Many in this world speculate about what happens next. Religious leaders are busy pondering the “end times”. They have elaborate expectations about what happens next in the Bible. For example, a search on “end times timeline” reveals countless charts, documents, and presentations that have been put together to illustrate what happens next. One such timeline that maps out what happens next is from where it lists twelve things that will occur next! The list includes many “events” that are based on a single verse in Scripture (what we call ‘Scripture weighting‘). What’s worse, they presume a confident interpretation of an otherwise very unclear, even cryptic, prophetic statement without an inspired writer’s confirmation.

Wild speculation aside, what do the inspired writers make plain about what happens next in the normal course of their writing?

How Scripture answers "What happens next in the Bible?"

What happens next, at least according to the first-century’s inspired writers, is Christ appearing again1,4,8,9,12,13,14,18 in glory2,6,12,16,17 for the final judgment3,5,7,9,15 – in other words, the end10, when Jesus turns the kingdom back11 to the Father8. This final judgment is referred to in different terms, such as Peter’s “day of visitation”3, Paul’s “appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ”2, and the Hebrews writer’s “the Day drawing near”7. What happens next for saints that endure through “the end”16 is a salvation4,18/eternal life17 and glorification with Christ6,12,13. What happens next for those unsaved or fallen away13 is destruction10,15.

Note the absence of elaborate charts! According to Jesus, what happens next is very simple1,10,17…as is Paul’s8…as is Peter’s9,16. These writers never bother to mention any “seven-year period”, some personification of an “Antichrist”, a formal (capital “T”) tribulation, or a “rapture” of living saints. Christians in this “present age”2 and current end times will endure persecution16 while “waiting for our blessed hope”2,12.

Answer built on scripture-blocks below

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