1Thessalonians: Timelines Chapter 5

As with the other timelines discussed in 1Thessalonians and 2Thessalonians, the following timelines are based on the foundation of timelines that are described in this site on interpretation of scriptures using timelines, which the reader is referred to for further information. The timeline line below illustrates the basic structure of the last days (time since the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, 1Corinthians 15:1-4), Hebrews 1:1-2, 2Timothy 3:1. Currently, the active time period we live in Today is in the church age. This age will continue until the snatching away (rapture) of the dead in Christ and the living believers, then there will be an unknown gap of time before the seven years of tribulation commences, Daniel 9:27. The Lord's return will end the tribulation, Revelation 19:11-21, and begin His millennial reign on earth, Revelation 20:4-6. At some time short interval of time after the first 1,000 year reign of Christ, eternity future will be ushered in, Revelation 20:7-10, Revelation 21:1-27.

Building on the chart above, the next event for the New Testament church is the day of Jesus Christ, shown on the far left on the following chart. More on the church is provided on this site, describing a short summary of the church, and the beginning of the church. The moment the Lord appears in the clouds to snatch up His church, 1Thessalonians 4:13-18, is when the day of the Lord begins. As illustrated on the following graphic, the day of Jesus Christ consists of three parts.

The first part of this event is when the Lord appears in the clouds, He first resurrects the dead in Christ, to be raised from the grave with their new bodies, to be rejoined with their soul and spirit, 1Thessalonians 4:13-18. Then those who are still alive and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, 1Corinthians 15:1-4, will have their bodies changed in the twinkling of an eye and then are snatched up (raptured) to be with the Lord for evermore, 1Corinthians 15:50-58, 1Thessalonians 4:13-18. This first part of the day of the Lord is not for all the saints, but those who were alive when the Lord rose from the dead, which was for our justification, Romans 4:24-25, until this event begins, which occurs very quickly. All those who are alive will know something happened; graves will be opened and believing friends and family members will suddenly vanish. It will occur in a moment so that those who chose not to believe in Christ, will not have enough time to respond and pray that they “believe.” Now is the time for salvation, 2Corinthians 6:1-2, and have a relationship with Christ Jesus, looking forward to the blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our savior, Jesus Christ, Titus 2:13.

The second part, as shown below in the purple box, is the appearance of the New Testament church before the judgment seat of Christ. This is not judgment related to one’s merits to enter the kingdom of heaven, since everyone who believes in Christ Jesus according to the gospel, 1Corinthians 15:1-4, because believers are no longer under any condemnation, Romans 8:1. Instead, every believer’s works in this new life in Christ, will be judged to determine the rewards that person will have in eternity future, 1Corinthians 3:11-15, 2Corinthians 5:9-11. It is the Lord who determined the good works we should do upon believing in the gospel of Jesus Christ, Ephesians 2:10.

The third part in the day of Jesus Christ, shown in the green box, is the moment He presents us before God the Father in His throne room. The 24 elders represent the New Testament church. It is in the throne room of God where the church will remain, even during the tribulation on earth, until the Lord returns to destroy His enemies, and establish His reign over earth, sitting on the throne of David, 1Chronicles 17:11-14. Then we will reign with the Lord, 2Timothy 2:12, in heavenly places, Ephesians 2:6.

The following chart provides contrast to the previous chart, in that it differentiates the timeframe of the day of Jesus Christ to the other terms used in scripture to denote the time of God’s judgment upon the world. Those terms, wrath of God, the day of the Lord, or Jacob’s trouble, relate to the seven years of tribulation, and has no relationship to the church age. The following chart also discloses that upon the snatching away (rapture) of the New Testament church, the tribulation churches, which will be primarily Jewish, will form. The book of Revelation was written by God, to be given to His Son, who then gave it to an angel to reveal to John, Revelation 1:1. John then wrote to the seven churches which are in Asia, to deliver this Word to them, Revelation 1:4, so that they would be prepared for the tribulation that they would go through, Daniel 9:24, 27.

The following graphic provides a simple illustration of the consequences that every person ever born on this planet experiences depending upon if they followed the Lord, or chose their own path of self-righteousness or self-will. Every person is faced with the decision to follow the Lord, Romans 1:16-23. Despite the many religions of this world that attempt to provide some comfort to those dying or the survivors, there is no truth in what they teach. Only the word of God is found in the Bible, which points to the truth, which is the Lord Jesus Christ, John 1:1-14, John 14:6-14, John 17:1-26. Those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, that He was crucified and died according to scripture, for our sins, was buried, and on the third day rose from the dead according to scripture, which is our hope in the resurrection, 1Corinthians 15:1-4, have eternal life, Romans 5:21, Romans 6:23, Titus 3:7. The eternal life of believers in Christ Jesus, follow the path shown in red on the right side of the graphic below. The line with the red boxes demonstrates all that is in store for them. More information is provided on this site concerning the snatching away (rapture).

Those who choose to ignore the clear witness of the Lord either through His word, in the Bible, or through nature, Romans 1:18-23, will suffer the consequences of eternal separation from God and eternal judgment. The events that they will suffer through eternity, with no other hope of salvation but eternal suffering, is illustrated by the line passing through the black boxes on the left side of the graphic. There is no middle ground, only an awful judgment for those who reject the truth concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, Revelation 20:11-15. This is also known as the second resurrection.

  1. Upon their first physical death, the unrighteous go to Hades (same as hell)
    • The rich man and Lazarus Luke 16:19-31
  2. The great white throne of judgment, Revelation 20:11
    • This is the second resurrection, Revelation 20:13
    • The books will be open, including the Lamb's book of life Daniel 12:2, Revelation 20:11-15
      • Those whose name are not in the book of life are thrown into the lake of fire Revelation 20:15
      • The other books are not to determine their righteousness, but the degree of punishment, Luke 12:42-48
  3. The lake of fire, which is the second death Revelation 20:14
    • It is a lake of burning sulfur, where occupants will be tormented perpetually Revelation 20:10, Matthew 25:46, Jude 1:7
    • It will be utter darkness Matthew 8:11-12
    • Eternally removed from the presence of the Lord 2Thessalonians 1:6-9

To avoid this fate, but instead to experience eternity with the Lord Jesus Christ, creator of all things, follow this link to the page on this site that discusses the Road to Salvation.