The Daily Word of Righteousness

We Shall Not Precede . . ., #4

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. (I Thessalonians 4:16—NIV)

First of all, I think the resurrection will be an individual experience for each person raised. Whether Nehemiah, or Daniel, or Paul, it will be the fulfillment of the hope they have had all along—that of living once again on the earth.

God's heroes of faith are in the spirit realm with Jesus at the present time. They cannot live on the earth because they do not have a flesh-and-bones body that would permit them to live here.

We would imagine they are happy to be in the spirit realm without a body. But this is not the case. Do you remember where Satan preferred to live? Read the Book of Job. Satan, the cherub, spent his time walking in the earth. Do you know why this was the case? It was because the earth is a better place to be than the heavens.

When Jesus raises Paul from the dead, restoring to him the flesh-and-bones body that was decapitated in Rome, it will be an act of the most intimate love between the Lord and Paul.

You may ask, "How long will it take for Jesus to raise each saint if He deals with each one on an individual basis?"

The Lord Jesus could personally take charge of the raising of each saint in a matter of minutes, if He so chose. So great is the Lord!

Then the newly resurrected saints will need some time to get used to the fact that they no longer are floating about in the spirit realm but are alive once again in their body on good old planet earth. At some point their resurrected body will be clothed upon with the body that has been reserved for them in Heaven, a body fashioned from the decisions they have made on the earth.

I think they will shine, and their light will extend from the east (the morning of the Day of the Lord) to the west.

Can you imagine the glory and power of this stupendous act of Divine love?

Now, you tell me. Do you think these resurrected saints will have to be caught up into the air to escape Antichrist and the great tribulation? I seriously doubt it. I do not believe Antichrist will be able to harm them at all.

But what about the remnant of Jews and Gentiles who have survived throughout the dark days of the great tribulation?

Thessalonians states that we shall be caught up together with the millions of newly resurrected saints to meet the Lord in the air.

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. (I Thessalonians 4:17—NIV)

"To meet the Lord in the air."

One time when Bob Marley and I visited a village in India we were met outside the village by a welcoming committee. Then a garland was placed around our necks, and to the beat of a drum we were led into the village.

To be continued.