Updated: Feb 9, 2021
Day 19 of the 24 Day Prophecy Study
Notes compiled by Steve McAtee and Marty Zide
The subject of eternity, (both heaven and the Lake of Fire) has given rise to massive quantities of idolatry and false teaching in the minds of many people. As a result of this subject, God is imagined to be who He isn’t, or not imagined to be who He is. If people don’t like where the Scriptures are taking them, they just say “it isn’t so, or this can’t be true.”
Eternity takes in the eternal state of the saved as well as the unsaved. We will first look at the eternal state of the saved, then see what the Bible teaches concerning the eternal state of the unsaved.
Daniel revealed that when God establishes His kingdom, it will be a kingdom that will endure forever. The Kingdom of God will have two phases to it. The first phase will be the millennium which lasts 1000 years. The second phase is the eternal state which lasts for all eternity.
Dan. 2:44 - In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever.
While there is a multitude of material on the millennium, especially in the Old Testament, the primary information for the eternal phase of the Kingdom of God is found in Rev. 21:1 - 22:5. As we will see, there is not a lot of information that is given.
At the end of the millennium and before the start of the eternal kingdom, Satan is loosed and gathers all the rebels who were born during the millennium. The rebellion is unsuccessful and God destroys all of them by fire and Satan is thrown into the Lake of Fire.
Rev. 20:9-10 - And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
After this rebellion is over, the Great White Throne Judgment takes place. All those, from all-time who never repented of their sins and believed in the Lord Jesus, will be at this judgment to receive their just due. This is recorded in Rev. 20:11-15.
THE ETERNAL DESTINY OF THE SAVED - THE NEW HEAVENS & A NEW EARTH
The Bible predicts new heavens and a new earth, but we know very little about them.
Isa. 65:17 - For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind.
2 Pet. 3:13 - But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.
Some Bible teachers believe that God will create a completely new planet. Others view the new earth as a renovation of the old earth, rather than an entirely new planet. This is an area where we cannot be dogmatic. I prefer the view that God will create a completely new planet. But, this one thing we know, it is going to happen.
FULL, UNHINDERED FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD FOR ALL ETERNITY
Presently, believers can have fellowship with God, but we also know the limitations of it because of our sin. In the new heavens and earth, there will be no such hindrances. We will enjoy a quality of fellowship than that we currently cannot even imagine.
Rev. 21:3 - And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them.
That which Adam and Eve experienced in the garden of Eden before the fall, all the redeemed will experience in a fuller sense, because all possibility for sin has been removed.
Since the fall, sin has had such devastating effects upon all of mankind, even believers cannot fully conceive what existence will be like without its terrible influence. In the eternal state, all of sin’s horrible consequences will be removed. The eternal kingdom will be wonderful because of that which is absent.
Rev. 21:4 - and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.