Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice gives us confidence to approach God, knowing we are forgiven. Now Jesus is reviewing our lives before returning, so there’s no question that His judgments are made in love.
From the Garden of Eden to the Tower of Babel, the destruction of Sodom to the Exodus from Egypt, God has always investigated before taking action. Now, before His return, Jesus is investigating the lives of everyone who ever lived, revealing the choices that led to salvation or destruction. God wants to make clear and transparent to the watching universe that no one reaps a fate they did not choose.
The ancient Hebrew sanctuary rituals were merely a reflection of Jesus’ work in heaven, and every offering a foreshadowing of Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice. Now, Jesus, our true high priest, offers the merits of His sacrifice to all who accept His grace. Because He endured every temptation we face, we can trust Jesus to understand our struggles and strengthen us when we need help. Jesus is our mediator, forgiving our sins and restoring our sin-shattered relationship with God. The first covenant condemned us to death, yet Jesus is the mediator of a new covenant whose sacrifice set us free.
The unconscious nothingness of death separates us from God and those we’ve lost. Only God is inherently immortal, yet the free gift of salvation is eternal life. We look forward to Jesus’ Second Coming, when Jesus will resurrect His saved from the dead so they can live forever.
The first thousand years after Jesus’ return will be a time of reconciliation and renewal in heaven. We will be able to investigate the lives of the lost, exploring how their choices led to salvation or destruction. The Earth will be empty of people, home only to Satan and his angels, exiled with no one to mislead or destroy.
After a thousand years, God and the saved will return from heaven to Earth with the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem. God will resurrect the unrighteous dead so they can witness the final phase of God’s judgment. Each person will face the record of his or her life, and all will see the true justice and fairness of God. Then God will destroy sin and sinners forever.
As God recreates the Earth, love, joy and harmony will at last be restored to the universe. Fear, suffering and death will only be a memory. We will know God face to face, and be free to create and explore without end.