For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.
—1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (NLT)
This world is full of injustice and growing anarchy. A plague is taking lives. Evil is rampant. "Encourage each other with these words," Paul writes. Without a doubt, today's Scripture offers hope. Christ is coming again to take us out of this world of evil and chaos.
Jesus came once before into this world as an innocent child. The promise that Jesus is coming for His children fills us with great hope. He saved us on Calvary, and we believe in Him by faith. There is nothing else we have to do. We have an intimate relationship with God, our Father, because Jesus opened the way into God’s presence. Our home is not here on this decaying earth. It is with God in heaven. Jesus is coming to rescue us from this darkening world. While life around us spirals downward, we have His peace. We know He shall fulfill His promise.
We don’t just wait in anticipation for this promise. We share God’s love so those who need it. We don’t withhold the message of His grace that sets us free. God sent His Son into the world so that the world might be saved. Jesus did not come to condemn us but to love us. God wants no one to miss the promise of being with Him forever. And we are His ambassadors of grace to a lost and dying world.
How much time do we have to share the love of Christ? “No one knows the day or hour when these things will happen,” the gospel of Mark declares, “not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows” (Mark 13:32, NLT). We don’t know. Jesus doesn’t even know. God will send Jesus for His children when least expected.
To those who don’t know Christ, the promise in this Scripture has little meaning. But we live in a world that needs hope. The need to believe in something or someone who will save is growing stronger. Do you have loved ones who need Christ's hope? Do you have friends who are suffering and need an answer? Jesus is the answer. He removes the unforgiving darkness in a man's heart and replaces it with love and peace. He sets a man free to believe in someone greater than himself. Jesus gives joy and promise while the world speaks sadness and despair.
In Christ, you have eternal life. In Him, there is no death—only life with Him forever. This is the greatest promise to a dying world. Offer the joy of new life in Christ to others. Share His love to those who need Him—to those whom sin has robbed of any hope. God is sending His Son one day to bring His children home. No one needs to be forgotten.
©2020 Lynn Lacher