Jesus Is Coming Himself
For the Lord Himself
will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.
1 Thess. 4:16
Aren’t you glad that the Lord is coming back for us Himself and not just sending a representative to take us back to heaven? This is in fulfillment of the explicit promise He had previously made to the disciples:
I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
The Thessalonians were living in expectation of that promise and were eagerly waiting the personal return of Jesus. The archangel was a bonus but it was Jesus they wanted to see most of all.
They knew that the Rapture was the climactic event in the redemptive history of the church and didn’t want to miss it. To help them better understand the rapture, Paul mentions it in every chapter of First and Second Thessalonians.
Clearly, the Thessalonian believers had an imminent view of Christ’s return and Paul had left them with the impression it could happen at any time. The great hope of every believer should be the imminent return of Christ and the thrill of seeing Him face to face.
The promise that Jesus is personally coming also fulfills the pledge that the angels made after Jesus was raptured to heaven while the disciples looked on.
Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.
Are you ready to meet the Lord in the Air? As Paul told the Corinthians, “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” we will be transformed and lifted into His awesome presence. Maybe today!
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