In the previous post, I began a larger answer to our current question. The answer is: “Because the Holy Spirit said He would.” We will come back to that and include other occasions where He inspired men to write about the return of Christ.
Today, let’s expand further the item from yesterday. In 1 Thess. 4:13-18 the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write about the details of our Lord’s first return. He will return in two phases. In this return of Jesus, He does not return to the earth but does return.
Paul begins this explanation by telling us why he wrote this; because he did not want people to be ignorant or unaware or uninformed as to the details of His return. Then He shares a confession that he received this by the word of the Lord. Next, Paul gives the threefold details:
- For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven
Remember what the angels said in Acts 1:9-11? The angels said the Lord Himself would return. Paul reaffirms that truth here. Then he writes that His return will include three facets. He will come …with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.
- The dead in Christ will rise first
In a powerful demonstration difficult for us to comprehend, the bodies of the departed saints will be resurrected from the grave or from the place where they lost their life. That “body” will reunite with the person returning with the Lord. The dynamics are more than we can comprehend but once again we are reminded that all things are possible with the Lord.
- The living saints will be raptured
Paul writes, “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.” This is where we get the understanding of the rapture. The word “rapture” does not appear in the English Bible but is the meaning of the phrase “caught up.” This means to snatch up, grab up, or take up. You can see “rapture” is the accurate way to describe this action.
Then, Paul closed with the personal reason why he shared all this. So the Thessalonians [and us] could be comforted and so we could comfort other people with these words. Earlier he stated lost people have no hope. They have no hope because Jesus is not returning for them. But, we need not sorrow as lost people sorrow because He is coming back for us.
Have a great day. Keep living for Him. His return could be today.
Take note: The verse-by-verse study through the book of Revelation begins this Sunday evening: Here are the particulars:
7540 Davidson Rd
Olive Branch, MS
Time: 5:30 p.m.