“Christ the LORD has risen today…” Amen!
We sing, and many churches do, this song by Charles Wesley, a minister of the gospel, in the 18th century. One of the lyrics read:
“Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, alleluia!”
We, who believe in Christ, do have the skies!
“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.” 1 Thessalonians 4:17
We will be caught up together in the air, or skies, and we shall always be with our sweet LORD!
The full passage:
13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep [die physically], lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe THAT JESUS DIED AND ROSE AGAIN, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
15 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 [“go ahead of”] those who are asleep. 16 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. 17 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. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4)
We have hope. We have hope to be with Jesus Christ throughout eternity.
BUT FIRST WE HAVE THE CROSS!
This corona virus put the world into fear, those who don’t know the perfect love of the LORD. Do you know the perfect love of the LORD?
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18
BUILDING HIS KINGDOM
If I die, if my time is over on the earth and that is up to the LORD, I will live on in heaven, in glory. If I live, I will live for the LORD, building His Kingdom.
For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. Romans 14:8
We should be willing to build His Kingdom! That is love: willing to suffer scorn and persecution so that some souls will be saved!
22 And on some have compassion, making a distinction; 23 but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. (Jude)
We need to “Seek the LORD while He may be found…” Isaiah 55:6
THE CROSS OF SUFFERING
Many of our brothers have it much harder in these troubling times. There is always someone who has a harder time than you! A country, it is reported, is distributing groceries and other essential items to Muslim citizens only! I pray for this country, that the LORD will raise up a spirit of Elijah to multiply the food for these Christians!
1 Kings 17:15 “So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days. 16 The bin of flour was not used up, nor DID THE JAR OF OIL RUN dry, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke by Elijah.”
May Christians have miraculous food from the courts of heaven! Amen! Our God supplies all our needs. He is Yahweh-Yireh, “the LORD who provides.” In these days to come, the LORD will provide for His Church.
BUT TRIBULATION IS PROPHESIED …
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
We need to be “patient in tribulation” Romans 12:12
Another Scripture …
And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; Romans 5:3
“I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.” 2 Corinthians 7:4c
who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:4
The writer John records in the Book of Revelation:
I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. Revelation 1:9
John was exiled for his faith. And many martyrs will suffer for their faith too.
And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Revelation 7:14
Pray for the persecuted church. However, because of the Resurrection, we have hope!
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 2 Corinthians 4:17
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God….. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
24For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. Roman 8
When are our bodies redeemed? At the resurrection of our bodies!
“in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.“ (1 Cor 15:52)
This refers back to this other Scripture:
17 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. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4)
Quite possibly, we, who are living in these days when Israel has become a nation and prophecies are being fulfilled left and right, “ we, who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air!”
We ACTUALLY may not face the grave, as it says in this song of Resurrection! We will be changed instantly “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” as a resurrected body! I don’t think this is quite yet. But I believe we are in the last days of the end time.
But we do have tribulation to go through. However …
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” Romans 8:35
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37
AMEN and AMEN!
See the lyrics to Your Love! (based on Romans 8); My Conqueror First Loved Me; The Firstfruits of Many.