1. God keeps us in the faith. -- As it is God who gave us, and preserves in us, our natural life, so it is He who not only wrought faith and spiritual life in us, but who also keeps and preserves it. "Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation" (I Peter 1:5). "He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6). "Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Corinthians 1:8). From these texts it is evident that God does not merely start men on the way of faith to heaven, but that God also "strengthens and preserves us steadfast in His Word and faith until the end." 
2. We believe that we cannot, by our own reason or strength, believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord, or come to Him; but that the Holy Spirit has: 
a) called us by the Gospel, 
b) enlightened us with His gifts, 
c) sanctified and kept us in the one, true Faith; 
d) continues to call, gather, enlighten, and keep His holy church in Christ, 
e) daily and richly forgives our sins and the sins of all believers.
On the Last Day, He will raise us and all the dead, and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ. 
3. We do not know when this Last Day will be--not even Jesus knows! (Mark 13:32, Matthew 24:36)
"Faith in the forgiveness of sins implies faith in the resurrection. Death is the wages of sin (Romans 6:23). Christ delivered us from sin, hence also from death (Hebrews 2:14-15). Therefore faith in Christ carries with it the hope of resurrection (John 11:25-26).
The resurrection of our Lord proves that there is such a thing as a resurrection of the body. 'For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised' (I Corinthians 15:16). 'But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept' (I Corinthians 15:20). 
The [final] judgment is not an investigation to ascertain who is and who is not a believer; for as 'Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not' (John 6:64), so He also knows those who believe. 'The Lord knoweth them that are His' (II Timothy 2:19). Therefore at the very beginning of the judgment the sheep are separated from the goats. Also we know by the faith we now have where we shall stand on the Last Day. The question of eternal life and eternal death is not decided in the Final Judgment; that is decided by a sinner's conversion to Christ and by his continuance in the faith unto the end (Luke 23:43, Revelation 14:13, John 3:16). He who dies in the faith will stand on the right of the Judge and will be saved; he who dies in unbelief will stand on the left side and will be lost."
4. "The time. -- Contrary to [those who teach a literal 1,000 years from the misapplication and misreading of Revelation 20], the Bible teaches one general resurrection of all dead at the end of time. Speaking of believers, Christ says that He will raise them up at the Last Day (John 6:40). He also informs us that the good and the evil will be raised at the same time (John 5:28-29). From I Corinthians 15:23-24 and I Thessalonians 4:16, we learn that this resurrection will take place when Christ comes to judge the quick [living] and the dead." 
The Great Tribulation over 1,000 years spoken of in Revelation 20 is a spiritual battle, just as the New Jerusalem spoken of in Revelation 21 is just an analogy for the "new heavens and new earth." 
We invite you to explore these topics further in study of God's holy Word at Resurrection!
Adapted from: 
Summary of Christian Doctrine: A Popular Presentation of the Teachings of the Bible, Dr. Edward W. A. Koehler, copyright 1939. Reprinted 1952 & 1971.
Luther's Small Catechism, Third Article of the Apostles' Creed. Page 15 (1986, Concordia Publishing House). 
  May 2021  
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