Tuesday, February 28, 2017

In Preparation For That Ultimate Trip

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (King James Version)
"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  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: 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.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words."

There are skeptics in this hour that are asking if the church - the body of Christ - is "fading out."
The answer to them is this...the church is NOT fading, but "functioning."  
It is not on the way out - but, on the "way up."  
What a bad sense of timing to be looking for the church rundown when we should be looking for the countdown...in preparation for that ultimate trip...that glorious trip heavenward.  
I don't know about you but, I am not looking to rundown...rather, I am expecting to "take off."
There is going to be a meeting in the air - and I plan to be there!

The age and the hour in which we live is without a doubt dispensational timed.  We live in the space age, the age of the astronaut.  The world is space minded.  Man has gone to the moon and back.  In fact, we'll be exploring other planets in due time should Jesus tarry.  But, I am of the opinion that this is the last age mankind will see.
   The Great Space Navigator Supreme is about to return as He promised!
** In the Patriarchal Age....there was Enoch (he went for a walk).
     Genesis 5:21-24
** In the Prophetical Age...there was Elijah (chariot fire).
     1 Kings 18:17-40  
** In the Gospel Age...there was Jesus
     (He went up to Heaven as the first fruits and at the rapture the church will be the harvest).
The scriptures above (1Thessalonians) are the basis of our blessed hope of such a prospect.
What a wonderful event is is going to be!  
This event involves a person, our Lord Jesus Christ.
I would like to share a few thoughts with you - under three main headings, which I will refer to as...
*  The Commencement of the event
*  The Consequences of the event
*And, The Consummation of the event.

This great and glorious event will commence with the Lord Himself.  We are not looking for an event but, we are looking for the Lord Himself.  He is not going to send an angel or an archangel but, the same Jesus that went away will come again.  Jesus said in John 14:3, "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am ye may be also".  
His coming will commence with a shout - and the voice of the archangel - and the trump of God. 
I believe His return is so imminent that we can stop looking for more signs - and start listening for the sound.   Sounds......will commence this great and glorious event...the coming of Jesus, the rapture of His church.

The consequences of this great event will be supernatural and miraculous.  Notice with me, three miraculous manifestations...
* the miracle of resurrection
The dead in Christ shall rise.  The dead shall be raised incorruptible.  The Christians hope of resurrection is based on the fact of Christ's resurrection.  He arose and we shall rise also.  Though our Lord was crucified and buried, He arose triumphantly from the grave.  
He is alive and He is coming again!  
When He does come, the power of God will quicken the dead in Christ and they shall come forth from their graves.  John Wesley once wrote, "Made like Him, like Him we rise.  Ours the cross, the grave and the skies."
* the miracle of transformation
1 Thessalonians 4:17, "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."  
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:51, "Behold I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed."  
Friends, this will happen in a moment...in the twinkling of an eye!  
When we see Jesus we shall be like Him...we shall see Him as He is.  
Our predestination will be complete.    We will be conformed to the image of His dear Son.  
   * the miracle of translation
As the saying of an old religious song, "clothed in His likeness, transported I rise, to shout with the millions on high...caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air."  Amen?
At this event we will be with one another and with our Lord.  I'm looking forward to that day!
It will not be the translation of a solitary man who walked with God, not a single prophet of fire, but, praise God - it will be untold millions of glorious saints, snatched away by the power of God.
What a gathering....what a reunion!
The story is told of a Christian attending the funeral of another Christian.  they were asked by a non-Christian relative if he wished to see his friend for the last time.  "No", said the Christian, "I will see him again."  The non-Christian was bewildered but what he did not realize was that Christians never see each other for the last time.  We all meet again to part no more!

The scripture above (1 Thessalonians) were words directed to people who had lost their loved ones, who were sorrowing and discomforted, wondering if they would ever see them again.  Paul enlightens them and comforts them with these words, assuring them that they will meet again in the rapture of the church and be together forever with the Lord.  That's the consummation of this glorious even..."so shall we be forever with the Lord."
We will share His life, His love and His likeness. 
He is the blessed hope of the church and is a comfort to God's people.

BUT...it is a challenge to the unprepared

- the lost 

and those who have not given their hearts to Jesus.

Will Christ's return find you prepared?

Will you be left behind to share His wrath and His judgment?

What does the coming of the Lord mean TO YOU?

Don't Delay!

Prepare to be a participant in this glorious event!

Prepare to meet the Lord in the air.