"They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other." -- Matthew 24:30-31
Before an orchestra strikes the first note of the symphony, the musicians begin to tune their various instruments. The sounds are very discordant as the strings or horns or trumpets are taken up and down the musical scale to make sure all is ready for the performance. This AnGeL can almost hear the Last Trumpet being tuned. It’s almost time for the performance of the ages as one blast will announce the Beginning of the End.
The apostle Paul echoed what Jesus predicted in Matthew 24 when he explained, 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. 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
From my understanding of Scripture, there is no prophecy that yet needs to be fulfilled before the Trumpet sounds, and we…followers of Jesus who have put our faith and trust in Him…are caught up to meet Jesus in the air. I believe His coming is imminent. At any given moment, we will hear that Trumpet blast that our spirits will instinctively recognize as an authoritative call to leave the harvest fields and come Home. Faster than we can blink our eyes, our bodies will have chemical changes that will suit them to live in eternity, and we will find ourselves in the stratosphere where angels will gather us together with our loved ones who have preceded us in death. I will see my mother! And my beloved grandparents! And other family members, friends, and those who were followers of Jesus during their lifetimes, but have died. And I will see Jesus!
This past Spring we had a dramatic illustration of what that day may be like. On March 8 a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, vanished over the South China Sea. Without a trace. And with 239 people on board. It was described as an “unprecedented mystery.”
The pictures of distraught friends and family members of those who were missing were heart-wrenching as they were played and replayed on television and online, then saturated the newspapers and magazines. As we all prayed for God’s peace and comfort for those who were grieving, as well as God’s direction of the search and rescue teams who desperately looked for clues that would solve the mystery, the unanswered questions kept coming…How could a modern airliner drop out of sight so quickly and completely? What happened to the plane itself? Where were all the people?
As I prayerfully pondered the incomprehensible, I began to wonder…Was the worldwide sense of shock and helplessness, of questions and confusion, of fear and grief, a glimpse of things to come? Was it a small snapshot of what the entire world will experience the day after the Trumpet sounds and we are caught up in the air to be with our Lord forever? Because the Bible is clear. There is coming a moment in time when Jesus will come back to gather to Himself all those—dead and alive—who have put their trust in Him. And on that day, the world will be asking, Where have all the people gone? Not just 239 of us in the South China Sea, but millions of us worldwide.
On that day, with millions of people directly impacted by their own missing friends and family members…in the midst of overwhelming shock and helplessness, of questions and confusion, of fear and grief…when the world searches for clues, how easily will they find The Answer in what I leave behind? Will they find, not an oil slick or random debris, but traces of God’s truth and grace and glory? Will they find the Gospel?
To this day, I have not been able to shake this thought… Will my life be a light to the world (Matthew 5:14) that points people to Jesus…after the Trumpet sounds and I am gone?
It’s a great relief to know that I am not gone yet. There is still time to get right with God, and to get right with others. There is still time to grow in my own reflection of Him. There is still time to tell others about Him. There is still time to serve Him. There is still time… But it’s borrowed time. Don’t waste it. Redeem it…
For His glory,
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