Knowing the Future
15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:15-18
There are so many television shows and movies about someone coming back in time from the future to warn people about an impending disaster. Armed with this knowledge the hero tries to alter events so that the crises can be averted. This often presents a challenge in that the hero needs help and most people who are living comfortably do not want to believe that something terrible is coming, to believe means they would have to sacrifice something about their current life to help divert the catastrophe. Most people are unwilling to sacrifice for a greater good, even if that greater good involves their own life! Over time the hero proves to the person or people that he is indeed from the future and thus convinces them to help at any cost to their personal life.
We as believers have the opposite to cling on to. We are told through scripture that death or “sleep” as Paul calls it in this passage is merely a blink. In a heartbeat, you and everyone that you love who loves Christ will be raised to spend eternity with him.
Knowing this beautiful truth should make it easy for us as believers to focus on the Kingdom of God rather than our own kingdom. Knowing that what we build will not last and the fact that this earth is not our home allows us to live in a way that is truly sacrificial. Because of this promise we can live without fear, and spend our time and energy loving others in a way that will lead them to the same truth that we have discovered!
Like the hero of a time travel movie it is our job to convince others not only of impending judgement but the way to turn that fear of judgement in to hope, a hope that will transform them into someone who lives for Christ and builds his kingdom, not their own…