Monday, March 9, 2015

The Return of Jesus--A Fairy Tale?

13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 

15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 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. 

17 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. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thess 4.13-18)


Do you ever read a passage such as this one and find yourself asking, “Is this really real??” Imagine all of a sudden when I am driving to the grocery store, the skies open and there is a loud trumpet call and the powerful voice of an angel… 

Forget the milk and bread!! Don’t run off the road, but then if you do, you know everything is still going to be okay. Jesus has returned.

And he is bringing with him “all those who have fallen asleep in him”: my mom and dad (Edith and Taylor), my friend Brad Bynum, my friend Andrea Browning who died 27 years ago today, and hundreds of friends who have died from cancer or heart attacks or car well as some precious children who left us in an "untimely" way to go on to be with Jesus. 

All this can seem like a sci fi movie…special effects abounding and plentiful. Being “caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” No ride in Disney World can even begin to compare.

Living in the age of reason and science and skepticism and realism, we can lose sight of this incredible promise from the Bible.

If we really do believe that after the death of “his saints” there will be a resurrection, a new heaven, and a new earth, wouldn’t we be extremely motivated not only to live our lives for Jesus but to encourage others to do so also?

When disciples of Jesus die, we do grieve, but we don’t grieve as those with no hope…we grieve while holding on to the sure promise of resurrection, renewal, reunion.

Though all this is no fairy tale, those of us who are His followers will live happily ever after and after and after…

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