JESUS CHRIST is COMING SOON - Are YOU READY? "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 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. Therefore comfort one another with these words." (1 Thess 4:16-18)
Just as the Old Testament foretold the first coming of Jesus through the prophets, Apostle Paul clearly states that Jesus Christ Himself is coming back the second time. The following observations can be made about the above verses:
- This is a message of comfort for born-again believers today.
- This event could happen at any time in the near future.
- Christ is coming down from heaven for His bride - the church.
- The church will be escorted by Christ to heaven after this event.
The exact order of events at Christ’s coming is given for our benefit. It will begin with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. Some Bible scholars feel that the shout is the voice of the Lord Jesus Himself which raises the dead (John 5:25; 11:43, 44). The voice of an archangel may be to summon the angels as a military escort to accompany the Lord and His saints through enemy territory back to heaven (Luke 16:22). The trumpet of God is the same as the last trumpet (1 Cor. 15:52) that calls the saints to their eternal blessing.
The air is Satan’s sphere (Eph. 2:2), so this is a triumphal gathering in open defiance of the devil right in his own stronghold. The bodies of the dead in Christ will rise first. Then the living righteous believers will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord Jesus in mid air. This event is also described by the word “Rapture” (a snatching away).
The Rapture is thus the first phase of Christ’s return, involving every righteous Christian alive at that time, as they will be caught up to meet Christ in the clouds instantaneously receiving glorified bodies. All those who have died “in Christ” will be resurrected as well. Then, we shall be forever with the Lord! What a glorious ‘blessed hope’ we have, so let us comfort one another with this truth. Let us seriously prepare ourselves for this great event, for Jesus is coming sooner than we anticipate!
"Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect." (Matt 24:42-44)