1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, “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. 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. Therefore encourage one another with these words.”
Imagine sitting on the tarmac waiting for your plane to take off. You’re about to embark on the vacation of your dreams. Suddenly, you hear a shout followed by a commanding voice and the sound of a trumpet…
If you’re a Christ-follower, you find yourself suddenly floating in the clouds as you join with the believers that have already passed away and those still living for this joyous reunion. Seeing Jesus face to face, you’re assured by the fact that you will not have to endure the coming wrath that awaits the earth, your former home.
If you’re not a Christ-follower, you stare in amazement, confused and frightened by what’s unfolding. No one remains in the seats next to you. One-third of the people on the plane is suddenly gone. What is happening? Suddenly fear sets in as you realize the rapture occurred, and you remain.
The second scenario is frightening. But that was not Paul’s intent when he wrote today’s passage. In fact, if we are alive in Christ, we should be encouraged that Jesus will come for His people — both the living and the deceased. The most comforting of thoughts is the certainty that we “will be with the Lord forever.” He won’t just appear in the clouds to welcome us and send us to our final destination in heaven — no, He will spend eternity with us in a close and intimate way.
Our job now is to live each day as if it’s our last as we seek God, fulfill our purpose, and reach out to those who don’t know Him yet so they can share in this great reunion!
If the rapture was to occur tomorrow, what would happen to you? Today, either make the decision to commit your life to Christ or begin to pray for those in your life who don’t know Him. Watch for opportunities to share your story and invite them to church.
Heavenly Father, Thank You for calling me by name into a relationship with Your Son, Jesus. Give me the courage to reach out to others so they may experience Your love firsthand. Amen