Monday Morning Rewind- The Return of Jesus
What are Monday Morning Rewinds? Click here to see my original post explaining them.
Yesterday’s sermon was the continuation of the series I’m preaching through 1 Thessalonians. This sermon dealt with the return of Jesus in the context of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. The main point was not just for us to understand that Jesus will return, but to know why it is so important for our daily living. You can listen to this sermon here and find the accompanying PowerPoint slides (in PDF form).
Paul obviously was dealing with this topic because the Thessalonians were struggling with grieving like those who have no hope. Hope has been a major theme in these letters, and as Thessalonian people were passing away, the people were grieving like they forgot the hope they have in Christ.
So Paul taught them what is going to happen when Jesus returns. Even though this is a future event, it is important for our lives today because it is full of hope! Paul taught about the resurrection of bodies. When Jesus returns, He will raise the bodies of those true believers who died into the glorified bodies for the rest of eternity. Scripture teaches that at death, the body sleeps but the soul of the person goes on to be with the Lord (only for those who received Him as Savior during their life) (2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:20-24).
Some of the Thessalonians might have thought that if someone was already dead before Christ returned, that person had no hope of heaven. This is not correct thinking–in fact, Jesus will first raise those bodies. Then those who are alive will be raptured (or “caught up”) in the clouds with Jesus. All bodies will be changed at that time and those people will spend eternity with Jesus.
In a world where many questions are asked about life after death, Paul reminds us in verse 15– “For this we say unto you by the Word of the Lord…” God has given us a revelation by His Word!! There’s no need for human speculation when we have a divine revelation.
So what will happen when Jesus returns? Verses 16-17 say it in this order:
- The Lord will descend from heaven
- There will be a loud command from the Lord (like with Lazarus)
- The voice of an archangel will sound
- The trumpet of God will sound
- The dead in Christ will rise
- Those left who are in Christ will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord
- With glorified bodies, the dead and alive in Christ will live eternally with Him.
Why is this important for living today?
1- Don’t grieve as those who have no hope for those in your life who were saved by Jesus and have passed away. They are with the Lord, and one day we will be reunited with them!
2- Live with urgency now. 1 Cor. 15:52 tells us that this will happen in the “twinkling of an eye.” We’re not guaranteed anything beyond right now. There are people who will spend an eternity in hell because they’ve never given their lives to Jesus. Knowing that Jesus could return now, are we taking advantage of every opportunity we have to share the gospel with others?
3- All of the things we deal with in this life are small compared to the eternity we’ll spend with Jesus! We have hope in Jesus, so why worry about all the things of this life?
I really like this song by Jeff Johnson called Glorious Day. This video has the song playing with the lyrics (although they are not all correct), and its very applicable to this topic. Enjoy!