“…Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” (Acts 7:57-60)
“For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better.” (Philippians 1:23)
“…Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8)
The soul departs from the body at death and dwells in soul heaven until the rapture of the Church which is composed of all saved ones. At this time, soul and body will be reunited. “Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:51)
“…But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
The Broad Way
“…wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.” (Matthew 7:13)
It may come as a surprise to some but God says in the Bible that “there is none righteous, no not one. There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God… there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10-12)
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
A person could be moral and religious but we must be “born again” in order to get off the broad road that leads to destruction.
“…except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
“There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 16:25)
There are only two roads. (Matthew 7:13)
Are you on the broad road?
If your answer is “no”, then when, where and how did you get off?
“Strive to enter in at the strait (narrow) gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” (Luke 13:24)
The Open Door
“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved,
and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” (John 10:9)
“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:14)
How does one get off the broad road that leads to eternal destruction?
How does one get on the narrow way that leads to eternal life?
There’s only ONE way.
There’s only ONE door.
It’s a person!
“Jesus says, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)
“…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…” (Acts 16:31)
The Death Pillar
“…And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27)
“…But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he?” (Job 14:10)
A person can know in this life where they will spend eternity. Waiting until death to find out is too late.
“…He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:18)
Death is the unseen line that crosses every path. At death, your eternal destiny is forever sealed.
Where will you be?
“…the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” (John 5:28-29)
The grave is the temporary abode of the body of a person that dies.
A saved person is one who has entered through “the door” which is Christ. (John 10:9)
An unsaved person is one who is still on the broad road that leads to destruction. (Matthew 7:13)
While the soul of a saved person goes to Heaven, and the soul of an unbeliever goes to Hell, the body waits in the grave until a later day.
The verse above describes a day when the Lord Jesus will come to the heavens and call all that are saved to be with Himself. The “good” that some have done refers to trusting Christ as their Saviour.
A thousand years later, the bodies of the unsaved will be resurrected.
These are they that have done evil, in that they have rejected the only One that can save them.
Hell is the dwelling place of departed souls that have died without knowing Christ as their Saviour.
“…The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” (Psalm 9:17)
“…For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.” (2 Peter 2:4)
“…Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.” (Isaiah 14:9)
“…There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” (Luke 16:19-31)
The Lake of Fire
The Bible tells us about a place of endless torment in a lake of fire.
“…And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:14-15)
“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)
Death does not mean that we cease to exist, but a permanent separation from God. The lake of fire is the eternal dwelling place of those who die without Christ.
The New Heavens and The New Earth
“…Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For He hath put all things under His feet. But when He saith all things are put under Him, it is manifest that He is excepted, which did put all things under Him. And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.” (1 Corinthians 15:24-28)
“…And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21:1-4)
The new heaven and new earth will be the eternal dwelling place of those who die in Christ (those who are saved).
The Closed Door
“…When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall say unto you, I know you not whence ye are.” (Luke 13:25)
In Matthew 25 is the story of ten virgins who took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were wise and five were foolish. The wise ladies took oil for their lamps but the foolish ladies took no oil. In other words they were not prepared for the bridegroom’s return. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. The foolish or unprepared ladies had to go buy oil because their lamps had gone out.
“…And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage and the door was shut.” (Matthew 25:10)
Even though the foolish virgins cried for admittance, the Lord said he did not know them and they were not allowed to enter.
“…Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” (Matthew 25:13)
The bridegroom is the Lord Jesus Christ and He is coming someday soon to take his bride (saved people) to heaven. Any who are not saved when He returns will face a closed door and Christ will tell them to “depart”.
God shut the door of Noah’s ark. All of the people that had refused to enter the safety of the ark, perished in the flood.
Will you be ready when Jesus Christ returns?
“…Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near.” (Isaiah 55:6)
Judgment of the Great White Throne
“…And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of
life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:11-15)
“…He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” (John 12:48)
The throne sitter is the Lord Jesus Christ. The very One that has been rejected will then be the Judge.
Judgment Seat of Christ
Only those who have trusted Christ as their personal Saviour will ever be here.
“…For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10)
“…For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (1 Corinthians 3:11-15)
“…I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8)
The judgment seat of Christ will be the time when a review is given by God of the lives of those who have died in Christ (saved ones) will be reviewed. That which was done for Christ will receive a reward. All that was done for self will be burned up.
The Tribulation and Battle of Armageddon
What is the tribulation?
It is a time period of seven years.
Notice on the chart how the people on the narrow way will either pass the death pillar or they will go around the death pillar and go straight to heaven.
How could this happen?
When the last soul is saved, then Christ will return to the air and “catch up” all believers. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). This could happen at any time.
When all saved people are gone from the earth, then the seven-year period called the tribulation will begin. It will be a time of death and terrible suffering as God pours out judgment on the world.
There has never been a time like it before. It will be a time of unprecedented trouble, torment and lawlessness much worse than the two world wars of the past.
“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.” (Matthew 24:7)
The antichrist will demand that the world worship him. No one will be able to buy or sell without the mark of the beast.
“And he caused all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (666) (Revelation 13:16-17)
People who have heard the gospel message and had a chance to be saved before the tribulation will not have a chance to be saved during the tribulation. Why?
“…because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12)
“And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved…” (Matthew 24:22)
At the end of the tribulation period, the armies of all the earth will gather to make war against the Lord Jesus Christ in the day of Almighty God. (Battle of Armageddon)
The beast (Antichrist) and the false prophet are cast into the Lake of Fire. And the remnant were slain with the sword of Him (Jesus Christ) that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. (Revelation 19:21)
The Tribulation and Battle of Armageddon
“Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.” (Isaiah 32:1)
“His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself.” (Revelation 19:12)
“Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.” (Daniel 7:22)
“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:4)
“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears. But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:1-9)
These verses tell of the time when Christ shall reign on earth for a thousand years before the final end.