Who Will Be Caught Up?
I Thessalonians 4:13-18
While on a South Pole expedition, British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton left a few men on Elephant Island, promising that he would return. Later, when he tried to go back, huge icebergs blocked the way. But suddenly, as if by a miracle, an avenue opened in the ice and Shackleton was able to get through.
His men, ready and waiting, quickly scrambled aboard. No sooner had the ship cleared the island than the ice crashed together behind them. Contemplating their narrow escape, the explorer said to his men, "It was fortunate you were all packed and ready to go!"
They replied, "We never gave up hope. Whenever the sea was clear of ice, we rolled up our sleeping bags and reminded each other, 'The boss may come today.'"
We are going to talk this evening about the rapture of the church or the boss my come today.
Today I want to look at a section of Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians (verses 13 through 18 of chapter 4), so as to discover further insight into what the apostle means by the words "our gathering together to Him," in the key verse we have already quoted.
It appears that the new Christians in Thessalonica were wondering what would be the fate of their believing family members who had already died when the Lord Jesus returned again for 'our gathering together to Him." They wondered if they would miss his glorious return to earth, and the privilege of reigning with him in righteousness.
The concern of the believers at Thessalonica involved dead believers. Would their loved ones who had died share in the resurrection when Christ returns to earth? The church at Thessalonica had just been founded it was brand new but it was also being bitterly persecuted they were under savage attack!
Some of the believers were dying. Some were even being martyred for their faith.
What about their loved ones who had already died?
What about our loved ones who have already died?
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