Sunday, August 31, 2008

I Thessalonians 4:16-17

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: (17) 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 ever be with the Lord. (KJV)

Today I went to a funeral for a man who two weeks ago was enjoying a cruise to Alaska. As he returned from his trip, he became ill and ultimately went home to be with the Lord. Also two weeks ago, today, we, as most of you may know, enjoyed a marriage feast for my son, Paul. As it happen ed Paul was married on August 15th, an already important day in our family. Paul’s grandfather Wills who passed away in 1994 was born on that date and it was also the birth date for his great grandmother Schultz who passed away in 1959.

You may be wondering how all of this is related. The man whose funeral we attended today and Paul’s grandfather and great grandmother were all Christians. I was thinking about the joy at Paul’s marriage and also about the joy we will experience when Christ comes to get his bride, the church. Our verses for this week talk about this coming marriage of Christ and how he will come to get all of us who are Christians and have been born again. This means those that are “dead in Christ” – those who have died physically, will rise from their graves to meet the Lord in the air and then those Christians who are still alive will also be caught up into the air to meet our Lord. =2 0We –all Christians – are Christ’s bride and one day he will come back to get all of us, whether we are dead or alive.

We had a great time at my son’s wedding, but the wedding of Christ and his bride will be even greater. The only point yet to make is this; those mentioned above who have died were ready spiritually to be taken from this earth. Some were taken very unexpectedly and quickly. None of us who remain know how much longer we will live this earthly life. Perhaps we will live to be one hundred; perhaps we will die tonight in our sleep.

We must be ready to leave this life at any time. Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? Have you experienced His forgiveness? Are you looking forward to Christ’s return to receive His bride? I hope you can answer “yes” to each of these questions. You are invited to the marriage feast in Heaven. Don’t miss the celebration!

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