"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words" (I Thess. 4:16-18).
Hey Gang: The last two morning messages were not ones that would make Miriam dance before the Lord (Ex. 15, BUT that is not the real intent of these morning sessions with you. True, there are very ominous clouds gathering over our world and the Word tells us that the days ahead are not going to be times when we want to be here. But, as I read the Word, I find so much more about whichto rejoice and sing praises - but we have to dig them out.
This morning I read a neat article that rang my bell, in the Israel My Glory monthly newsletter. The thing that caught my attention was the very first sentence in the article, "Imagine someone loving you so much He wants you to live in a place He has prepared for you in His presence forever. His name is Jesus; and as the troubles and trials of life oppress us, we need to remember what the early believers knew: Jesus is coming for His church". Now if that does not ring the cockles of your heart, you best check to see if you have a pulse.
Our Pastor, whose message theme for the morning was "Expectations", used an interesting illustration that we should all take to heart. The Word is very clear that we will all one day stand before Father God. How would you answer God's question "Why should I allow you to spend eternity with me?" Something to ponder as your go through your day.
Getting back to the subject at hand, what an awesome reality for the believer is that a day is coming, and most Bible guru's believe that day is near, when the believing church will be caught up - snatched away- to be with the Lord. The early church believed so strongly that Jesus would return during their life- times that greeted each other with the word 'Maranatha', meaning "O Lord, Come" (1 Cor. 16:22).
Jesus said, "Listen up sheep, I do not want you to be unaware of what is going to come when it appears that everything that can be shaken is going to be shaken." (Notice that little trigger word - If) "IF I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also." (John 14:3).
My mother was known as a traveler. It was said that she should have been buried in her 1963 Pontiac because she spent large portions of her later years traveling from one coast to the other. My bride and I adopted her modus operandi and made a vow that we would see as much of this great country as we could before we became too infirmed to drive. We have seen fabulously beautiful places like the Grand Teton Mountains, but I assure you, not one of them is even a little bit as wonderful as the heavenly home being prepared for the pure Church, which is also called the Bride of Christ.
Soooo, Have you got your wedding dresses or tuxedos prepared for that day when we, all of God's children, will be invited to the wedding feast of all time when we (His Body) are united in marriage with Yeshua, King of kings and Lord of lords? Now is the hour to be prepared.
One of my favorite hymns: "What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see. I shall look upon His face..."