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.” NASB

When I was 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 time progressed, I had my children of my own and lost my grandfather, and then my father. I began to realize that I am just passing through this life and will one day pass from this life. 

Some people resist planning for their funeral, thinking it is too morbid, and some have told me that they don’t want to invite “bad karma” by doing so. That is a personal decision.  The Bible says 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, so ignoring that eventual reality is foolish.

Paul addressed the reality of losing loved ones and friends in this passage, and it has long been a comfort and encouragement to me.  He addressed our mortality and the Promise of the Lord to return for us.  He identified the scene of the Lord’s coming for those alive and remaining.  He tells us that the Lord will bring back those who have preceded us 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!  You are mortal.  You can make yourself immoral but not immortal, only God can do that! Once you are born, you begin the process of dying.  That is a scientific and biological reality that you cannot change.  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!  There is nothing that any of us can do to stop it.

What we can do is prepare for it spiritually and, if we so choose, financially for those we leave behind.  I have had friends who completely planned their memorial services, picked out their burial plots, and purchased their caskets.  They have determined what clothes they want to wear, and everything is settled long before they departed.  Most of the loved ones in those situations have said they appreciated it, but some have said they felt restricted in what they could do and the honor they could give because of it.  That is a family thing, and I won’t touch it, but spiritual 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 go through this day!

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