A Short Study of 1st Thessalonians 4:17
“Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
(1st Thessalonians 4:17)
Here is a word of comfort regarding the living saints. “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air.”
“We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed” (1st Corinthians 15:51). There will be a remnant of God’s elect living upon the earth. But at the last day, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, we shall all be caught up and changed. A glorious transfiguration will take place. Like Elijah, we shall be swept up into glory in a full array. It could happen today. No; it could happen before you read the next line of this article!
Here is a word of comfort concerning our glorious reunion. “Caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” The air is spoken of in Scripture as the sphere of Satan’s power. He is called “the prince of the power of the air.”
This is what Paul is saying, the transfiguration and reunion of Christ’s redeemed ones will take place right in the heart of Satan’s territory! The Lamb that was slain, and all the hosts of His elect shall be victorious and Satan shall be shamed, mocked, and defeated in the air.
Today, it appears that he is loosed for a little season; but his days are numbered. Soon, King Jesus will throw the old serpent into the lake of fire. And, at that moment, a glorious reunion shall take place. All the saints of God shall be united.
In the last day, when our Lord Jesus Christ comes again, everything will happen quickly, but very orderly. This appears to be the order of events…
1. Christ will descend.
2. The dead shall be raised.
3. The living shall be snatched up to meet the Lord.
4. The world shall be destroyed and recreated.
5. We shall come to the earth with Christ.
This word “meet” is only used four times in the New Testament (Matthew 25:1-6; Acts 28:15). It always implies a friendly encounter and return. “When a king enters the city the loyal go forth to meet him; the criminals, in confinement, await their judge.” When a husband comes home from a long trip, his loving wife runs out to meet him as he returns home, and walks back into the house with him. Even so, when Christ our King comes again, His beloved bride will go out to meet Him, to come with Him. It is in this way that the Kingdom of God shall come to the earth (Revelation 21:1-5).
In that blessed hour, Christ shall see of the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied. All who were given to Him in the everlasting covenant, redeemed by Him at Calvary, called by His Spirit, and all for whom He has made intercession these two thousand years, shall be with him; they shall see His face; there shall be one fold and one Shepherd; and they shall be one (John 10:16). “So shall we ever be with the Lord.” (Revelation 22:3-5)