Friday, October 24, 2014

JESUS IS COMING WITH A SHOUT!

“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” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).

In Greek, the word “shout” means to incite by word, to awaken, excite, spur to action. The voice of the archangel will be heard by all overcomers. “He is at the door! Come, beloved! He whom you love has come to take you away.” This is no discreet coming, quietly done in a corner. No! Jesus is coming with trumpet blasting, with hosts of angels, with a shout, with a cry of the archangel. The dead in Christ will arise first to meet Him in the air. They will embrace Him first. Do you think they will be silent? With new bodies? Eternally redeemed and at long last home with Jesus? Beloved, there will be thunderous rejoicing! And while they are rejoicing, He will send His angels into all the world and gather His children. What a welcome that will be.

But here is the meaning of His coming, distilled in a few words: “And so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). How foolish it is to argue whether we will be living on earth or in some heaven. Heaven will be wherever Jesus is. Some are so determined we will never leave this earth, that Jesus will come down to us and set up a world kingdom. All I want is this: “So shall we ever be with the Lord.”

Do you desire to ever be with the Lord? Did you know that it is also His desire to be with you? “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory” (John 17:24). Leave the times and seasons in the Father’s hands and live every day of your life as if Christ were coming within the hour. But remember, until He comes there is much work to be done.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

HIS COMING WILL BE A GREAT CELEBRATION

For us who make up the bride, there must be no fear when He appears. “But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy” (1 Peter 4:13).

Never forget that He will not surprise those who expect Him, who are “looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God” (2 Peter 3:12). Those who are looking and expecting His coming are “redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16). They are not sitting in front of the TV, wrapped up in selfish dreams and foolish ambitions! They are busy adorning themselves as a bride-in-waiting, occupying until He comes. That day will not “overtake” those who are prepared. He will not come as a thief in the night to the expectant!

It will also be the Lord’s day of gladness because He is anxious to be with His bride: “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me” (Song of Solomon 7:10). We forget about His excitement, His joy, His expectancy. Yes, He yearns for His bride! He rejoiced after the disciples returned from casting out devils (see Luke 10:17-22). He is man glorified, partaking of all our feelings, and full of joyful anticipation of having His bride, of claiming her, and of drawing her to Himself!

He has promised to show Himself to those looking for His coming. “Unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Hebrews 9:28). This time He does not come to atone for sin, but to reveal His glory to His bride. That manifestation has already begun as He is showing forth His power and glory to His holy remnant. They will be caught up in its magnetic pull. He is no trickster; rather, He is wooing, cleansing, calling, and drawing us closer.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

WE WILL SEE HIM!

“This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).

A flesh and bone body was laid in the tomb, and it was a resurrected flesh and bone body that Thomas touched (see John 20:26-29). He touched His hands and put his hand in His side. This was truly a man—glorified—who ascended to the Father! Jesus did not vaporize before them; He was lifted in a cloud until He was out of sight. What an awesome sight it had to have been: Jesus glowing—radiant with glory—face heavenward—slowly lifted above them. The apostles had to have fallen on their knees!

They saw the whole advent with their eyes fixed on Him: “While they looked steadfastly toward heaven” (Acts 1:10). They did not blink an eye and He was gone! It is true that we will be changed in the twinkling of an eye: “We shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). Paul is talking about our bodily change when we are “caught up together with [the resurrected dead] in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). He will come quickly, suddenly, and we will be changed bodily in a moment.

The writer of the book of Hebrews suggests God’s people will see the day approaching: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together . . . but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). “But we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him” (Revelation 1:7). “And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads” (Revelation 22:4). Stephen, “being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55). Stephen is a type of those living in the last days—“full of the Holy Ghost”—who will be given open eyes and an open heaven. We will see Jesus coming in glory with all the holy angels and we will see the train of His glory!