1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 – “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain 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 shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.” NASU
When I was young in my teens and even in my twenties (after I returned from Vietnam) I never thought about my mortality. I was ten feet tall and bulletproof, at least that is how I lived. As I had children of my own, lost my grandfather and then my father I began to realize that I’m just passing through this life and will one day pass from this life. Some people resist making arrangements in advance for their funeral thinking it too morbid and some have told me that they don’t want to invite “bad karma” by doing so. The Bible clearly tells us that it is appointed unto men “once to die and then the judgment.” We WILL all depart this world via death should Jesus tarry His coming.
Paul addresses the reality of losing loved ones and friends in this passage and it has long been a comfort to me and an encouragement. He addresses the fact of our mortality and the Promise of the Lord to return for us. He identifies the scene of the Lord’s coming for those who are alive and remain. He tells us that the Lord will bring back those who have preceded us and as He descends from heaven He will give a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God and at that time the dead in Christ will rise first. Then those of us who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and that will begin our eternity with God. He concludes by saying, “Comfort one another with these words.”
Mortality is a reality that none of us can avoid. You are not invincible in your mortal flesh. In reality, once you are born you begin the process of dying and you cannot change that. You cannot take enough HGH or anti-aging creams, rubs, or pills to avoid the absolute eventuality of the end of your mortal existence on this planet. IT WILL HAPPEN and there is nothing that any of us can do to stop it. What we can do is prepare for it spiritually and if you so choose financially for those you leave behind. I have had friends who completely planned their memorial services, picked out their burial plot, and purchased their casket. They had determined what clothes they would wear and everything was settled long before they departed. Most of the loved ones in those situations have said to me they appreciated it but some have said they felt restricted in what they could do and the honor they could pay because of it. That is a family thing and I won’t touch it but spiritually preparation is not an option it is a requirement. So, I do not hesitate to remind you that you are MORTAL and you should begin thinking about that reality today. Today is the day of salvation!
May God be with you as you embark on today’s leg of life’s journey!