The study of the end times is the consuming passion of many in the church today. Sensational best‑selling authors argue that current events fulfill their often dubious interpretations of biblical prophecy. Some claim to have figured out the secret that even Jesus in His Incarnation did not knowCthe time of the Second Coming. Tragically, some people get so caught up in the study of eschatology that they neglect the basic principles of spiritual growth and evangelism that the Second Coming is designed to motivate.
Of all the end‑time events, the Rapture of the church seems to generate the most interest and discussion. The young church at Thessalonica also had questions about that event, so Paul addressed their concerns in this passage. But unlike most modem‑day treatises on the subject, Paul's concern was not just doctrinal, but pastoral. His intent was not to give a detailed description of the Second Coming, but to comfort the Thessalonians. He ends chapter four with the statement; "Therefore encourage one another with these words." The promise of the Second Coming of Jesus was never meant to divide the Church, but to comfort the Church.
The promise of the Holy Scripture is that those who know Christ personally, will see Jesus face to face, with joy in their heart and excitement in their spiritual veins. When we see Him, "You shall know fully, even as you are fully known."
As a new Christian, I can remember singing a hymn that, for a long time, was one of my favorites. It went:
/Face to face with Christ my Savior, Face to face what will it be, When with rapture I behold Him, Jesus Christ who died for me?Face to face I shall behold Him, Far beyond the starry sky; Face to face in all His glory, I shall see Him by and by!
1 Thessalonians 4:13 "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope." /KJV
"For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him." (1 Thessalonians 4:14, KJV)
"Therefore encourage each other with these words." (1 Thessalonians 4:18, NIV)
John 5:24-25 "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. 25 I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live." NIV