A Short Study of 1st Thessalonians 4:16

“The Lord Himself shall descend”
(1st Thessalonians 4:16)

Here is that blessed hope which fills our hearts with hope, joy and expectation – “The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:” We comfort ourselves, with regard to our sleeping brothers and sisters in Christ and with regard to our own everlasting salvation, with the blessed hope of the resurrection at Christ’s second coming.

The Lord himself shall descend from heaven. He came once and was despised and rejected of men. He came once in humiliation and sorrow to suffer and die. But He is coming again in power and great glory to reign. In this earth, in the place where the battle was fought and the victory won, King Jesus must reign gloriously.

Our great King shall return with a shout of triumph and victory; The voice of the archangel and the trump of God shall reverberate through the world to announce the coming of the great King. The trumpet-blast shall sound the glorious year of jubilee for God’s elect. When our great Emancipator, Redeemer, Deliverer, and Saviour descends from heaven, then we shall be free – Free from sin and free from all the evil consequences of sin!

The trumpet-blast shall announce the mighty conquest of our King. Death shall be swallowed up in victory. Satan shall be thrown into the lake of fire. Every rebel shall be crushed with the iron rod of his strength and consumed with the brightness of His glory.

The Lord’s coming will be public, visible and audible. The reverberating sound going through all of God’s creation will awake the dead. Every eye shall see Him. All God’s elect shall be gathered from the four corners of the earth. The dead bodies of God’s saints shall rise first. Then, we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall be raised up and transformed into the likeness of Christ with them to meet the Lord in the air (1st Thessalonians 4:13-18). In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, we shall be changed from mortality to immortality in resurrection glory, perfectly conformed to the image of Christ (1st Corinthians 15:52-58), according to the purpose of our God in election and predestination (Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 1:3-6, Ephesians 1:11). The wicked, too, shall be raised unto the resurrection of damnation. (John 5:28-29). As soon as they see Him, their sovereign Lord in His glory and greatness, as soon as they see Him whose person and dominion they despise, the wicked shall weep and wail because of Him. Their weeping and wailing shall never end, but only increase forever. But the righteous, as soon as they see Him whom they love, in whose dominion they rejoice, those saints shall be ecstatically elated (2nd Thessalonians 1:7-10); and their ecstasy and joy shall never cease, but only increase forever!

Child of God, lift up your head, lift up your heart with hope and joy in anticipation of this great day – OUR LORD, OUR REDEEMER, OUR GOD, OUR SAVIOUR IS COMING AGAIN! He is coming for His bride. He is coming Himself, personally. He is coming soon, the one who stood as your surety in covenant mercy before the world began, the one who lived for you in righteousness, the one who died for you upon the cursed tree, the one who intercedes for you now at the Father’s right hand in heaven. “BEHOLD, HE COMETH!”

D. Fortner

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