there have been a number of people over the years who have predicted a specific time when Jesus would return. These predictions have led many people astray and have caused them to give away or sell their possessions or do other unusual things as they prepared for Christ’s return. Those who make false predictions not only lead believers astray, but they also cause many unbelievers to scoff at the idea that Jesus will return some day.
Scripture References (Quotations from Jesus)
But concerning that day and hour no one knows . . . but the Father only. (Matthew 24:36)
Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. (Matthew 24:42)
You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. (Luke 12:40)
It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. (Acts 1:7)
9. Will believers be completely surprised when Jesus returns?
No. Though we don’t know the exact time when Jesus will return, the Bible gives us various signs that will point to his coming. Those who read and believe what the Bible says will therefore be looking for and expecting Jesus’ return and will not be surprised when he comes. Among the signs that point to Jesus’ return are some that seem fairly common—such as wars, famines, natural disasters, persecution of believers, false teachings and an increase in disobedience and lawlessness. There also are signs which will take place in the political and economic world. Some believers focus primarily on special events that will take place in the land of Israel and among the Jewish people before Jesus returns. Jesus himself pointed to one major sign that must be fulfilled before he returns: the preaching of the Gospel to the entire world. It is very interesting in this regard that the Gospel is reaching more people today than ever before in human history. In the light of all the things that have happened recently or are happening in the world today, many Christians believe that the return of Christ could well happen in our lifetime. However, whether Jesus returns soon or in the distant future, we should keep spreading the gospel, and we should make sure that we are truly ready for his return!
Jesus said, “Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars . . . Nation will rise against nation . . . There will be famines and earthquakes in various places . . . Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray . . . the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved . . . And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:5-14)
“When you see all these things, you know that he [Jesus] is near, at the very gates.” (Matthew 24:33)
For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night . . . But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. (1 Thessalonians 5:2, 4)
10. How should we believers live as we wait for Jesus to return?
We should live holy lives, encourage one another, share the Gospel with others, and look forward to the day of Christ’s coming.
So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober . . . having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation . . . Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:6-11)
What sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God . . . But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells . . . Therefore . . . be diligent to
be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. (2 Peter 3:11-14)
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
11. What will happen to believers who are still living when Christ returns?
They will instantly be changed and will receive glorious and imperishable new bodies. They will then go up along with resurrected believers to meet Christ in the air and will live with him forever in glory on the new earth.
Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep [die], but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
12. What will Jesus do when he returns to earth?
He will raise to life all those who have died and will then judge everyone who has ever lived. This judgment is not to determine whether or not a person is saved, but will be a judgment of how people lived while on earth. Salvation is always by grace, but the lives people lived will reveal whether or not they were truly born again. God will graciously reward people for every good work they have done—even though he himself is the one who made it possible for them to perform these works. (See Ephesians 2:10.)
The Father . . . has given all judgment to the Son. (John 5:22)
Behold, the Lord came with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment. (Jude 14-15)
The Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. (Matthew 16:27)
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due him for the things done in the body, whether good or evil. (2 Corinthians 5:10)
13. What will happen to those who loved and served Jesus in this life?
They will receive the rewards which Jesus grants to those who loved and served him. They will also be welcomed into God’s kingdom of glory where they will spend eternity with Jesus and all other believers in perfect love, joy, and peace.
Jesus said: “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:3)
When he returns, Jesus will say: “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 25:34)
Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. (Matthew 13:43)
And when the Chief Shepherd [Jesus] appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. (1 Peter 5:4)
14. What will happen to those who did not believe and trust in Jesus?
They will also receive bodies of some kind, though their bodies will be totally different from the spiritual, perfect bodies of believers. These bodies will be subject to suffering and pain without relief. They will be cast into the fires of hell away from the presence of God and his people. They will continue to exist under the judgment of God and will be eternally lost.
The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 13:41-42)
Jesus warns that he will someday tell the unsaved: “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” . . . These will go away into eternal punishment. (Matthew 25:41,46)
Jesus said: “And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’” (Mark 9:47-48)
They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might. (2 Thessalonians 1:9)
And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done . . . And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:13,15)
15. What will life be like in the new heaven and earth for believers?
Life will be glorious beyond anything we can now imagine or describe. It will be even better than the original Garden of Eden. God’s people will delight in the Lord, enjoy fellowship with others, relish the delights of the new creation, and exercise astonishing power and
authority as we reign with Christ. The Bible itself does not give us many details concerning this new life, but even the hints are amazing. The Bible also emphasizes that in the new creation, there will be none of the things which often make our present lives difficult, challenging, frustrating or sorrowful. For example, in the life to come there will be no suffering, no sadness, no sickness, no death and no tears. There will be no darkness, no failures, no weaknesses, no disappointments and no unmet needs. The curse pronounced over the earth during the days of Adam will no longer exist. Life will be perfect in every way. Nothing in our present life can even begin to compare with what our future life will be like. We will live in joy and peace and glory with JESUS in a life that will never end.
No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him. (1 Corinthians 2:9)
The saints will judge the world . . . we are to judge angels. (1 Corinthians 6:2-3)
The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. (Revelation 3:21)
They will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. (Revelation 21:3-4)
No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord
God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. (Revelation 22:3-5)
1. Almost two thousand years have passed since Jesus ascended to heaven. Why is Jesus taking so long to return to earth?
The Lord may have many reasons for waiting, including some reasons he has not told us. The Bible tells us to keep at least two things in mind. First, what seems like a long time to us is almost nothing to the eternal God. To him a thousand years are like a day. Second, God is not slow but patient. By waiting he gives more time for the gospel to spread and more time for people to repent. (See 2 Peter 3:8-9)
2. Will believers get a glorious new body immediately after they die? If so, will this body be different from the body believers will receive at the time of the resurrection?
Many believers seem to have the impression that a Christian who dies will immediately receive a glorious new body like Christ’s resurrection body. The Bible, however, does not teach that. Believers will not receive the body described in 1 Corinthians 15:35-49 or Philippians 3:20-21 until Christ returns and the dead in Christ shall arise. Until that time, our souls exist in the presence of Christ in glory, but the Bible does not say that we will have a body during the time between death and final resurrection. Rather, 2 Corinthians 5:8 seems to indicate that we will not have a body during that time but will be “away from the body and at home with the Lord.” The book of Revelation does refer to believers during the time between their death and the time of resurrection, but much of the language in this book is figurative rather than literal. (See, for example, the picture of Christ presented in Revelation 1:12-17.) We read in Revelation 6:9-11 about the souls of martyrs who had been killed for Christ’s sake. These souls, described as being “under the altar,” were given “white robes” to wear. (There is no reference in this passage to any kind of “bodies” which believers have at that point.) For those of us who live on earth in our physical bodies, it is difficult to understand how souls can be seen or how they can wear robes. Most readers, therefore, understand this language to be figurative rather than literal. Though it is hard for us to understand what our life with Christ will be like during the interim period between death and resurrection, the Bible does clearly teach that believers’ souls will be with Christ and will not receive their immortal, glorious, spiritual bodies until the time of the final resurrection.
3. Will everyone receive a new body of some kind at the time of the resurrection?
Yes. Since everyone will arise from the dead at the time of Christ’s return, everyone will receive a new post-resurrection body. The new bodies of believers will be glorious, immortal, and spiritual (Philippians 3:20-21 and 1 Corinthians 15:35-54). The new bodies of unbelievers will be subject to suffering and pain and will in no way be glorious (Matthew 25:41,46 and Mark 9:42-48). However, since the Bible does not describe the post-resurrection bodies of unbelievers in any detail, it would seem best not to speculate too much on what these bodies will be like. There is much we will not fully understand until the time when Christ returns.
4. What does it mean that believers will receive a “spiritual” body when Jesus returns?
When Jesus arose from the grave, it clearly was the “natural, physical body” of Jesus which arose. Before his resurrection, the body of Jesus was lying lifeless and immobile in the tomb. After he arose, Jesus’ body was no longer there. In some miraculous way the body of Jesus had been transformed by the power of God into a glorious new body. It was still physical in the sense that it could be seen and identified as the body of Jesus, but there were some wonderful new dimensions to that body. It was not restricted or limited in the way our present bodies are. Jesus could appear and then disappear at will. He was no longer subject to tiredness, hunger, thirst, disease, suffering or death. He was still able to enjoy some of the things which we presently enjoy because we are physical beings, but he was essentially a spiritual being who was not limited, not mortal, and in no way affected by sin or by any of the results of sin. So, though in some ways it was a physical body, it was also much more than that. And so it will be with our own “spiritual” bodies after our resurrection. Those bodies will still have physical characteristics of some kind, but they will be much more than what we know as physical today. They will never suffer from sickness or disease or weakness or death, and they will be far more wonderful than anything we have ever known on earth.
5. Are we able to determine exactly when Jesus will return? Are we able to determine the approximate time when Jesus will return?
Already in New Testament times, there were people who were very confident that Jesus would return in their lifetime. (See, for example, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4.) One of the reasons for that is that many believers are very eager to have Christ return. Another reason is that some of the signs given in the Bible concerning the return of Christ can be interpreted in such a way that, in any age, they “prove” that Christ will return very soon. However, it is very unwise to make a prediction, as many have done, that Christ will come at a specific time. We simply do not know exactly when Jesus will return.
At the same time, the Bible does give us a number of signs that will precede the coming of Christ so that we may look expectantly for his return. Some of those signs are an increase in wars, rumors of wars, natural disasters, persecutions, false teachings, and wickedness (Matthew 24:4-12). There is also a phenomenal increase in “knowledge” and information. (Some believers see this as a fulfillment of Daniel 12:4.) These signs are certainly all present today, but they have also been present in one place or another in almost every other generation as well. Some believers therefore focus on what they consider to be a unique sign: the establishment of Israel in 1948 as an independent nation and the significant role that the tiny nation of Israel continues to play in our contemporary world. Matthew 24:14 points to one additional sign which is truly very special. Here we read: And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. Today the Gospel is reaching the world in a way that has never happened before. With modern technology, information can be spread much more quickly and much more widely. Many believers are using this new technology to translate the Bible, distribute the Bible, and make the Gospel message available through modern telephone technology, the internet, radio, TV, audio Scriptures, and in various other creative ways. We cannot say exactly when Christ will return, but at the very least believers should be alert, expectant, diligent, and eager to share the Gospel of Jesus with those people who have not yet heard it. Among the many passages that are relevant here are the following: Daniel 12:1-4; Matthew 24:3-44; Mark 13:3-37; Luke 21:5-36; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-4; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; 2 Peter 3:8-12; Revelation 16:15, and 22:20.
6. How should we as Christians live as we wait for Jesus to return to earth?
We should be humble, wise, holy, faithful, loving and thoughtful. We should also eagerly be looking forward to the return of Christ while making the best possible use of our time, energy, resources, and all that the Lord has entrusted to us. We should stay away from anything and everything that would dishonor Christ, lead others astray, or cause us to put our roots too deeply into the things of this world while neglecting the things of the Kingdom of our Lord. All of us should continue to live faithfully, wisely and expectantly as we eagerly look forward to the coming of Jesus. Read the following Scripture passages: 2 Peter 3:10-18; Philippians 1:9-11; Titus 2:11-14.
7. Christians have different views of the “millennium” (the thousand year reign of Christ described in Revelation 20). What are some of those differences? How important are those differences? What is your own view of the millennium?
There are basically three different views of the millennium called a-millennialism, premillennialism, and post-millennialism.
• A-millennialism teaches that the “thousand years” are not to be taken literally any more than some other things in the book of Revelation are. For example, Satan is referred to in Revelation 20:1-5 as a dragon and a serpent that is bound with a chain even though he is a spirit being which cannot be bound with material things. He is thrown into a pit, though spirit beings are normally not “thrown.” He is put in a pit without a bottom, and the pit is locked and sealed. All of these things, as well as the “thousand years,” are considered to be symbolic and are therefore not taken literally. According to the a-millennial interpretation, Satan is bound or limited after Christ’s resurrection and ascension so that he is now limited in what he is able to do. The Good News of the Gospel will be preached in the whole world and Satan will not be able to prevent it. There will come a brief time, however, when Satan will again have great power and will strongly oppose the church, but as Jesus taught in Matthew 16:18, the powers of evil will not be able to prevail against it.
• Pre-millennialism teaches that the thousand year period, as well as the binding of Satan in a bottomless pit and the other things mentioned in Revelation 20:1-5, are to be understood literally. Jesus will return to earth before (“pre”) the thousand years referred to. The millennium will be a period of great peace throughout the world, a time when righteousness will rule over the entire earth with Jesus himself serving as king over the world from his throne in Jerusalem. At the end of the thousand years, Satan will be released from the pit and will again have the power to deceive multitudes of people who will band together to oppose Jesus and his people. However, Satan will be defeated and destroyed. Jesus will then reign forever with his people in glory while Satan and his followers will exist forever in the place of punishment prepared for them. There are various versions of the pre-millennial position, but the explanation presented here is a basic component of each of them.
• Post-millennialism teaches that before Jesus returns to earth the church will grow tremendously throughout the world and Satan will not be able to stop it. In fact, the growth of the church will be so great that the teachings of Jesus and his kingdom will in some measure dominate most of the world. This period of phenomenal growth is referred to figuratively as the “millennium.” Jesus will return to earth after (“post”) the millennium. When he returns, all people who have died will be resurrected. There will then be a final judgment of all the people who have ever lived, resulting in eternal glory for the saved and eternal loss for those who are not.
The differences among these positions are significant, but almost all Christians are in agreement that Jesus will return to the earth, all those who have died will be resurrected, all those who ever lived will be judged, Christ and his people will live forever in indescribable glory, and those who are not saved will be banished forever from the joy and glory of the saved. Though Christians differ about the millennium, we must not emphasize the differences so strongly that we fail to recognize the great truths on which we agree!
8. How do you understand the “final judgment” the Bible refers to? Will people not know until the “final judgment” whether or not they are saved?
The Bible refers to a future judgment in various passages such as Matthew 24:50-51, 25:31-46; John 5:28-29; Revelation 20:11-15; Romans 2:1-11. See also 2 Corinthians 5:10; Matthew 11:20-22; Acts 17:31; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15; 2 Peter 2:9, 3:7; 1 John 4:17; and Jude 15. The judgment referred to in these passages is a judgment of our works. John 5:24 clearly teaches that if we truly believe in Jesus, we have eternal life and will not be condemned. A few verses later, however, we read in John 5:28-29 that those who have done evil in their lives will be condemned. This passage teaches that a person’s life will reveal whether or not he is truly a child of God. Those who persistently do evil demonstrate that they were never truly born again. At the same time we should also recognize that a person can be truly saved and still live in a way that is not productive for the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 3:10-15). These people will not be lost, but on the Day of Judgment they will discover that little they have done in their lives is worthy of any “reward” from the Lord (1 Corinthians 3:15). When we sincerely repent of our sins and put our trust in Jesus to save us, we can know with certainty that we have eternal life. We do not have to wait until judgment day to find out whether or not we are saved. However, we will have to wait until that day to learn how God has judged the way we have lived. In some situations, people who thought they were saved were never truly born again. In God’s sight their actions revealed the absence of true saving faith in their lives, and they will suffer an eternal loss (Matthew 25:41-46).
9. Will unbelievers have a second chance to believe in Jesus after He returns?
Hebrews 9:27 would appear to indicate that the answer to that question is definitely NO. This passage says that it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment. This interpretation would seem to be confirmed by Matthew 25:41-46 and 2 Corinthians 5:10. However, some of those who teach a pre-millennial interpretation of Revelation 20 suggest that non-believers who are living on earth at the time of Christ’s return will have a second opportunity to commit their lives to Christ during the millennial period. But neither Revelation 20 nor any other passage in the Bible explicitly teaches that unbelievers will be given a second chance to believe in Jesus. As 2 Corinthians 6:2 teaches, “Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”
10. What will life be like in the new heaven and the new earth?
In Revelation 21 there are some references to streets of gold, foundations of precious stones and gates of pearl. In Revelation 22 we read some fascinating things about the River of Life which flows from the throne of God. We also read about this throne of God and of the Lamb and our reigning with our Savior for ever and ever. However, neither Revelation 21 or 22 tells us very much about daily living in our new home. Besides, many people believe that the statements in Revelation may be more figurative than literal. We may be sure, however, that in our eternal home there will be no more suffering, no more sorrow, and no more pain. Disappointments and frustrations will no longer exist. No pure desire will be unmet. No longing will be unfulfilled. There will be no separation from loved ones. No more death. No failures. No sin. And no more night.
On the positive side, we are confident that our future life with Jesus will be far more glorious and wonderful than anything we have ever experienced on earth. We anticipate unending joy and fellowship with our Lord and Savior, meaningful activities that will always provide satisfaction and pleasure, new discoveries which we cannot presently imagine, fellowship with other believers from around the world, interaction with splendid angels, and times of glory and blessing that will be richer than anything we have ever known on earth. Perhaps the Bible doesn’t give us many details about our future life since the glory and wonder of living in the new heaven and new earth is so far beyond anything we can imagine that no ordinary words can describe it!