The Hope of the Return of Jesus Christ

The Hope
From an August 2004 Teaching [brackets mine]
“In the Bible, the word “hope” is always used regarding something that is not available at the present time.  Hope pertains to something in the future; believing pertains to those things which can be had immediately.”
-The Way Magazine, 2004
I Thessalonians 4:13-18  But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep [those who have died], that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [precede] them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord [Jesus] himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.Jesus Christ is returning someday!  Verse 16 says that “the dead in Christ shall rise first” – those born again believers who have died will be raised from the dead unto eternal life.  Then verse 17 states that those of us who are still alive will be “caught up together with them in the clouds…and so shall we ever be with the Lord”It is much more comforting to know this truth from the Word, than it is to believe what the world tries to tell us about those who are “asleep”  Ecclesiastes 9:5 says:  For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. – The “memory of them is forgotten” means that when their physical body dies, all of their memories go with it.  It does not mean that we forget their memory or don’t honor them.  The context of the verse is illustrating that once a person’s physical body dies, their body does not continue on living in any other form.  Once Christ returns, the “dead in Christ” [born again believers who have passed] shall rise again at that time.

I Corinthians 15:51-53: What will happen when Jesus Christ returns?

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump:  for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  For this corruptible [the born-again believers who are dead] must put on incorruption, and this mortal [the born-again believers who are alive] must put on immortality.

When Christ returns we will all be changed, and receive an eternal body.

Revelation 21:4:  Not only will we live eternally, but…

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

I Corinthians 15:26:  There’s more…

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.  (Death will be no more.)
This verse tells us that death is an enemy, not a friend.  Life is precious and each one of our lives are valuable to God and to one another.  God wants us to live and have abundance in our lives, it is never his will for us to die.

-We have the immediate victory of Christ-In-Us when we become born again.
-We have the ultimate victory when Christ returns and death shall be destroyed.  We will live out the eternal life that God gave us when we were saved.

I Peter 3:12-15

For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.  And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?  But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;  But sanctify [set apart a special place for] the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear [respect, awe]

We have the Immediate AND the Ultimate victory in Christ. We have already won!

As we set apart a special place for the Lord in our hearts, we can give an answer to every man who asks us the reason for our HOPE, which is the promise of eternal life!

God Bless You!