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Encourage One Another with These Words

by on December 4, 2013

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. 17 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.

 – 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

This month we have once again entered what is referred to often as the Advent Season, in celebration of the Lord’s ‘advent’, or coming to earth over 2000 years ago in Bethlehem of Judea. It is a wonderful time of year for Christians as we take time to reflect on the miracle and marvel of the Incarnation. The truth of the Deity and Humanity of Christ is essential to our salvation and our Christian faith. As we gather each Sunday we reflect on one particular aspect of this wonderful message as we worship together.

Just as the Lord came once before, we believe there will be a Second Advent of the Messiah to earth. The truth concerning this is clearly stated in the Olivet discourse found in the Gospels, the early preaching of the Apostles in Judea as recorded in the first chapters of Acts, and most certainly in the final chapters of Revelation. The Lord is going to return again actually to earth, to reign on the Messianic Throne of David and rule the earth with complete justice and righteousness for the Messianic Kingdom. This will be a blessed time for all the earth, for all the nations when there will truly be ‘Peace on Earth and Good will to all people.”

There is another coming of the Lord that we teach from a Dispensational understanding of Scripture, this is a special coming of the Lord to call His Church, the Body of Christ, into His presence for all eternity. The reason we don’t refer to this as the ‘second Advent’ is that according to our passage for this week, the Church meets the Lord in the sky and returns with Him ‘and so we will be with the Lord forever’. After the seven year Tribulation period the Lord will return to earth, His ‘second Advent’, this time not to meet His people in the air, but to rule on earth.

Paul concludes this passage in 1 Thessalonians with these words ‘Therefore encourage each other with these words’ (vs. 18). This Christmas we have a truly encouraging message to share and it is three fold. The Lord truly did come to earth and as the God/Man went to the cross to pay for our sins and offer us redemption. The Lord truly is coming soon to call all who know Him into His glorious presence to serve and worship for eternity. The Lord truly is coming back to earth and to establish the wonderful Messianic reign for all the earth. This is our Christmas message of hope, joy, peace and love.

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