“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
I Thessalonians 4:13-18 NKJV
Lost and found
I have had a lot of loss since 2017. My sister died in December that year, my father entered the dark journey of dementia and died in February of 2019. I lost a couple of beloved cats along the way, and for the first time I felt completely alone. As if to fill the void, the Lord began to visit me through His word and much prayer. His presence in my mornings is almost tenable, as I read, worship, pray and write. He reminds me that the people we love in the Lord are never lost, l but merely separated from us.
I know with assurance that I will see my mother, who passed in 2000, and my sister again. I hope that I will see my father as well. In the meantime, he appears in my dreams every night, which gives me great comfort. With all the loss, I have peace and security, and a sense that the separation of the living and the dead, is slowly disintegrating as we near the coming of the Lord.
These perilous times are thrilling for me, like the birth pangs of an expectant mother, I note every little kick of a dying civilization with great joy. It may seem a bit macabre, but it is an inevitable sign of the times we are living in. It is one more sign that our world, as we know it is slipping away, and we are one day closer to seeing the coming of the Lord.
I have been looking at a lot of eschatology lately, the study of the last things, the end times. It is remarkable to see things in the bible coming into reality, as agreements near signing, and all the players are being placed into position. There is a tension building under the surface, that is providing just the right amount of heat to cause all things to come to pass. We have seen rapid changes in our world over the past couple years, with 2020 being most remarkable. The word “unprecendented” has been used a lot!
Encountering the passage in my reading today, brought much encouragement and built further my anticipation that it won’t be long until the body of Christ is reunited. I know many people who have lost loved ones over the past year. I try and imagine that moment when families of the saved, come back together. I am excited most for those who most recently said goodbye, those who witnessed the last breath of a husband or a wife, seeing them glorified, returned better than life, with no more separations for all eternity. All the sadness erased in glory!
Believers, go forth today and share the Gospel, the story of Jesus Christ, who came to die for our sins, who rose on the third day, and has broken the power of sin and death. Our world is running out of hope, and souls are going to hell. Let’s tell them of the blessed hope: that those who die in Christ are not gone, but waiting for us who remain to join them, whether by death or by the catching up, commonly referred to as the Rapture(s). Let us also tell them of the times to come, when darkness will cover the world and death will sweep many into Christ-less eternity.
If you have lost a loved one in the Lord, know this: We see them again. There will be no more goodbyes, no more tears, and eternity ahead.
I believe the time is coming soon. Very soon.
Praying for James Gasperowich this morning as lays his beloved Kathy to rest.
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