Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Thankful Thursday - Random

"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 each other with these words." ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

On this Thankful Thursday, I am so thankful for the promise that one day we will be with the Lord in Heaven forever.

I believe that our generation will be the one that sees Christ's return. It is imperative to be about our Father's business, not being idle, but sharing with others how to be sure of where they will spend eternity. Who better to spend eternity with than our God? Think of walking with Jesus, just as the disciples and His followers walked with Him, learning from Him and growing in spiritual maturity in Heaven or on the New Earth.

I cannot describe to you the feeling of comfort it gives me to know that should I not die by accident or illness or natural causes first, that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that when I hear that trumpet call of God I can look up and see my Redemption truly drawing nigh.

To see the dead in Christ rise first and then know I will be on my way is quite the thrill!

This passage of Scripture used to scare the socks off me. I didn't want to be around in the last days, but I find myself living in them. Seeing prophecy fulfilled, so much of it in our lifetime, is truly a privelege and honor. I wouldn't recognize it were it not for the Word of God and the teaching of God's anointed preachers and teachers.

Descending for Us

The Greek word for descend is katabainō. It means:

1) to go down, come down, descend
a) the place from which one has come down from
b) to come down
1) as from the temple at Jerusalem, from the city of Jerusalem
2) of celestial beings coming down to earth
c) to be cast down
2) of things
a) to come (i.e. be sent) down
b) to come (i.e. fall) down
1) from the upper regions of the air
3) metaph. to (go i.e.) be cast down to the lowest state of wretchedness and shame

Who are we that He would descend for us?! What humbling truth and feeling to know how great the love of the Lord is.

He descended once when the Word was made flesh. He came to Earth in the form of a human, born of a Virgin by the power of God the Father. As a child He grew in wisdom and favor with God and men.

"And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." ~ Luke 2:52 (NIV)
He lived His life among humans, teaching and preaching and performing many wonders and miracles.

Christ descended even farther, if possible, through death on the cross, bearing our sins.

"And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!" ~ Philippians 2:8 (NIV)

Bearing our sins, He gave His life for us. For us who believe, we look forward to the second time He descends.

The Shout, the Voice and the Trumpet

Can you imagine just about your daily business or perhaps being asleep in your bed and hearing a shout, the voice of the archangel and the trumpet blast? What a holy sound that must be to hear. It shall be music to my waiting ears.

The Greek word for shout is the noun keleusma. It means:

1) an order, command, spec. a stimulating cry, either that by which animals are roused and urged on by man, as horses by charioteers, hounds by hunters, etc., or that by which a signal is given to men, e.g. to rowers by the master of a ship, to soldiers by a commander (with a loud summons, a trumpet call)

Are you listening for the signal?

The Greek word for voice is phōnē, a noun that means:

1) a sound, a tone
a) of inanimate things, as musical instruments
2) a voice
a) of the sound of uttered words
3) speech
a) of a language, tongue

Surely it will be in our native tongue, no matter what our dialect is. Easily recognizable and understandable. No mistaking the sound, the voice, the language or words that are spoken.

The trumpet will sound and what beautiful music that will be. Trumpets were often used in biblical times to signal people to movement toward a set task. Our task, my friend, will be but to rise and meet our Savior in the air!

The Rising

After the dead in Christ rise, we who are alive and remain will also rise.

I confess this part baffles me a little.

The Greek word for alive is zaō. This verb means:

1) to live, breathe, be among the living (not lifeless, not dead)
2) to enjoy real life
a) to have true life and worthy of the name
b) active, blessed, endless in the kingdom of God
3) to live i.e. pass life, in the manner of the living and acting
a) of mortals or character
4) living water, having vital power in itself and exerting the same upon the soul
5) metaph. to be in full vigour
a) to be fresh, strong, efficient,
b) as adj. active, powerful, efficacious
This implies that we are living a life worthy of the name of the Lord, that we have accepted Christ as our Savior.

The Greek word for remain is different, though. Perileipomai, also a verb, means:
1) to leave over
2) to remain over, to survive

Vines says: ""to leave over," is used in the Passive Voice in 1Th 4:15, 17, RV, "that are left" (AV, "that remain"), lit., "left over," i.e., the living believers at the Lord's return. See REMAIN."

I need to do some more studying on that. What I'm understanding it to mean (and I'm no theologian) is that maybe it is just a different form of the world alive. Maybe for emphasis? I'd love to know more about this if anyone does know or has heard a sermon on this.

All Caught Up

Have you ever heard the phrase "all dressed up and nowhere to go"? We have somewhere to go when we hear the command, my friend. In fact, we'll have no choice in the matter if we are Christians. Who would want to be left on the Earth when God's people are called home to Heaven? Not me!

The Greek word for caught up is harpazō. This verb means:

1) to seize, carry off by force
2) to seize on, claim for one's self eagerly
3) to snatch out or away

Can you imagine your feet leaving earth and rising to meet the Lord? What a wonderful feeling that will be.
Forever and Ever With Him
Our lives will just be beginning. The Greek word forever is pantote. It means just what it implies.

1) at all times, always, ever

My finite mind can hardly fathom it. I just know it's what I want. To be with the Lord forever. We won't be passively sitting on clouds and strumming harps. That's another post. We will be with the Lord!

Spread the Word

Knowing that we will spend eternity with Christ and will rise to meet Him if we are still alive when He returns is one thing. Our future is set and we will be so complete and content. Can you say the same for your family and friends?

We are admonished by Paul to encourage one another with the words of this verse.

The Greek word for encourage is parakaleō. It means:
1) to call to one's side, call for, summon
2) to address, speak to, (call to, call upon), which may be done in the way of exhortation, entreaty, comfort, instruction, etc.
a) to admonish, exhort
b) to beg, entreat, beseech
1) to strive to appease by entreaty
c) to console, to encourage and strengthen by consolation, to comfort
1) to receive consolation, be comforted
d) to encourage, strengthen
e) exhorting and comforting and encouraging
f) to instruct, teach

We must share the gospel with others. Whatever your chosen method of spreading the word is, I encourage you to do it. Email, blogging, evangelizing, mission work...we must literally beg those who have not made a decision to make it. I know it can be off-putting, but there are ways we can encourage others without turning them off. Those ways are mentioned above in the definition. Perhaps most of the begging will be to the Lord in prayer to soften their hearts to receive Him.

People watch us more than we are aware so we need to really be conscious of our actions. We must live lives that are holy and pleasing to the Lord.
"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody." ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 (NIV)

Look Up

I believe it's time to look up. Christ is coming soon! Spread the Word and invite others to join you in Heaven on that day.

Father, how I long for the appearing of Your Son to bring us Home to You. You have promised that we will be with You forever, and there is so much in Your Word that describes what life will be like with You in Heaven. I cannot wait. Continue to give me a thirst and hunger for Your Word, so that I might learn more and be able to share more intelligently about the return. May no one be left behind because I was to fearful to speak up. Use me, Lord, however You will. Thank You so much for the promise of the verses above and the promise of Your Word. In Jesus' Name I pray, Maranatha!

Are you Ready?

Are you ready? What if the call came tonight?

"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. " ~ Matthew 24:36-44 (NIV)

While we cannot know the day or hour, we can be aware of the signs pointing to Christ's return. I believe that's why He gave them. Are you ready? If you are afraid that you will be one of the ones left behind as described in the words of Christ above, please email me at and let me tell you about my Savior. He is mighty to save and you can have assurance of eternal life and the hope that if we are live when Christ returns that you will be flying right by me, on the way up to be with Him forever.

Lynn at Spiritually Unequal Marriage is hosting Thankful Thursday for the month of March. Be sure and visit her by clicking on the button below for more Thankful Thursday posts and to link up and share your own list of thankfuls.



He And Me + 3 said...

What a glorious day that will be when we are face to face with Jesus. No more pain, sorrow, fears. Can't wait.
So happy to hear about your friend Melly's results too. that is awesome.

Denise said...

Amen, praise God.

Rocks said...

Amen and Amen!!

When the roll is called up yonder I'll be there. What a joyful celebration it will be!

Hazel said...

Wonderful blessings. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Grammy said...

Hi Laurie Ann.
You did a wonderful post today!
Happy Thankful Thursday.

LAURIE said...

Laurie Ann, I am also thankful for the promise of what is to come - living eternity in a beautiful place that my heavenly Father has prepared for me. Happy TT! -Laurie

Tammy said...

The peace and joy in knowing Jesus is coming for His people. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Angela said...

Lately in my journal I have been crying out for our Lord to come....come and save Your people, bring us home!!

Rita T. said...

Wow. This is a powerful post. I often think about what it will be like to die. I love your thoughts about looking up at the trumpet sound. Thanks so much for this post. Have a wonderful and blessed day.

Debbie said...

Laurie Ann, what a timely reminder of the times! I agree with you completely on this one. I am ready but there are loved ones who aren't. That gives me more reason to be praying and asking the Lord to soften their heart. We can share and live the life of Christ but only the Lord can draw them to Himself. So, yes let's share Jesus with others and I pray that I might glorify Him as I go about my day.

Michele Williams said...

What a glorious day that will be when we all meet up there together! As always... you bless my socks off!!! LOL... Love you dear friend!

Melanie said...

Oh, I'm with you... so thankful that I KNOW where I'm going when it is my time to leave this earth!!

Happy Thankful Thursday!

Debra said...

Oh Laurie I long for this day and what a glorious day it will be!

Giving thanks for Jesus and you today!

Jerralea said...

Thanks for sharing this, Laurie Ann. You did a wonderful job explaining it. I'm glad we can know where we are going when that trumpet sounds!

Lipstick n Laddles said...

Thank you for sharing. Thank you for visiting my post too. God bless!

Bonnie said...

What an amazing post! Thank you for visiting mine, by the way. I mentioned we're studying Revelation and I am with you - some of what it says used to scare me practically witless but not anymore. Now I just weep for those who do not get it, who won't get it... it breaks my heart to think of all of those who will stubbornly refuse to give themselves to Christ. What a mixed bag it all is!

Pia said...

that was very informative. thank you for sharing. blessings to you, laurie ann.

HEATHER said...

Laurie Ann,
Your TT post was very Encouraging thank you for sharing your Beautiful heart with me. I enjoy reading your post they Bless me more then you know.
God Bless,

It Feels Like Chaos said...

I, too, love the thought of meeting my Savior in the clouds so He can take me Home. I think about this often when it seems there are so many things wrong with this earthly world -- someday I will be in a place where it will all be right and perfect!

lupusurvivor said...

amen. be blessed!

Tricia said...

What hope we can have as we wait for that day! I recently have started having more hope as I think about the end times and less fear... praise be to God!


Lynn said...

that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that when I hear that trumpet call of God I can look up and see my Redemption truly drawing nigh...

Amen, LA What an amazing post and how it causes me to rejoice and be glad. We are indeed living in scary times, yet we have peace and assurance. God knows what He is doing. Love you girl.