I was recently invited to be an On-Air guest of DeVannon Hubert’s podcast “Sex, Drugs, and Jesus” to discuss ‘Eschatology’ (End Times). As part of the program, he asked his listening audience to submit questions. I thought their questions might be a good way to finish this series. With that in mind, here are twenty questions asked along with my answers. Perhaps one or more of these reflect thoughts or questions you may have had as well. Enjoy! Click to hear the entire program interview.
First, let me thank all those who submitted questions. Your interest is truly appreciated. It’s a pleasure to interact with people who want to know more. I don’t have all the answers and there are many others who have studied, read, researched, and know far more than I. Your confidence to answer is commendable. I will answer to the best of my knowledge and ability. Hopefully this Q&A session from DeVannon will help each of you on your walk to expand your spiritual growth.
All scripture references are from an NIV study bible. If you have additional questions or individual personal queries, I invite you to contact me, follow my articles and essays, or visit my YouTube channel.
Here are the questions with my answers:
1. Is there a true end or is it the beginning of a new Era, like a purge?
If by “New Era” you mean what scripture denotes as a ‘new heaven and earth’ then, yes (Revelation 21:1). This earth and life as we know it is prophesied to end. Replaced by a new earth where Jesus Christ will live and reign for one thousand (1,000) years as King (Revelation 19:16). This “millennium kingdom” (Revelation 20:4) will be inhabited by those who believed in and were followers or adherents of Jesus Christ/Messiah. By His presence and reign, yes there will be a ‘true end’ to life as we know it and a new beginning.
At the end of His Millennial Kingdom, all, (including the souls of those who remained dead (Revelation 20:5) and were not raptured, as well as those who died between the rapture event and Jesus’ ‘Second Coming’ will face judgment by Jesus as judge (Acts 10:42, 2 Timothy 4:1, 1 Peter 4:4-6). Those he judges to not join Him in everlasting life will be banished from His presence (Revelation 20:11-15). As you describe, this will be a type of ‘purge’. Those who are judged into the presence of Jesus will live eternally in the presence of God’s Holy Trinity in what the bible describes as a ‘New Eden’ [many label as “heaven”] (Revelation 22:1-3). The bible describes and prophesies both a true end, and a new beginning.
2. Can I sin and do something or PAY to get into Heaven?
No. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Having committed sin there is something one can do to get into heaven! That ‘something’ is explained as the ‘good news’ that Jesus is the Christ/Messiah (Acts 5:42). His death and resurrection already paid the ransom price (death) required by humanity’s ‘sin’ nature.
Jesus’ death was/is the atonement (substitute) for death of His believers. He died so (y)our spirit and soul will not have to. This is accomplished for us individually if we believe in Him as the Christ/Messiah, believe His death is the ransom for ours, and that His word(s) of redemption and reconciliation are true.
It’s important to remember in the eyes of the Lord “a sin is a sin.” There are no degrees of sin. No sin is more egregious than another to God. ‘Sins’ are acts/actions/behaviors of disobedience to God’s nature, character, and commands. His nature is Morality, His character is Ethics, His teachings are Love, and His actions are Truth. His Commands are shared in Exodus 20, Deuteronomy 5:1-21, and summed up in Matthew 22:37-39.
There is however a caveat to this notion of sin and its forgiveness. It’s described in John 15:22 (“If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now [having heard the gospel] they have no excuse for their sin.”) What does Jesus mean by this statement? More specifically as to your question? When one does not know of Jesus (who Jesus is, why He came to be part of humanity, and what His purpose and role was/is, one is not responsible for what one does not know.
However, many on the planet today, ignorance of the Gospel of Christ is a choice. The world has been exposed to Jesus as Christ, including His commission, ministry, purposes, and roles [the Who, What, and Why of Jesus]. Despite this revelation many live, accept, and often revel in ‘sin’ behavior. This is not unusual, for ‘sin’ (moral and ethical disobedience) is our natural human inclination, it’s the ‘way of the world.’ Having heard or been exposed to the Gospel of Christ, knowledgeable responsibility now exists.
“I didn’t know, I never heard” is no longer a viable excuse. Knowing the gospel of Christ exists, negates the exclusion power and validation of Jesus’ observation stated in
When we don’t realize sin is our nature, we have an excuse [not that ignorance gives license to sin] (Romans 6:15-23). It’s like a child who doesn’t know or does not yet understand between ‘right and wrong.’ However, once the child knows and accepts the relationship between the words and the actions (right vs. wrong), ignorance is no longer a viable ‘excuse’/reason for not doing what is correct/right (obedient).
This holds true for the “christian” or follower of Jesus Christ as well. Once we have been exposed to/heard/read/studied/know of or learned [about] the Gospel and claim to acknowledge it exists and what is says, what it means, or how it applies to our daily lives we no longer have excuse for immoral and unethical (‘sinful’) choices and behaviors. We now know of the Gospel, so we now know not to sin (1 Corinthians 33-34). One can make choices that emulate the direction and lead of Jesus. Simply ask, “What Would Jesus Do?” WWJD? How did Jesus behave or respond to this situation or issue in His life? For the follower/person exposed to Jesus, His responses, His choices and actions can become ours, in a same or similar situation. When we emulate Christ’s actions as our own, we become more Christ-like (christian).
There are some who believe and gleefully promote the idea of ‘paying’ to get to heaven. These people are described in scripture as ‘false prophets’ (Matthew 7:15). We recognize many today as “carnal or purpose driven [profit driven] christians.”
3. At the end are people placed in various places and what determines where they go?
Great question and one that’s difficult to answer because many exact truths are unknown (Revelation 10:2-4). The definitive totality of some prophecies remain hidden (Daniel 12:8-9). ‘Faithful living’ can reveal aspects of God’s Will and plan that are without specifics or details (Philippians 4:7). This may not be the answer you are looking for, but I will share with you what I believe. Those who believe in and trust God’s will, words, and way as taught and shared by Jesus Christ’s gospel will have their spirited souls return to God’s presence.
Scripture relates those who love, follow and believe in Christ will be with Him in eternity. Those whom Jesus judges and forgives will also be with Him eternally. Those who are unrepentant and follow the Antichrist and Satan will be with them in the Lake of Fire (“hell”). As to others? Who knows?
Know this as your answer; in John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” God demands nothing from us except, we each will have to decide before we die, whether we will believe in and follow Jesus Christ, or not?
4. Do egregious sins place you in hell or do the worst sins leave you in limbo forever?
As stated in a previous answer, to the Lord, ‘a sin is a sin’. Many believe crimes represent different degrees of heinousness and harm. Many think crimes are ‘sins’ so therefore some are worse than others. Crimes and sins both represent ‘offenses’ against ‘laws or mores.’ Criminal behavior goes against the legalistic legislated laws and decrees of people within societies. While sins are disobedient acts that are affronts to God’s nature, character, and commands. While a ‘crime’ may be considered or deemed a ‘sin’ by one or more persons in a tribe, group, or society, a sin may not necessarily be a crime in societal terms.
God gave Moses Ten Commandments that should be used as a guide for living by those who desire to have a spiritual relationship with Him (Exodus 20, Deuteronomy 5:1-22). Moses also recorded six hundred thirteen ‘laws’ for the Israelites to use in their daily and worship lives (listed in the Old Testament books of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy).
God has made His life guiding instructions known and men make rules/laws/decrees for living together. We as individuals have a need and personal responsibility to abide by both if we desire to please God and live civilly.
5. I believe there is a Heaven, a hell and a limbo. Is it possible for people to remain in limbo forever?
Only God knows. All possibilities may be viable. Given your premise, why would anyone want to spend forever/eternity in hell or limbo? Put your faith in what you have heard, read, or believe about Jesus Christ. Then decide if a spiritual relationship with God through Christ is for you. Your ‘hereafter forever’ question will be answered in due course.
6. Can you pray or PAY to get out of limbo?
See answer to question 5. Having had the offer of ‘free will’ choice of belief (or not) prior to death negates the need to do either ‘pray or pay’ later.
7. How do you feel based on their real-life experiences vs. the words in Revelation?
Not sure I understand the question, whose real life experiences? Real life experiences are exactly that for each individual. The book of Revelation is an informative guide given to John, for the world, by and from Jesus Christ as to what lies ahead for mankind at the end of this world.
Life offers each of us opportunities to make decisions and choices that determine our responses, behaviors, and actions to people and events. These produce consequences we can then use for mental, spiritual, emotional, and psychological growth, as well as for future choices. Jesus’ thoughts, words, and deeds in His teachings and parables prepare us for an abundant adult life. His words in the book of Revelation illuminate for us the end here, and the beginning hereafter.
8. Do we have to go through every variant from alpha to omega before this pandemic is over?
Possibly. Who knows? It will be over when it’s over. Most likely there will be another, or next virus or bacterial enemy of man to take its place and gain our focus. There have been a variety of plagues (and their variants/mutations) throughout history. We have eradicated many and have produced vaccines for others, and yet they still occur and spread. Microbiological entities are as much a part of life and existence as we are.
Thankfully we have the academic knowledge and technology to affect them more quickly than we did in the past. However, because our world is more accessible today than ever before in human history, we also run the risk daily of an ‘outbreak’ of some kind occurring and spreading.
No matter how ‘good’ a vaccine may be, the ‘nature’ of nature is some ‘hosts’ will be more susceptible than others. Some will get sick (vaccinated or not), some will die (vaccinated or not), and some will recover or never be infected (vaccinated or not). Listen to experts who know, not talking heads of provincial ilk or persuasions. Make informed choices in every aspect of your life.
9. How would we know when the end of the world is coming, like what are the signs?
Prophecy’s entire focus and purpose is to inform us, warn us, and alert us to the future events that allow us to recognize the end events (of this world) drawing nigh. Many of the ‘signs’ are veiled or hidden as to their specific details (at least until they come to pass). Most require some ‘digging’ or reading/research. God wants us to know, but He also wants us to believe. It often helps to see the big picture by connecting the smaller dots and relationships. He could simply tell us but even when He does, most people ignore or doubt Him. Most people don’t want to hear what He and His prophets have to say. When He speaks, tells, or shows us it requires that we trust He is telling us the truth. We live in a world that doesn’t want to know the truth, therefore we ignore Him and what He shares.
Prophecy doesn’t tell us when the world will end, but it does forewarn by giving ‘signs’ to recognize when we see them happening. There are 1817 prophecies in the Bible and every one of them pertains or refers to Jesus as the Christ/Messiah. Most have already occurred. Each one has come to be as predicted or foretold.
I am often asked about End Times or Last Days ‘signs’. At issue with some of these events is that their buildup takes years, decades, even centuries to unfold. Think of it this way, before you get a driver’s license you prepare. You get a diver’s manual and study. You get a vehicle and practice driving. You continue learning how to become more efficient and proficient ‘behind the wheel.’ When you are fully prepared and ready, you take a driver’s test.
The same holds true for End Times/Last Days/end of the world signs. Their culminations that will be revealed by what we (will) see/experience takes time and incremental steps to build to completed occurrence. However, I will share three unmistakable, undeniable, and unmissable ‘signs’ that will happen in front of the entire world, which will indicate the end is close at hand (“at the door” Matthew 24:33).
When you see these three ‘signs’ be prepared.
10. What will happen when the end of the world is here?
In prophecy, “here” is a relative term due to the lead up and precursor events needed for the end to actualize for there are “End Times”, Last Days” and “End of the World”. For at least seven years immediately prior to ‘the end’ there will be death, destruction, and devastation by and from men and nature. It will increase in frequency and intensity. It will seem as if there is no ‘good news.’
There will be storms, fires, floods, famine, wars, hurricanes, earthquakes, unending record heat and drought. There will be hatred and distrust among nations, groups, even families (Matthew 24:7). Good will be seen as evil and evil as good (Isaiah 5:20). There will be cosmic and supernatural events and consequences.
At ‘the end’ Jesus will return, be victorious at the Battle of Armageddon, and set foot on the Mount of Olives, reclaiming the world as His own and establishing His millennial kingdom reign on His new earth.
Join me next time in Part 9 when we address and post answers for questions 11-20.
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