We believe that Jesus is coming again for His church. He told His disciples, “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2,3). At His coming, Christ will resurrect those Christians who have died. “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). We refer to this as the rapture.
We believe that a time of unprecedented tribulation will occur on earth. It will be marked by religious apostasy, worldwide cataclysmic judgments, the persecution of Israel, the salvation of multitudes, and the rise and worldwide dominion of the Antichrist (Matthew 24:4-28; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8; Revelation 5-18). This period will end with the battle of Armageddon, the glorious return of Christ to the earth, and the defeat of the Antichrist and the enemies of God (Matthew 24:29-31; Revelation 19:1-21). We refer to this period as the tribulation.
We believe that following the tribulation, Christ will reign on earth for a thousand years. His kingdom will be one of peace, prosperity, and justice (Isaiah 2:1-4; 4:2-6; 32:1-20; 35:1-10; Revelation 20:1-6).
We believe that at the end of the thousand year reign of Christ, God will judge Satan and his demons (Revelation 20:7-10). Then at the judgment of the great white throne, Christ will judge the unbelieving dead (Revelation 20:11-15). Their deeds will be reviewed. If their name is not written in the book of life, they will be thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15). There they will suffer conscious everlasting punishment away from the presence of God (Matthew 25:46; Luke 16:19-31).
We believe that the Lord Jesus will review the service of Christians at the judgment seat of Christ (Romans 14:10; 1 Corinthians 3:8-15; Corinthians 5:10). As the bride of Christ, they will enjoy the marriage supper of the Lamb with Him (John 17:24; Ephesians 5:25-32; Revelation 19:5-9).
We believe that God will create a new heaven and new earth, for the present heaven and earth will pass away (Revelation 21:1). There all believers will dwell with Christ for eternity, beholding His glory (John 17:24).
We apply these doctrines as follows
Order of Events
Though we may perceive some early signs of Christ coming, we cannot determine its exact timing and should not attempt to set dates for it (Matthew 24:36). As we understand it, the next major event on the prophetic calendar is the rapture, Christ’s coming for His church. This could occur at any time (Hebrews 10:37). Following it, we understand there to be a seven year period of tribulation on earth. This is divided into two approximately equal periods (1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11; Daniel 7:25; 9:24-27; 12:7; Revelation 11:2,3; 12:14; 13:5). The tribulation will reach its climax in the battles of Armageddon and the glorious return of Christ. The Lord will then enter into judgment with the nations and establish His earthly kingdom, ruling for a thousand years.
Though the biblical texts concerning the prophecies of the last days are sometimes difficult, their study has an important sanctifying effect upon our lives and the promise of God’s blessing (Titus 2:11-15). “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near” (Revelation 1:3).
We should be “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus” (Titus 2:13). The Bible closes with the testimony of Jesus, proclaiming, “Yes, I am coming quickly” (Revelation 22:20). Every Christian should be ready to reply, Amen. Come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20).