Summary: The book of Daniel contaians many prophesies. Concerning the end of time Daniel tell us to expect: Resurrection, Retribution, and Reward!
The End Of Time
Scott R Bayles, preacher
I’m sure several people here this morning have seen the bumper stickers, "In case of rapture this car will be unmanned," or some else like that. While such statements are intended to be funny to some, there are confusing to others. Many people have read the "Left Behind" series of books by Mark Haynes which are based on this doctrine of the "rapture."
What’s interesting is that the word "rapture" does not appear anywhere in the Bible. It’s not listed in "Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words." It does not appear in the "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia," or the "Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible."
The idea of a "rapture" is a result of a misunderstanding of Biblical teaching concerning the "end times." And while the rapture is not the answer, many people throughout the ages have asked: what will happen at the end of time? I think that most thoughtful people understand that this world is not eternal. There is, in fact, a day coming in which God will destroy the universe and all that is in it. The Bible refers to that day in various terms: the "day of judgment" (Mat. 12:36), "Christ’s [second] coming" (1 Cor. 15:23), the "great and terrible day of the Lord" (Mal. 4:5).
It is important for every Christian ? every person ? to understand that this world is not eternal. It will, one day, come to an end. And so many people have wondered: what will that day be like? What can we expect at the end of time? In the days of the Old Testament, God would often speak through His prophets. And during the days of the Babylonian captivity came a man sent by God, whose name was Daniel.
Even before the first coming of Jesus, Daniel was warning the world to prepare for the Second Coming! Let me invite you to read with me...
Daniel 12:1-3 ~ "Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. (2) Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. (3) Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever."
What an amazing scripture! Even 600 hundred years before Jesus was born in Jerusalem, Daniel was urging the people of Israel to prepare for the end of time ? the end of the universe.
Many passages of Old Testament scripture hint toward the final day of judgment, but few present it with such clarity. What can we expect at the end of days? Well, first of all we can expect a?
12:2 ~ those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake?
The Day of Judgment will be the most profound day in the history of the universe. You’ll notice, in verse one, that Michael the Archangel will be there, which is exactly what Paul said in 1 Thess. 4:16, "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first."
Michael is the only archangel ever mentioned in the Bible, so the voice of Michael will signal the Second Coming and the end of the universe. And at the sound of the "trumpet of God" the dead will arise!
Some have taught that people living in the Old Testament era did not know about the resurrection of the dead, but that is not correct. In the Patriarchal Age, Job said, "Even after my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh I shall see God" (Job 19:26). Job knew that there would be a resurrection from the dead!
When our Lord arrived at the funeral of His good friend Lazarus, Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day." (25) Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies" (John 11:24-25).
Some Christians have misunderstood this teaching, however, and it has caused them to become very worried about the resurrection body. A couple of months ago, a woman wrote to Gospel Minutes saying that she thought it was wrong to be cremated. Like many other people she was probably afraid of cremation because she thought that she would not have a body at resurrection. Other people have been afraid to donate organs, because they think that the resurrection body will then be missing parts.