With HIM Forever!
May 15, 2020: SOAP #3816: 1Chronicles 25-27; 1Thessalonians 4
Scripture: 1Thessalonians (NIV) 4:14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so, we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage each other with these words.
Observation: When Jesus returns to gather his church, He will not come by himself. He will be bringing 'those who have fallen asleep in him.' Which agrees with 2Corinthians 5:8 which tells us to be 'absent from the body' is to be 'present with the Lord.' Their earthly bodies will be raised from the earth to join their spirits descending with the Lord.
Then the believers whose spirits and bodies are still joined, will be caught up, together with the resurrected bodies that have just been reunited with their spirits. Together we will enjoy the banquet He is preparing. With transformed bodies we will all serve God and enjoy the fullness of God's amazing kingdom. With HIM forever!
Application: 'Encourage each other with these words.' Death is not the final word. Goodbye is not for eternity. It is worth the sacrifice to serve Jesus. Resurrection is the logical conclusion of a believer's earthly life.
Prayer: Lord, having recently 'lost' a cousin, an aunt, and a dear Christian friend, I thank you for this passage and the encouragement it brings. The Covid-19 virus may prevent me from being present at a funeral, but nothing can prevent me from being present to greet them when you are acclaimed King of kings and Lord of lords! 'What a day that will be!!!' Amen
Making friends for time and eternity!