The World to Come

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II Peter 3:13  Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

“We believe that the end of the world is approaching (I Peter 4:7); that at the last day Christ shall descend from heaven (Acts 1:11), and raise the dead from the grave to final retribution (Acts 24:15); that the wicked will be adjudged to endless punishment, and the righteous to endless joy (Matthew 25:31-46); and that this judg­ment will fix forever the final state of men in heaven or hell, on principles of righteousness (II Peter 3:11,12).”

The title of this doctrinal statement -”The World to Come”- is a phrase found in Hebrews 2:5; 6:5, and deals with a subject that is of great importance to the children of God.

We must be careful to put our reliance only in the Scriptures.  God’s word is the only reliable source of information concerning things to come (II Peter 1:19-21).

Any theory of the hereafter which modifies, or contradicts the plain teaching of the whole Bible must be set aside (Isaiah 8:20).  God has given us in His Word all that we need for the present and for the preparation of the future (II Peter 1:3,4; Psalm 19:1-14).

The New Testament plainly teaches the return of Christ, the resurrection, the judgment, life after death, human accountability before the God of all mankind, and the frailty of this present life (Hebrews 9:28; John 5:28,29; Acts 17,31; Mark 9:44; Romans 2:16; Acts 24:25; James 4:14).

Biblical teaching of THE WORLD TO COME has a. three-fold purpose:  (1) To reveal God to us (I Corinthians 2:9,10); (2) To warn the unrepentant and godless (Jude 14,15); (3) To encourage and exhort Christians to holiness of life and works (Titus 2:11:15).

There are repeated warnings, in Scripture, not to seek information of the future from the arch swindler or any of his agents (Isaiah 8:18-20; Deuteronomy 18:9-12; II Corinthians 11:13-15; I John 4:1; II Peter 2:1-3; I Timothy 4:1,2; II Timothy 3:1-7).

No man can do his full duty to himself and others unless he has the consciousness of the world to come, as well as of the world that now is.  Yet if we are wholly absorbed in thought of the world to come, to the neglect of this world, we shall equally fail in duty.  In this world we have constant and great responsibilities.  These we must discharge in the fear of God.  But we should remember that the world, as now constituted, will come to an end.  Of this we can be certain, because God, who cannot lie, has shown us (Titus 1:2).

The judgment to come should cause every Christian to pass the time of his sojourning here in a manner that will testify the grace of God to neighbors and friends and relatives for such conduct is becoming a Christian (Matthew 5:13-16).  One attitude prevails in every Christian breast, and that is as stated in II Peter 3:12,13.  And we encourage each other to “be diligent that ye may be found in Him in peace, without spot, and blameless” (II Peter 3:14).

- - - - The Scriptures below are referenced in the doctrinal statement - - - -

1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

Acts 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

Acts 24:15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.

Matthew 25:31-46 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:  32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:  33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.  34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:  36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.  37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?  38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?  39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?  40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.  41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:  42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:  43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.  44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?  45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.  46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

2 Peter 3:11-12 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,  12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

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