1. The State of Man after Death
WE BELIEVE that the bodies of men after death return to their natural elements but their souls, being immortal, immediately return to God who gave them.
The souls of believers go immediately upon the death of the body to be with the Lord Jesus Christ in glory, where they wait for the redemption of their bodies. The souls of the unsaved are reserved in hell to the day of the last Judgment. Holy Scripture knows of no such place as Purgatory or of any intermediate state.
Gen. 3:19; Eccles. 12:7; 2 Cor. 5:1-8; 2 Pet. 2:9; Luke 23:43; Rom. 8:23; Luke 16:23.
2. The Resurrection
At a time known only to God, the Lord Jesus Christ shall return to this earth in glory, bringing with Him the souls of the believers who have died. At this time the bodies of those believers who are still alive on earth shall be transformed instantaneously and without death into a condition of glorious incorruptibility, conformable to Christ’s own glorious body.
The bodies of those believers who have died shall rise in like glorified condition and be reunited with their souls. All believers shall then, in their glorified bodies be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, and so be with Him for ever. The bodies of the unsaved shall also be raised by the power of Christ.
1 Thess. 4:14-17; 1 Cor. 15:51-53; Acts 24:14-15; John 5:28-29; Phil. 3:20-21.
3. The Last Judgment
God has appointed a day wherein he will judge the world in righteousness by Jesus Christ. All mankind, being resurrected from the dead, shall stand before him and he shall separate his redeemed people from the ungodly. The earth as it is at present shall be no more, and the redeemed shall take their place, glorified in Christ’s likeness, in the new heaven and the new earth, where God himself shall be with them and be their God for all eternity. The unsaved, who know not God and do not obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ, will be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord. Thus will be seen the glory of God’s mercy in the eternal salvation of all believers, and the glory of God’s righteous judgment in the condemnation of the ungodly.
Acts 17:31; Mat. 25:31-32; 2 Pet. 3:10-11; Rev. 21:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:47-49; 1 John 3:2; 2 Thess. 1 :6-10; 1 Pet. 1 :3-5; 1 Thess. 4:16-18.
4. The Lord’s Return
We believe in the personal return of the Lord Jesus Christ to this earth. The precise time of his coming again and of the day of judgment is not revealed, in order that, in the long suffering of God, men may come to repentance and ever seek to be prepared.
All true believers in times of adversity find consolation in the prospect of their Lord’s return, be it sooner or later, and the whole Church of Christ may ever pray: “Lord Jesus, come quickly!”
Mark 13:32; 2 Pet. 3:9-10; 1 Thess. 4:16-18; Rev. 22:20.