This is the final part of the Hard Questions series. In parts 1-4 of this series we posed the following question and sought to answer it:
“Why did God allow me to be abused?”
At this point in our discussion, Jesus has saved the day! Hallelujah! Now, there are just a few… loose ends to tie up. The first order of business was filling the disciples with the Holy Spirit which happened at Pentecost in Jerusalem where Jesus commanded them to wait until this gift was given to them.
On the day of Pentecost, all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. – Acts 2:1-4
After this, the disciples began to preach the gospel and for the past two thousand years, our goal as followers of Jesus Christ has been to spread the Good News to every corner of the Earth. As I explained in the first part of this series only God could possibly know when there will be a time when everyone on Earth will have had this opportunity, however, you can count on Him to wait until that moment for He desires everyone to be saved through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.
So, how does this end? We still have sinful bodies and a new believer will quickly discover what it means to carry the cross every day and deny the sinful desires of the flesh choosing to instead follow the Holy Spirit that now lives inside them. Are we to struggle like this forever? And what of the rest of the world? What of the cursed earth itself? And the devil and his ilk, the enemy of our souls?
I could write until the end of time about “end times” and so I will do my best to keep the bigger picture in my mind and give a brief summary of what is to come when Jesus returns.
As for the flesh and its sinful desires, I would encourage you to read Romans, especially if you are a new believer as Paul explains the faith very well in that book. Chapters 6-8 of Romans address the realities of living with the Holy Spirit in a sinful body in great detail. One day we will have glorified bodies that are untouched by sin, incorruptible, and immortal. We’ll get to that in a moment.
There is a day coming and it is very close, some believe it has already begun when God will judge the world for its sin. It is known as the time of tribulation. At some point during this period or immediately prior depending on what you believe, and I am not going to get into a debate about that in this post, there will be a rapture of the saints (believers). We will be taken in the twinkling of an eye straight to Jesus. We will be given new bodies and return with Him at the end of the tribulation.
We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord, himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words. – 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18
But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. – 1 Corinthians 15:51-53
God is going to judge the rest of the world and if you want to know more about that in detail then read the book of Revelation. There is a great debate about how much of the tribulation we will endure before we are raptured. I will not get into my belief on this subject here as I have said.
However, to very briefly summarize darkness and sin will increase and the world will face a multitude of judgments. There will be a great deception by the Devil/Satan/Lucifer, a counterfeit to the faith that will lead people away from the Lord to worship the Devil instead, and eventually into open rebellion against the Lord. There will be a false prophet that will require people to take a mark to buy and sell. DO NOT TAKE THE MARK EVEN IF IT COSTS YOU YOUR LIFE. I will do a more in-depth study on this mark and link it here.
Then the beast was allowed to speak great blasphemies against God. And he was given authority to do whatever he wanted for forty-two months. And he spoke terrible words of blasphemy against God, slandering his name and his dwelling—that is, those who dwell in heaven. And the beast was allowed to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And he was given authority to rule over every tribe and people and language and nation. And all the people who belong to this world worshiped the beast. They are the ones whose names were not written in the Book of Life that belongs to the Lamb who was slaughtered before the world was made. – Revelation 13:5-8
He required everyone—small and great, rich and poor, free and slave—to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark, which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name. Wisdom is needed here. Let the one with understanding solve the meaning of the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is 666. – Revelation 13:16-18
Jesus will return with the saints (believers) at the end and Jesus will destroy this rebellion in an instant. Everyone in this army of Satan will be killed. Those responsible for deceiving the people will be thrown into the lake of fire to burn for all eternity. The devil will be locked up in the bottomless pit which is a place of eternal darkness. This place along with the lake of fire is what many would call “hell” although the word never actually appears in the Bible. They are two separate places and none will enter the lake of fire until the final judgment.
Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war. His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself. He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed him on white horses. From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress. On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords.
Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, shouting to the vultures flying high in the sky: “Come! Gather together for the great banquet God has prepared. Come and eat the flesh of kings, generals, and strong warriors; of horses and their riders; and of all humanity, both free and slave, small and great.”
Then I saw the beast and the kings of the world and their armies gathered together to fight against the one sitting on the horse and his army. And the beast was captured and with him the false prophet who did mighty miracles on behalf of the beast—miracles that deceived all who had accepted the mark of the beast and who worshiped his statue. Both the beast and his false prophet were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. Their entire army was killed by the sharp sword that came from the mouth of the one riding the white horse. And the vultures all gorged themselves on the dead bodies. – Revelation 19:11-21
After the tribulation, this time period will be known as the “Millenial Reign”. Jesus will reign over the earth from Jerusalem for one thousand years and the saints will reign with Him. There are many that wonder if there will still be regular human beings without glorified bodies at this time. It seems there will be those that survived the tribulation and did not join Satan’s army or come to believe in Jesus Christ. Otherwise, there would be no one for the Devil to deceive when he is released.
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven with the key to the bottomless pit and a heavy chain in his hand. He seized the dragon—that old serpent, who is the devil, Satan—and bound him in chains for a thousand years. The angel threw him into the bottomless pit, which he then shut and locked so Satan could not deceive the nations anymore until the thousand years were finished. Afterward, he must be released for a little while.
Then I saw thrones, and the people sitting on them had been given the authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony about Jesus and for proclaiming the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his statue, nor accepted his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They all came to life again, and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
This is the first resurrection. (The rest of the dead did not come back to life until the thousand years had ended.) Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. For them, the second death holds no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him a thousand years. – Revelation 20:1-6
The Devil will be allowed out of his prison and he will deceive the world one last time, leading an army against Jerusalem. However, he and his army will be destroyed by fire in an instant.
Then the devil will be thrown into the lake of fire. The dead will rise to be judged and they along with all of those that are still living that have not placed their faith in Jesus Christ will be thrown into the lake of fire as well.
When the thousand years come to an end, Satan will be let out of his prison. He will go out to deceive the nations—called Gog and Magog—in every corner of the earth. He will gather them together for battle—a mighty army, as numberless as sand along the seashore. And I saw them as they went up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded God’s people and the beloved city. But fire from heaven came down on the attacking armies and consumed them.
Then the devil, who had deceived them, was thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
And I saw a great white throne and the one sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from his presence, but they found no place to hide. I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds. Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire. – Revelation 20:7-15
Then the old earth and heaven will disappear. There will be a new earth and a new heaven. A new Jerusalem at the center of it all. Untouched by sin. There will be no more tears. He will wipe them all away. There will be no more evil or darkness. And we will live with God forever and ever just as He originally planned when He created us.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. – Revelation 21:1-2
Isn’t that beautiful? The entirety of human history has been about God saving us from our own terrible mistake. It brings tears to my eyes. He loves us so much we cannot even truly fathom it.
There will come a day when the only sign that sin and evil ever existed will be the scars in the hands and feet of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I cannot remember where I heard it put this way, but, I found it particularly beautiful and poetic.
No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever. – Revelation 22:3-5
Let us now return to the original question.
“Why did God allow me to be abused?”
This eternal paradise… This salvation through Jesus Christ is what the Lord desires for all of mankind. Only He knows how to lead us to Him. And He cares about our suffering and detests evil. He will wipe away every tear. He will right every wrong. He will heal every broken heart and give us bodies that will never fail us.
God doesn’t want you to be abused. I think those of us that have endured abuse hope that He will take us away or destroy our abuser. It is difficult to accept that He wants to save that person as well. I understand that. I have endured it myself. However, we have all fallen short. Jesus died for every man and woman’s sins. No matter how great or small. And so, we have a choice. We can either forgive our abuser as God has forgiven us. Or not.
I’ve lived with a bitter grudge in my heart and it is a heavy burden. Lay it down at the feet of Jesus. He will heal your broken heart. He will give you new life and there will come a day when you will have a new mind and a new body that will be untouched by evil. Those hateful words will be washed away. Those bruises and scars will be gone. Those deformities and diseases will cease to exist. No more pain. No more death.
Jesus Christ wants to save you. Will you let Him?