“16. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
What amazing words! Jesus promised Christians that He would one day descend from heaven, where we will be caught up together, meeting Him in the air! And we will be with Him forever! The next verse tells us: “Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:18). We are to remember that Jesus has not forgotten us, He is coming for us, and we should strongly encourage one another with these words.
When will this happen? “1. But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-2). No one knows. But if we pay attention, we will be able to tell when that day is getting closer! As long as we are cognizant as to what is happening in the world and in the church, that day should not take us by surprise. Even though a thief does not call ahead to warn you when he will break into a home or business, we know the most opportune times for a thief to break into a place. And we prepare. We watch. We make sure that we will not be caught off guard. We take precautions to keep us from an unexpected break-in. Just in the same manner, we should live our lives prepared. We know that day will come suddenly, as a surprise. We need to watch. As Christians, we should be living as if that day could be today. The day the Lord will come, and each Christian will stand before Him to give an accounting of his or her life, and what that person has done with that life to please the Lord. It is important to keep in the forefront of our minds that we represent Jesus in this world — for we are His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20). Remember the warning Paul gave to us. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Throughout the New Testament Paul encouraged Christians in what they were to do. Each Christian needs to remember that we are to become more like Jesus everyday. We must be aware of the temptations that surround us, that try to prevent us from living right. We must make a conscious effort to live a faithful Christian life, pleasing Jesus all day every day, never becoming tired of the Christian life. We are to always be on guard, awake, and ready for Jesus to come again at any moment! And we are to encourage others with this message! Remember the words of Galatians 6:9: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
Don’t be weary in well doing, remembering that Jesus could come today!