Hello everyone, and welcome back to another episode in our second series “Preparing for the Season” Inspired by Psalm chapter one. In today’s episode, we would like to review once again Pauls’ conversation with the early Church regarding those who have died, and those who are dying, and those of us who will die before the return of Jesus Christ.
And the reason I’m addressing this issue is to help us prepare properly for the second coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Because it has been widely accepted there will be a rapture of the Church and we’ll escape the great tribulation because the scripture made several statements that seem to suggest we’ll not go through the great tribulation.
But that’s not the only reason why I’m sharing this information, because another reason it’s because if we keep looking to escape the great tribulation, we’ll miss out on one of the greatest moments of our lives I’ll share with you later.
But let’s examine Paul’s conversation with the early Church to understand Paul was not speaking regarding the Church being raptured off the earth to be with Christ in heaven away from the earth because that would contradict Isaiah’s prophecy concerning the return of Jesus Christ. Because Isaiah speaking of the coming kingdom, spoke both of Christ being the king over all the nations and our part in the establishment of the kingdom of God.
Isaiah prophesied, Isaiah 9:7 “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” And what we needed to have understood that the increase of the government of Christ will include those of us who are coming into the kingdom through the proclamation of the gospel and God is so determined to accomplish this he gave us his Holy Spirit the baptism of fire and his zeal. “The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”
Therefore, as we examine Paul’s conversation with the early Church, we can see that it falls in line with Isaiah’s prophecy, because both those who have served until their death, and those who will have to endure the great persecution and survived, will be with Christ upon his return. However, it will not be a rapture away from the earth, but a transformation in an instant to be reunited with those who had passed on before us.
As a result, Paul made this statement, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 “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.”
It should be clear from this statement, Paul was providing comfort to those who were sorrowful for those who had passed on, and let’s remember many among the believers during these days were put to death for their faith in Jesus Christ. And let’s also remember Paul also lost his life for the sake of the gospel.
Therefore, addressing this issue was important because the Church was facing persecution to which John also wrote, Revelation 1:9 “I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
John was placed on the Island of Patmos because he was standing up for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we need to understand that those passing on before us into glory will return with Jesus Christ and we’ll be with them forever with Christ in his kingdom. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.”
Having heard these things, the Church was to understand that we’ll not prevent those who have passed on from entering the kingdom, meaning we who are alive and remain will not be the only ones to inherit the kingdom of God. In other words, the living in Christ will not be the only ones to inherit the kingdom, therefore, we’ll not prevent those who have passed on before us.
1 Thessalonians 4:15-16 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:
The transformation and the event of the return of Jesus Christ will be that those who have passed on into glory their bodies will be resurrected to meet their souls in the air with Christ, in the same manner, Christ returned to his body after his death and resurrection. Those passing on before us will be reunited with their bodies and we who remain and are alive will be transformed putting on glorified bodies to be with Christ forevermore.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 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 forever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
However, let’s not be distracted because Paul said we’ll be caught up in the air in the clouds” because the clouds here are not clouds as we know it to be, but rather the great number of saints returning with Jesus Christ…
Jude 1:14-15 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
Well, thank you for joining us today, and we hope you will join us again next time as we continue on our journey through Psalm chapter one.
And remember to subscribe to our podcast and show your support for this ministry… at Spectacle for Christ dot come and find out more about our upcoming podcast series…Thank you and may God bless and keep you in good health and his grace.