1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
13 Brothers and sisters, we want you to know what happens to those who die. We don’t want you to mourn, as other people do. They mourn because they don’t have any hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again. When he returns, many who believe in him will have died already. We believe that God will bring them back with Jesus. 15 This agrees with what the Lord has said. When the Lord comes, many of us will still be alive. We tell you that we will certainly not go up before those who have died. 16 The Lord himself will come down from heaven. We will hear a loud command. We will hear the voice of the leader of the angels. We will hear a blast from God’s trumpet. Many who believe in Christ will have died already. They will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them. We will be taken up in the clouds. We will meet the Lord in the air. And we will be with him forever. 18 So encourage one another with these words of comfort.
It seems a somewhat funny thing to consider, but God does not deal with the oxygen-breathers first, and then get around to the mouldy corpses or dust particles… God doesn’t see us that way, and according to this passage He’s raising the dead to life as His first priority and then bringing us all to be with Him. I suppose it makes sense, God made us all and He longs to banish death and bring in resurrection life. He only waits to give more people the opportunity to choose Him and be welcomed into His family.
God may be patient, but He is not passion-less. He is looking forward to reuniting His humongous family, all of His children, together, for eternity. If we are longing, full of hope, waiting, for a God-filled future… how much more is God, the great hero of our story, restraining Himself, holding on for the final moment before He starts putting everything in its place and righting every wrong. How much more is He waiting to be enjoying perfect relationship with all that He has made… if God is waiting just for us… that’s a God worth running to.
Lord, help me live with this glorious picture in my mind. Help me see you, Almighty God, restraining yourself such that more of your children might come through know you. Fill me with your passion and help me to show love and patience like you. Amen.
Written by Bethany Waugh