We will always be with the Lord.
David Bahn-Reflections Podcast
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 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 4:13-18 [ESV]
There was a funeral last Saturday. Actually, there were hundreds of funerals last Saturday. People are dying every day. According to those who keep records of such things, there are as many as 2500 or as few as 1000 funerals each day in the US. People gather for funeral services every day. This one was special to me because it was for a church leader, a pillar of his family, and a friend of mine. Charlie had attained the age of 90 years, 6 months, and 27 days. He now rests in peace in anticipation of the Great Last Day when he and all believers in Christ will be raised, and we will be together with Jesus. This is our Christian hope.
Two days ago I remembered my mom who died at the age of 93. Two of my sisters and my dad have also gone on to be with Jesus. Diane’s parents, other good friends and loved-ones have also died. It’s a wake-up call to read the names each year of those who have gone on to be with the Lord. But it is so encouraging and uplifting to sing, “For All The Saints,” celebrating their unending hymn of praise and anticipating that one day we will join them, and “we will always be with the Lord.’
Paul urges us to comfort one another with these words. Sometimes we may wonder whether or not we will make it into the presence of God almighty. We may carry great loads of guilt over past sins. We may struggle against formidable temptations as we seek to live faithfully under Christ in his kingdom. We may wonder whether we’re worthy of joining all the saints.
Recently a friend forwarded a link to a sermon clip by Alistair Begg. It’s a real winner. It’s a clever portrayal of a supposed interview between the angels in heaven and the thief on the cross. They are questioning him about how it was that he would come to be with them in heaven. After some questioning the thief finally says, “The man on the middle cross said I could come.” Jesus has said we can all come through faith in him. That’s our entry into the glory of all the saints. We’re all there on the basis of his righteousness, not our own. We will be with the Lord forever.
“He said I could come!!!”
Wonderfully simple! Just wonderful!