1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
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.
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:
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.
Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
What a comforting thought to know that one day that Lord is going to return and take His children home to be with Him forever! Sometimes when the cares of the world get me down, when those who are closest to me let me down, when I am weary and worn and fearful and despondent, when the news is bad and money is tight and the report is dreary, I think on the fact that all of this is temporary. I remember Paul’s description of the coming of the Lord. He said the Lord shall “descend from heaven with a shout”. I sometimes wonder if I will be shouting too, because I know I will be excited if I am one of those who are “alive and remain” until the coming of the Lord Jesus. I long for His coming. I long to meet Him face to face. I want to live in the splendor of heaven forever, leaving behind the world of agony in which we presently live.
I think of all the of the saints who have gone before and have already met the Lord. I think about people like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Moses, Joshua, and Caleb, Samuel, Isaiah, Elijah and David. I have often thought of Jeremiah, and how my heart is burdened like his for the people of God and for the lost people that I know. I think of Habakkuk and how he wondered how long the Lord would allow the unrighteous to seemingly get away with their wickedness. I think of Godly Bible teachers and church leaders who have gone before, like Jonathan Edwards and Charles Spurgeon, like Adrian Rogers and J. Vernon McGee. I also think of loved ones that I know are resting at the feet of Jesus, like my grandmother and one of my friends. I will be glad when I can see them all.
I will certainly be glad to meet the Father. I hope I get a private moment with Him. I want to talk to Him about so much. I hope I get to chat with Him about how His Word sustained me during some difficult times. I hope I get to tell Him how much His encouragement and peace meant to me while I was here on earth.
I do not claim to know when the Lord will return, but I do know that it will be a glorious day for all those who know Him. If you do not know Him, do not let this moment pass. Tomorrow is not promised.