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June 19, 2010

Building Strong Friendships in Christ

Waiting for Jesus Today

“and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.”

1 Thessalonians 1:10, Page 1846

       The Bible presents a very clear picture of Jesus coming to resurrect believers in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (pages 1849-1850).  The Bible shows us that when Jesus comes to the clouds of earth, and brings all the believers in Christ with Him, at that time He will raise from the dead the bodies of all the believers on earth.  Resurrection in the New Testament always means the transforming of the physical body into a body of glory.    So, when Jesus appears, He will descend with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God and the dead in Christ will rise first, then those believers who are alive when He comes in the clouds.  Notice that in this passage Christ never touches foot upon the earth, but resurrects the believers to the clouds to be with Him forever.   Many believers refer to the appearance of Jesus in the clouds as the Rapture. We should comfort one another with those words.

       Paul introduces Jesus in 1 Thessalonians 1:10 as the Rescuer of believers from the wrath to come.  If you read the Book of Revelation, you will see a very clear picture of God’s wrath poured out upon the earth over a seven year period (called the  Tribulation), still future from today.  Before those days of wrath come, Jesus will come to the clouds to rescue believers from that time of intense wrath upon the earth.

       Paul also emphasizes that the Thessalonians were waiting for Jesus because He had been raised from the dead.  So, every believer should wait patiently,  while working diligently, for the appearance of Christ to rescue the believers.  He stands as the living promise of our resurrection to be with Him for ever.

       So, let us review in this verse the points it makes about forging strong friendships in Christ.

       ●   Strong friendships share a common faith that Jesus has been raised from the dead.

       ●   Strong friendships share a hope of Christ coming again.

       ●   Strong friendships share a common view that the entire world sits under judgment from God for doing evil, and He will bring wrath upon everyone we know outside of Christ.

      ●   Strong friendships share a common faith that Jesus will rescue us from the wrath to come.

  Application for Today

        Today, I want to encourage my friends to think about Jesus.  I want to share with them that Jesus lives today, and He will come again to rescue all believers from the wrath to come.    Only Jesus can rescue people from the wrath to come, and we should look forward to the day when He appears in the clouds to resurrect our bodies to be with Him forever.  Who are you waiting for today?


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