Saturday, October 20, 2012
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13 KJV).
Beloved, our deceased loved ones in Christ are not lost forever!
With the recent passing of a dear saint, who I personally knew and referenced in a previous devotional, today’s Scripture is of great solace. God does not want us to be “ignorant” (uninformed) about those who have died in Christ. We members of the Church the Body of Christ have hope in Christ, a hope that non-Christians do not have.
While a vast distance separates us from the dearly departed Christians, some of whom we have not seen in many years or decades, there is a glorious prospect that we shall see them again, as if they never parted from us. Yes, their physical bodies are “asleep,” but they will one day be wakened, reunited with their souls and spirits.
As soon as the Church the Body of Christ is complete, our Dispensation of Grace will terminate with the “rapture” (derived from the Latin word translated “caught up” in 1 Thessalonians 4:17). Jesus Christ will leave heaven, bringing with Him the souls of the Christians who have died: “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him” (verse 14).
Christ will stand “in the air,” and from there, He will resurrect the physical bodies of deceased Christians and place their souls back into their bodies (verse 16). Then He will transform the physical bodies of us Christians who are alive. Both dead and living Christians will then “be caught up together… 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” (verses 17,18). All members of the Body of Christ will meet each other… for the very first time!
We mourn their loss, but we have hope: our loved ones who are dead in Christ are still in Christ, and if we are in Christ, we shall see them again, and be with them forever with the Lord. 🙂
Mrs. B. P. R.
June 23, 1936 – October 15, 2012