Summary: A devotion for young believers
14 “FOR IF WE BELIEVE THAT JESUS DIED AND ROSE AGAIN, EVEN SO GOD WILL BRING WITH HIM THOSE WHO HAVE FALLEN ASLEEP IN JESUS. 15 FOR THIS WE SAY TO YOU BY THE WORD OF THE LORD, THAT WE WHO ARE ALIVE, AND REMAIN UNTIL THE COMING OF THE LORD SHALL NOT PRECEDE THOSE WHO HAVE FALLEN ASLEEP. 16 FOR THE LORD HIMSELF WILL DESCEND FROM HEAVEN WITH A SHOUT, WITH THE VOICE OF THE ARCHANGEL, AND WITH THE TRUMPET OF GOD; AND THE DEAD IN CHRIST SHALL RISE FIRST. 17 THEN WE WHO ARE ALIVE AND REMAIN SHALL BE CAUGHT UP TOGETHER WITH THEM IN THE CLOUDS TO MEET THE LORD IN THE AIR, AND THUS WE SHALL ALWAYS BE WITH THE LORD. 18 THEREFORE COMFORT ONE ANOTHER WITH THESE WORDS.”
If you stop and think about these words, they seem kind of fantastic; just the thought of a loud angelic shout and the blast of a trumpet coming from the sky, and all who are still alive and believers in Christ suddenly disappearing from the earth to be instantly glorified and face to face with Jesus.
But it won’t be the first time something new happened,
that never happened before. When God told Noah that water was going to fall from the sky and flood the earth, up to that point it had never rained. A mist rose up from the ground to water the vegetation. They laughed at Noah...but it rained.
When God told Lot that Sodom and Gomorrah would be destroyed from Heaven, even members of Lot’s family didn’t believe. But fire rained down and destroyed the two cities.
The day will come, just as surely as the flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah...just as surely as the raising of Lazarus (John 11), just as surely as Christ’s resurrection and His ascension into Heaven (Acts 1); when people on this earth will hear that angel’s shout, a deafening trumpet blast, and millions of people will disappear in an instant.
That is why it is so important for people who hear the Gospel now, to believe and be saved. Not just a belief like we might have in flying saucers or Tinkerbell, but a belief that expresses itself in obedience to God and study of His word. When the author steps out onto the stage, the play is over. It will be too late then to make a decision as to what part you want to play.
But the main message of these verses is this: it WILL happen...He IS coming for His own, and He WILL NOT fail.
“Comfort one another with these words.”