For an introduction to the series, read this.
We come today to the final article in my church’s statement of faith, based on the Baptist Faith and Message. It is focused on eschatology, or the doctrine of last things.
Statement of Faith Article for the Week
VIII. LAST THINGS
God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.
Thoughts for Discussion with Children
No story is complete without a proper ending. The Bible tells us that we are living in a story that is headed toward a very happy ending. Actually, it is a very happy ending for some, but not for others. And that’s how most stories go: at the end, the hero and his friends celebrate victory, and the villains have fallen to defeat.
But everything in this story is focused on one Man: Jesus Christ. He is the hero. At his first coming, he was born as a baby to a poor family, and he came to be put to death by his enemies so that he could save us from our sins. When he comes again, he will come in power and glory, with his mighty angels, to judge all who oppose him and rescue all who love him. The Bible teaches that God will judge all people through Jesus Christ, the God-man, dividing us all up into two groups of believers and unbelievers. So, in the end, there are two places we can go: some will have life forever with God in Heaven, and some will suffer under punishment for their sins forever in Hell. There is no other option.
So there is nothing more important than knowing, trusting, loving, and following Jesus right now. That is what determines how this story will end for you. That is what will make all the difference between Heaven and Hell. And yet, when we finally come to the end of the story, we will find that it is really just another beginning, the beginning of a joyful life beyond anything we have ever imagined. And because God never ends, our life with him will never end. Praise him for that hope, and live for that coming day.
Suggested Readings for the Week: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 19:1-22:8