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[Notice the order of this wonderfully glorious day: *Jesus, in all the dignity and magnificence of his eternal majesty, descends from heaven to what the Paul calls the air, somewhere within the earth’s atmosphere *then the shout or order, shall be given for the dead to arise *next the archangel, as the messenger of Christ, shall repeat “Arise, ye dead, and come to judgment” *when all the dead in Christ are raised, then the trumpet shall sound, as the signal for us all to group together to the throne of Christ. It was the sound of the trumpet that the solemn assemblies, under the law, were announced *When the dead in Christ are raised, their vile bodies will be made like unto his glorious body *those who are alive shall be changed, and receive eternal bodies*WE SHALL ALL BE CAUGHT UP TOGETHER TO MEET THE LORD IN THE AIR! ] “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 ONE ANOTHER WITH THESE WORDS” (1 Thess. 4:16-18) [Paul reminds them: “For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” It is very likely therefore, that Paul, just like our Lord, couples these two grand events-the destruction of Jerusalem and the final judgment!] “…the DAY OF THE LORD WILL COME like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” (1 Thess. 5:2-3) [Place your confidence in God, and in me [Jesus] as the Mediator between God and man; expect the maximum support from God; but EXPECT IT ALL THROUGH ME!] “But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but LET US BE AWAKE AND SOBER.” (1 Thess. 5:4-6) [We are the children of the day, for the day-star had risen upon us; the Sun of righteousness has risen upon us with healing under his wings. We are no longer under the darkness of heathenism, or under the shadows of the law, but under the gospel, WHICH BRINGS LIFE AND IMMORTALITY TO LIGHT!] “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. THEREFORE ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER AND BUILD EACH OTHER UP…” (1 Thess. 5:9-11)
Be blessed as you praise The Lord, knowing that WE MUST BE AWAKE AND SOBER! -Bill Stockham
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