Comfort One Another
Though some Bible prophecies are debated by scholars, one prophecy is clear, and it's a source of immense comfort to those of us who trust in Christ. "The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
This passage depicts what is known as "the rapture," a word that comes from the Greek word harpazo, which means, "to catch or snatch away." When I first heard about the rapture as a young Christian, I said, "That's ridiculous." Then I read it for myself on the pages of Scripture. Now I find it not only a great comfort but the longer I live, the more I long for this event. It's incredibly exciting to think that Jesus could come for us at any moment.
This prophecy should be a great comfort to you. We're even told to "comfort one another with" the promise of this great event. This promise is one of the things that help Christians to keep going in the midst of suffering. It's the advantage we have: We know the end game! We've read the last chapter! We win!
Since Paul wrote this to give comfort and hope to those bereaved of loved ones with the return of Jesus Christ, so we too should take comfort. We can look into that faceless future with calm assurance of a certain eternity. It could be that Jesus will come back before your lifetime is over. But even if we are separated by the thin veil of death, we'll all be reunited again.
When the disciples were discouraged as Jesus talked about His death, He assured them, "Let not your hearts be troubled ... I will come again and receive you unto Myself" (John 14:1, 3). So no matter what has happened in the past, no matter what you're facing today, remember this great prophecy of the rapture of the church. The best is yet to come. You have the word of Jesus on it.