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::Devotional:: “We Will Meet Them In The Air”

October 12, 2009

This past weekend my wife’s grandfather passed away at the age of 92 after a battle with cancer.  I remember just a few short weeks ago visiting with him and hearing stories of a hard lived life, but a life lived with great reward.  He was a man well loved and well respected by his friends, neighbors, and especially his family.  It is hard to see a loved one pass away, especially a parent or a grandparent.  However, we can find comfort in the scriptures by trusting God to hold true to his promise that one day we will join those Christians who have gone before us in the air when the Lord returns.

The Apostle Paul wrote to members of the church in Thessalonica to answer a very pressing question on their minds at one point.  “What happens to Christians when they die”, they asked. Here is what Paul told them.

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.  According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.  For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  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.  Therefore encourage each other with these words.  1 Thessalonians 4:14-18

In the last verse, the NIV Bible uses the word encourage – “encourage each other”, but the Greek word can also be translated as “comfort” as well.  I find comfort in this verse more so than I do encouragement.  Maybe that’s just me. It is a comfort to look forward to the return of friends and family who have gone before me.  It is a comfort to me that this teaching from Paul is something that came directly from the lips of the Lord Jesus himself.  Paul says “according to the Lord’s own word”.  That is a promise from God and one thing I’ve learned in my life is that the peace of the Lord comes from the promises of the Lord.

To close this morning’s devotion I want to share a video of a song by Chris Tomlin called “I will rise”.  Chris explained that he was challenged by a friend of his to write a song for the church for those times of grief and hardship we often experience in times of death.  Something of an “It is well” for the next generation.

 I hope you find comfort in knowing that those who have believed and have gone on before us will one day return with the Lord and we will meet them in the air.

-Stay Rooted Col. 2:7-

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