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Bible Pathways 12/7/2000

December 7

I Thessalonians 1 -- 5

The certainty of the believer's eternal life with Christ in Heaven is based on the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ (see I Corinthians 15:20-23). This should remove all doubt concerning our future, for the Apostle Paul wrote: If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the Word of the Lord . . . The Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and we shall ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words (I Thessalonians 4:14-18). How comforting were the words of Jesus when He said: Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions . . . I go to prepare a place for you (John 14:1-2).
The physical return of Christ to earth will be the greatest event to take place since His ascension, when a cloud received Him out of their sight (Acts 1:9). His return was confirmed at the time of His ascension by two witnesses from Heaven, who announced: This same Jesus, who is taken up from you into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go into Heaven (1:11).
We can comfort fellow Christians whose loved ones have been called home to be with the Lord with the assurance that soon they will have a joyous reunion -- not only with Christ, but also with all their redeemed loved ones.
There are no words to describe the wonderful, glorious, thrilling return of our Lord Jesus Christ. All of history is reduced to just two ages: the present age that began with Adam, and the age to come, often referred to as the day of the Lord (I Thessalonians 5:2). All history is moving toward the appointed day of the Lord. This is the joyous anticipation of every Christian who is faithfully preparing and waiting for the triumphant return of our Redeemer, the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
Every generation of Christians has lived with the anticipation of Christ's return, and we are almost 2,000 years closer to that day than when Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica! Let us beware of becoming involved in worldly activities that rob us of our spiritual usefulness, lest we, like the five foolish virgins, be caught unprepared (Matthew 25:1-13). Christ's return is vital to our faith. Let the hope of His return be our sustaining joy and strength regardless of present circumstances.
Because of this, in every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (I Thessalonians 5:18).


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Memory Verse for the Week:
I Peter 1:22

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