As I prepare to speak at Cedar Valley Bible Church’s annual “Second Coming Conference” (November 16-17), I want to work my way through three prophetic sections of Scripture: I Thessalonians 4:13-18, II Peter 3:1-18, and I John 3:1-10.
I’ve been impressed by how frequently prophetic material in the Scriptures often focuses upon how we should live now. Let’s look once more at our first text, I Thessalonians 4 —
What points of encouragement should we derive from this passage? We’ve seen that —
1. There ought to be a genuine care for those who have predeceased us (vv. 13-14).
We notice, secondly, that —
2. We have a biblical grief mixed with hope (v. 13). We read that we are not to “grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.”
Thirdly, we see that —
3. We have a clear confession of faith (v. 14). We read “For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” What a wonderful (and succinct) statement of belief: Jesus died and rose again and will come back!
Lastly, this passage teaches us that —
4. We have a guaranteed certainty about our future (v. 17). We read “After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” If Christianity is true and the Bible is the trustworthy Word of God, then the future of all believers is secure and certain! “And so we will be with the Lord forever.”
This wonderful text should encourage us on several levels. He is coming back! Maybe today! (to be continued)