August 7, 2010

Building Strong Friendships in Christ

Listening for Resurrection Today

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.”

1 Thessalonians 4:16

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Eternal Life

     Jesus will resurrect the body of every believer.  Think about that fact for a minute.  No believer will be left out, and every believer will receive a glorified body.  One day, Jesus will resurrect you, if you are in Christ.  Jesus loves to provide details of that resurrection day, so we can see how this particular moment of resurrection fits into His total plan for the future of believers and the entire world. 

       In 1 Thessalonians 4:16,  we see that the Lord Jesus comes to resurrect the bodies of His saints.  The Lord Jesus Himself comes to the resurrection with a shout of command.  The word used here for “shout” means to shout a command, or issue a command with loud authority.  In John 11:43, Jesus commanded Lazarus to come forth from the tomb, and back to life.  Lazarus did not have a resurrected body, but his old body was revived.

       Next, we read that Jesus will come with the voice of the archangel.  The only other mention in Scripture of the word “archangel” occurs in Jude 1:9, and refers to “Michael the archangel.”  Therefore, probably Michael will shout as Jesus descends from heaven.

       Finally, the trumpet of God will sound forth.  In 1 Corinthians 15:52,  we know that the dead will be raised imperishable at the sound of the last trumpet, in the twinkling of an eye.  Again, Jesus emphasizes that the dead in Christ shall be raised first.

      As a whole, this verse adds details to the picture of the resurrection of the bodies of the saints.  Each believer looks forward to hearing the Savior’s voice.  In John 5:28-29, Jesus explained that all the dead would hear His voice, and the believers would be resurrected to life, and the unbelievers to a resurrection of judgment.  As believers, we know that when we die, we depart our physical bodies and go home to be with Jesus.  At the Rapture, Jesus will bring us back with Him, and He will resurrect our bodies.  We shall forever be with Him, in our glorified and imperishable bodies.

         So, we learn some more about building strong friendships in Christ.

      ●  Strong bonds of friendship form when we expect to hear the voice of the Lord Jesus, commanding the resurrection of the bodies of believers from all over the world.

     ●  Strong bonds of friendship grow when we comfort and encourage each other by looking to the  future, and listening for the commanding shout of Christ, the voice of the archangel, and the last trumpet.

     ●  We harm our bonds of friendship when we no longer care about the future, and lose our hope of seeing Jesus face to face, with resurrected bodies, to dwell with Him forever.   

Application for Today

        Today, I will be listening for resurrection.  I know Jesus may come with His shout at any moment.  What will you hear today?



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