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My friends, we want you to understand how it will be for those followers who have already died. Then you won't grieve over them and be like people who don't have any hope. We believe Jesus died and was raised to life. We also believe that when God brings Jesus back again, he will bring with him all who had faith in Jesus before they died. Our Lord Jesus told us that when he comes, we won't go up to meet him ahead of his followers who have already died.
With a loud command and with the shout of the chief angel and a blast of God's trumpet, the Lord will return from heaven. Then those who had faith in Christ before they died will be raised to life. Next, all of us who are still alive will be taken up into the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the sky. From that time on we will all be with the Lord forever. Encourage each other with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
If we have faith in Jesus before we die, do we come back with Him when He returns or will we be raised to life and then go up to meet Jesus before those who are still alive? These verses seem to say both of those things, but how can that be?
I think the Scriptures here are telling us that being “raised to life” is something that will happen to every follower of Jesus on the Day that Jesus returns, as we receive our new body and are made finally ready to live with Him forever. When those who love Jesus die and are “absent from the body” they are certainly “present with the Lord” even though they still wait for their new body!
So don’t forget that if you die before the return of Jesus, you still will not miss the second coming of Christ. If you leave this earth before He returns and you are a follower of Jesus, then you will come with Him on that great and glorious day!
“Lord Jesus I do so look forward to Your return whether I am still here on earth or one of those who are with you on that great day! Praise Your Holy Name forever. Amen.”