"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
Recently I went into a small local museum and asked if I could go into the back yard to take some photos of the San Clemente pier. The people at the front desk gave me the OK but told me to make sure I was back at the entry by their closing time at 5 pm. I made sure I was back several minutes before closing time and to my horror, all the staff had gone home and locked up shop for the night, and I was locked inside. I sure got a fright. Fortunately I was able to find a back exit and set the door to lock behind me when I exited the building. Big relief!
Mike Benson tells about a woman in Brooklyn who was locked overnight in a dental clinic. She was given an anesthetic prior to getting her wisdom teeth extracted, but when she came to, she still had her wisdom teeth and discovered that all the staff had left the clinic and she was locked inside. She panicked. When she calmed down somewhat, she called 911 and was rescued.2
But can you imagine the absolute terror of being locked in down on Earth, with no way of escape at the end of time when God's final roll call is taken and your name is not written in God's book of life? As Jesus said, "there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."3 Tragically, this will be a reality for the millions who have never received God's gift of forgiveness for all their sins by accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
If you have trouble believing this, take note that Jesus Christ's first coming to earth to die on the cross to pay the penalty for all our sins is an indisputable fact of history. Note, too, that every prophecy in the Bible concerning Christ's first coming was fulfilled in detail, so we can be just as certain that every prophecy in the Bible regarding Christ's second coming will also be fulfilled in detail. Furthermore, Jesus Christ himself promised that he would return for his followers.4
Whatever you do be absolutely certain that you are ready for when Jesus comes again so, as today's Scripture announces, you will be "caught up to meet the Lord in the air. . ." and not be left behind. To make absolute sure you are ready for Christ's return be sure to read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at: http://www.actsweb.org/christian.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You not only for Jesus Christ's first coming to earth to die in my place on the cross to pay the penalty for all my sins, but also that Jesus promised He would return for all who have accepted Him as their Savior and have received Your forgiveness. Please help me to be absolutely certain that I am ready for when Jesus comes again. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (NIV).
2. Mike Benson in KneEmail, http://www.forthright.net/kneemail
3. Matthew 8:12 (NIV)
4. See John 14:1-3. Read also, "Will Jesus Christ Return to Earth?" at: http://tinyurl.com/jesus-return