What happens next, at least according to the first-century’s inspired writers, is Christ appearing again1,4,8,9,12,13,14 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/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.