What’s Next…for Everyone!
Jesus will call everyone who has died to “Rise up!” But not everyone will rise up to shine; some will rise up to suffer. Let’s consider three inevitable and unalterable truths about the future: we will all live, we will all die, and we will all rise again to live forever.
Revelation 20 shows two related scenes with two different groups that will take place 1,000 years apart.
One group will be raised after having been martyred during the tribulation. They will live and reign with Christ in the millennial kingdom (see v. 4).
The other group consists of unbelievers who have died throughout history (see vv. 5, 12) and will be raised after the millennial kingdom to face judgment.
Both groups will have lived, died, and been raised–one to heaven and the other to hell, or the second death (see v. 14).
The Bible uses three different words for life:
Bios–life on the physical plane, focused on external things
Psuché–the inner mental and emotional life; our personality
Zóé–spiritual, eternal life; a quality of life that begins on earth and continues in eternity; a born-again life
Probe: What does a zóé life look like on earth (see Galatians 5:22-23)?
Everyone dies and everyone lives forever. The question is, where will you live forever?
For those apart from Christ, death leads to eternal separation from God and eternal punishment in the lake of fire (see vv. 14-15).
Probe: What do you think heaven will be like? Read Revelation 22 for insight.
Upon death, the body decays but the soul lives on in a conscious state. One day, the soul and body will be reunited for eternal life (see John 5:28-29).
There are two resurrections:
The souls of believers–the resurrection to life (see vv. 4-7)
The souls of unbelievers–the resurrection of condemnation (see vv. 11-15)
Every religion in the world besides Christianity is based on human achievement. Those are the works by which unbelievers will be judged (see v. 12).
The Book of Life is based on divine accomplishment–the merit of Christ’s finished sacrifice. It lists the names of those who truly believe (see v. 12).
Connect Up: How does the reality of hell demonstrate God’s ultimate justice?
Connect In: In heaven, we will live with our brothers and sisters in Christ for eternity. How should this affect our behavior toward one another now?
Connect Out: This study is spectacular for those who believe and sobering for those who don’t. How should a biblical understanding of heaven and hell influence our outreach to the world?