Our scripture today is 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18.
For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
Paul gives us his vision of Christ’s return in this passage. It is both a statement of belief – Jesus died and rose again – and our hope for future redemption through our faith in Him. Paul tells us to encourage each other with these words, that all may come to know that Jesus will return for us.
Paul wants us to understand that our faith both calls us and enables us to bear the trials Jesus said would occur while we are here. We pray that we may be faithful followers, sharing His love with the world until the day of His coming. Then, we will all be together with Him.
What a wonderful blessing and promise! However, we must be careful to make our faith in Him the center of our belief and not what we think His return will be like. No one knows when He is coming or the specifics, but we do know He will come in glory to take us home.
Loving Lord, we are thankful for Your redeeming power and we know You will return for us. Help us to be strong in our faith and patient as we wait for that day. Amen.