Wednesday, September 7, 2016

THE TRANSFORMATION WE NEED


War! What is it good for? The song says, absolutely nothing. However, America has made money, jobs and supposedly kept world peace by going to war. What are humans going to do without war? It seems like our nature is to always be at odds with each other since the days of Cain and Able. Over the years our survivability as individuals, people and nations surfaces from within us and we develop positions of employment which prepare for both the offensive and defensive aspect of war.

So, now the question becomes - how will we ever handle true peace-time? This time of peace is prophesied to come, where... "He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore." (Isaiah 2:4) This world status; this atmosphere; this global condition; people will have to undergo a great transformation.

The first part of The Transformation is accepting Christ Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. The full manifestation of that transformation happens at The Rapture, which I believe occurs before the wrath to come (Tribulation Period) - 1 Thessalonians 1:10. The transformation that happens sometime between now and then is described in 1 Corinthians 15:51-57 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. The 1 Corinthians passage states -

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—  in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: 

“Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
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1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 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. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
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Notice both Scripture passages compliment each other. Both speak to those sleeping in death. Both mention a change. Both state that those who died in the Lord will be transformed and/or caught away first. Both claim there is a Trumpet Call involved. There is so much alike, I feel it is only reasonable to conclude Paul is referring to the same event - The Rapture.

This is how I believe that day will happen....

The Lord descends from the right hand of God the Father to mid air and proclaims something (1Thess. 4), perhaps the words He used with John in Revelation 4:1 - "Come up here!"

An Archangel will make an announcement (1 Thess. 4). 

The Trumpet will sound! Either simultaneously the believer's transformation happens or immediately after - We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—  in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. (1 Cor. 15) Notice the change happens to all believers, dead and alive, all at once. 

THEN the ones who were dead in Christ rise first to meet The Lord (1 Thess. 4). God joins their souls to their now glorified bodies in that flash of a change (God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. - 1 Thess. 4)

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 Thess. 4)

For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: 


“Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15)

Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thess. 4)

I cannot wait for this change! Oh the benefits thereof! It truly is The Transformation We Need.