I have a sermon or article that’s been stewing on the back burner for some time. In this post, I want to jot down some points that I want to elaborate on at another time.
1. Adventists look forward to the second coming of Jesus as “the Blessed Hope.” It isn’t something to fear, it is something to anticipate with joy.
2. We believe that Jesus will return bodily, visibly, audibly, with the angelic hosts. The dead will be raised, we will be gathered to him with them, and the wicked will be destroyed by the brightness of his coming. This is the climactic event of earth’s history. It is contrary to both the idea of progressive betterment of society (post-millennialism) and the idea of a “secret rapture.”
3. We believe that the millennium is a period of time when the righteous reign with Christ in heaven and the earth is desolate. At the end of the millennium the Holy City will descend to earth, the wicked dead will be raised for a final demonstration of their hostility against God, and God’s judgment will be executed upon them. The earth will be cleansed by fire, and recreated. This will be our eternal home.
4. Jesus is currently serving as our high priest in the heavenly sanctuary. He is pleading his blood before the Father on behalf of the whole world. His mediation holds back the storm, and protects those who have not yet made their final decision. But decisions will be made by all before he returns. There will be a close of probation, after which no one will change their minds. At that point, he will take off his high priestly garments, put on his garments of vengeance, and prepare to return in judgment. No longer will the world be protected from God’s wrath by his intercession (Isaiah 59). This opens the way for the final plagues to be poured out against those who have irrevocably rejected him.
5. The final crisis will be over faithfulness to him, and to his law. Will we worship the Creator? Will we honor his law? These questions will sift humanity. There will be no middle ground. The final division won’t exactly conform to any current religious and denominational lines. Those who will be faithful are from all nations and languages and peoples. As are those who reject him.
6. There will be a final deception, in which the return of Christ will be imitated by Satan. He will deceive many, and his words and wonders will bring together people of diverse backgrounds.
7. A remnant will herald a final message of warning, calling all to worship the Creator, and keep his law. The deceiver will turn the wrath of the world against this remnant. There will be a time of trouble, in which the plagues are falling around them, and the world persecutes them, but God protects and preserves them, and will, at the final moment, deliver them.