I. Understanding Heaven, Hell and the Intermediary State [purgatory]
The different religious groups within the human society actually create different perspectives about the truth behind the factual explanation of what heaven, hell and purgatory is all about. To understand the significance of the said three elements of belief in studying the scripture’s particular discussion of the end of days, it is important to view the said elements in diverse discussions.
Heaven has often been referred to in the Bible as the holy place for spirit beings like God. The idea however of people going to heaven after death when they have been good in life as a person has been sourced out from two different pagan beliefs such ad reincarnation and the life gained by the “soul” after one’s passing away. It could then be taken into consideration that this particular situation has not been mentioned in the Bible. The scriptures however stresses out that only the spirit bodied elements of personas could actually occupy the heavens. (Compare Acts 2:34 and Revelation 21:1-4)
The different translations that have been gathered about the different usage of the translations used to describe hell pertain to the existence of the place for the dead or the grave. The Bible has numerously made mention of this fact for so many times stressing that what is being referred to is the man’s place when they die. The Hebrew and Greek translations of Gehenna and Sheol particularly pertain to the same place, which has been first found in the original translations of the Holy Scriptures. (Revelation 20:13)
(c) Purgatory or Intermediary State
The Catholic belief of the purgatory or the intermediary state of life that is experienced by the souls of those who are good but are yet imperfect to attain the heavenly living has been proven to have been based upon traditions and not the Scriptures. It could be observed that the said terms have never appeared within the pages of the Bible at any point hence making the belief of this particular idea a non-scriptural based tradition that the church simply adapted from pagan beliefs and human philosophy.
II. Perception of the Events of the Last Days
The verses of 2 Timothy 3:1-5 strongly adhere to the major signs that actually pertain to the last days. The said verse reads:
“But know this that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here…Men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, self-assuming, haughty …headstrong puffed up with pride, lovers of pleasure than lovers of God…”
Certainly, the events and the situations posted through the verse that has been cited above pertain to the actual situation of the people at present. Other verses of the bible too pertain to the most devastating events that accompanied human advancements. The signs include famine (Mat. 24:7); there would be wars between nations (Mat. 24:7); there would be natural disasters (Luke 21:11); all these and more such as the existence of worldwide preaching of the good news with regards the gospel (Matthew 24:14) are already observed in today’s situation in the world. Hence, the signs of the last days are already evident in today’s present situation.
III. Perceiving the Belief on the Millennium Reign and Rapture
The millennial reign particularly pertain to Christ’s rulership that would end all human political powers (Daniel 2:44). The said reign is noted to last for at least a thousand years until the final judgment arrives. The millennial reign is actually the basis of the perfection of the entire human society. Those who would fall for the snares of the freed Satan the devil after the said reign shall then be judged towards their final destruction along with the beast [Satan] in an everlasting death.
IV. Personal Reflection with the MBI`s doctrinal statements
(A)Jesus Christ is the Image of the Invisible God
Colossians 1:15 pertain to the fact that Jesus Christ himself was the first born among all creations making it possible for him to have learned much from the grand creator through all the years of his life. For this reason, he was able to adapt the actual being of God making him a perfect epitome of the one who is invisible. This is the reason why he was called the exact likeness of God when he arrived on earth and made his role in the human society be manifested through the ransom sacrifice that he made through giving his life to save humanity from the consequences of sin.
(B) Man Was Created in the Image of God
Although man has been created in the likeness of God, it could not be denied that because of the imperfection that they have gained from their parents Adam and eve, it is assumingly true that humans are incapable of being perfect. This means that it is already innate in man to sin. However, through Christ’s ransom sacrifice of his life, it has been possible for humans to be recovered from all the consequences brought about by sinning.
(C)The Church and its Mission to Preach the Good News about the Kingdom and their Head the Christ
Matthew 24:14 continuously adhere to the fact that the mission of the church to extend and expound the territories of the earth that has been reached by the truthful and hopeful future brought about by Christ’s ransom sacrifice to the people of the earth. It is then much certain that the Church is held liable for helping everyone in the society with regards the most important role that they play within the human community.
Summary and Conclusion
From the four-part discussion presented above, it could be observed that the signs of the end of days actually mirrors the actual situation that humans particularly deal with at present. It could not be denied that the said signs bring a great understanding and motivation for everyone else to act on their spiritual growth now. Hence, keeping in attention all the signs presented within the scriptures shall empower an individual stand in their own position as they prepare themselves for the millennial reign while taking part in the abrupt work of preaching the good news throughout the world.