In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 Paul gives some sobering, yet positive words about the coming of the Lord. Read these verses and be encouraged.
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep [a]in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive [b]and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a [c]shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive [d]and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
This is just another mystery that is revealed for believers as we serve the Lord. Paul even uses verse 18 as another reminder of what heavenward thinking should be like where he says, 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Comfort is an amazing word. The Webster definition is as follows (def) The easing or alleviation of a person’s feelings of grief or distress. God is the ultimate “easer” when it comes to hurt and pain. And that is why as a fellow believer I try to always point to the Lord for comfort for those who lose loved ones. In fact, our departed loved ones who know Jesus will be with Jesus when He comes to get us, so they are one major step ahead of us. That means God is holding them until He comes again and they will be with Him. Verse 4 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. There is the comfort Paul was talking about in verse 18. This comfort is not found in what we do for each other, but in the realization that Jesus is true to His Word and that He is controlling the whole thing and that means those who are now dead will be flying in with Him at the time of the rapture. WOW!! What a realization! The dead in Christ will rise first and then us. Time elements will not be important at that time. The only time element that will matter is “it is now!” It is finished….complete!
So what should be our attitude in light of this great truth? We need to share the message with everyone we meet and let them know that Jesus is coming. We do not need to mourn the dead, but realize they are more alive than ever and that Jesus has taken care of them. Even though we have done different things to comfort ourselves when a loved one dies, the most comfort we have is that Jesus has taken care of those loved ones if they know Jesus. This truth is the way Jesus eases our hurt in the midst of the grief and distress. Only a loving Savior would do such a thing. Only Jesus! Also, make for sure you are ready to go when the voice of the archangel sounds and Jesus comes again. Your security in Christ is a comfort to those who have taken their eyes off this great truth given to us by Paul. Too many times we live like dead people because we have lost sight of the eternal life that we have in Christ. This should not be, and our minds need to be thinking of heavenward things and not things of this earth. Paul also tells of the result of living that heavenward thinking in 1 Corinthians 3:12-13 12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. Build your foundation on the things of God and let the world do what it will, but do not bow to earthly thinking that is temporal at best. We need to be verses in flight, not flirting with the world. Isaiah 40:31 – But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Our You Tube needs to be God Tube and set our minds on things above, not on things of this earth. Paul wrote this affirmation to the church at Colossae in 3:2 Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things. This world has nothing to offer us that matches what Jesus offers us through eternal glory with Him. Time to set our minds on things above and FLY.!!
The Pilgrimage continues…