There will be the shout of command, the archangel’s voice, the sound of God’s trumpet, and the Lord himself will come down from heaven. Those who have died believing in Christ will rise to life first; then we who are living at that time will be gathered up along with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. So then, encourage one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16–18, GNB)

I like how Paul’s instruction concerning the summation and end of all times comes with its own application for us. We are to encourage each other with the words that Paul wrote down about Christ’s return.

  • We who are living at that time. Paul believed that the return of Christ was possible in his own day.  We ought to believe the same.  Christ may return when we are alive.
  • The Lord himself will come down from heaven. Christ will literally return in bodily form for his bride, the church.
  • The shout of command, the archangel’s voice, the sound of God’s trumpet. The return will be authoritative, clear, and everyone will be able to see and understand it.  This is the end of the age, and the summing up of all of history in Christ.

Do these words encourage you, dear reader, because if you are a follower of Christ, they should.

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