Just as the promise of His first coming to judgment in the destruction of Jerusalem occurred in 70AD exactly as predicted in the Olivet Discourse, so too, the Second Coming of Christ is certain to take place. Why hasn’t it happened sooner? Peter tells us that God is waiting until all that He intends to save will be gathered into the fold (2 Peter 3:9). If He had come 150 years ago, for instance, you would never know what it means to spend eternity with Him in joy and bliss. Not having been born–obviously—you would not be saved. Indeed, you would not exist at all. So, stop wishing and praying that Christ will return; He’ll come when He is ready to do so—there are others with whom you may fellowship in heaven someday who will thank you for it!
At the second coming, believer, you will be caught up into the air to meet the Lord as He returns (1 Thessalonians 4). The word “meet” is a very special word, used only here and two other places in the New Testament (once in Mt. 25) and the once in Acts 28). Why are believers to be “raptured” (snatched up into the air)? This word tells us. As the Christians went out on the road to Rome to greet Paul as He was being taken to prison to accompany him into the city in honor, and as the virgins went out to meet the bridegroom and accompany him back in honor of that occasion, so too, as the term means, Christians rise to meet the Lord in air to accompany Him in honor as He comes to earth.
Notice the occasion is at the time when believers are resurrected (1 Corinthians 15). They will receive a body like Jesus’ glorious body to replace the old corruptible and mortal one (Philippians 3: 20, 21). In the ascent into the air to meet the Lord, we immediately recognize one of the new capacities that our have glorified bodies will possess—one that Jesus manifested in His ascension—namely, the power to arise into the air! What a glorious anticipation for those of us with our present weak, sickly, corruptible bodies!
But the great thing will not be our renovated bodies—it will be the coming of Jesus—and the fact that we will actually be able to accompany Him in His honor as He descends! Don’t you think that all eyes will be on Him—not on our new bodies! The point always to remember is that it is His coming that is the importance of this event not our going! This is the Day of the Lord; the Day of His revelation, the Day of days in the future. And, as such we should anticipate it!
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