The study of “Last things” is one of my own favorite lines for ruminating Scriptures. There are a vast aray of differences of the understanding of “Last thing”, that the BF&M of 2000, covers most of what we as Baptists believe concerning the return of Jesus Christ.
Studying the Revelation, the Major and Minor Prophets of the Old Testament, and their prophecies concerning the first coming of Jesus, and also concerning the second coming of Jesus is a fascinating endeavor.
There is blessing and reward for those who love the appearing of the Lord: “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” 2 Timothy 4:8 (NKJV). This is clearly concerning the appearing of Christ when He comes in all His glory, and becomes King of Jerusalem, and the world.
Our Statement of Faith:
“X. Last Things
God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.
Isaiah 2:4; 11:9; Matthew 16:27; 18:8-9; 19:28; 24:27,30,36,44; 25:31-46; 26:64; Mark 8:38; 9:43-48; Luke 12:40,48; 16:19-26; 17:22-37; 21:27-28; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 17:31; Romans 14:10; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 15:24-28,35-58; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 1:5; 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 5:1ff.; 2 Thessalonians 1:7ff.; 2; 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 4:1,8; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:27-28; James 5:8; 2 Peter 3:7ff.; 1 John 2:28; 3:2; Jude 14; Revelation 1:18; 3:11; 20:1-22:13.”
There are many things which happen before the appearing of Jesus in His glory. There are several views concerning these events, and some views which do not believe in some of the events that I do.
Some believe in the “Rapture of the Church” which there are probably three views concerning this as to the timing of the rapture. There is the “pre-tribulation rapture” view; then, the “mid-tribulation rapture” view, and some who believe in a “post-tribulation” view. There are some who do not believe in a rapture.
There are some of us who believe in a millennial [one thousand year] reign of Christ on earth when He comes in His glory. There are some who believe that all prophecy has been fulfilled. I will not get into that study here. The study of “Last things” is called – “Eschatology”