THE RAPTURE IS A CATCHING AWAY
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 1Thessalonians 4:18
The hope of the church remains for Christians still living on earth to receive new, transformed bodies without ever knowing death.
In the future, at any moment, Jesus will descend from heaven and call all Christians to meet Him in the sky: first those that have already passed away and then those who are still living. From that blessed moment on, we shall forever abide with the Lord.
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels of heaven, but my father only.
But as the days of Noe [were], so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Two [women shall be] grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. Matthew 24:36-42
praise, our God, shall rise
In mansions fair beyond the skies
Thy name to celebrate;
But joyful songs e'en here we raise
Our God and Father now to praise,
While for our Lord we wait.
When ruined, guilty and undone,
Thou gav'st for us Thine only Son
To suffer, bleed and die;
Rejoicing in Thy love we sing,
Praise for Thy gift of gifts we bring,
His name to magnify.
We praise Thee in our pathway here;
Far off we were, but now brought near
Through Jesus Christ our Lord:
Fresh grace for every moment here,
Fresh manna through the desert drear,
The Spirit doth afford.
When He shall come, for whom we wait,
We then shall see and know how great
The gain that faith had stored;
But here our joyful songs we raise
Our God and Father now to praise,
While waiting for our Lord.
From Day of Doom:
So at the last, whilst Men sleep fast in their security,
Surpriz'd they are in such a snare as cometh suddenly.
For at midnight brake forth a Light, which turn'd the night to day,
And speedily an hideous cry did all the world dismay.
Sinners awake, their hearts do ache, trembling their loynes surprizeth;
Amaz'd with fear, by what they hear, each one of them ariseth.
Jesus said unto her, , : he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? John 11:25-26
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. I Corinthians 15:51-52
For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also
we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ:
Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body,
according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto him. Philippians 3:20-21.
From Day of Doom:
Both Sea and
at his Command, their Dead at once surrender:
The Fire and Air constrained are also their dead to tender.
The mighty word of this great Lord links Body and Soul together,
Both of the Just, and the unjust, to part no more for ever.
The same translates, from Mortal states to Immortality,
All that survive, and be alive.
in th' twinkling of an eye:
That so they may abide for ay
to endless weal or woe;
Both the Renate and Reprobate are made to die no more.
From Day of Doom:
God looks upon th' affection and temper of
Not only on the action, and the external part.
Whatever end vain men pretend, God knows the verity;
And by the end which they intend their words and deeds doth try.
Without true Faith, the Scripture saith
God cannot take delight In any deed, that doth proceed
from any sinful wight.
And without love all actions prove but barren empty things.
Dead works they be, and vanitie, the which vexation brings.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God,
and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:
but we know that, when he shall appear,
we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.
I John 3:2
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow now, even as others which have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. I Thessalonians 4:13-18
This Ole House I'll Fly Away
Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.
I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself;
that where I am, there ye may be also.
Just Too Busy
The trumpet sounds and Jesus comes
to Earth riding His majestic cloud.
A myriad of angels and spirits
are praising Him aloud.
It was just as Jesus told us - He was coming back
to receive His own - the living and the dead.
The voices of the angels were nearly too
loud to hear every word that was said.
What a beautiful sight to see in the sky and
all the way to the ground.
Words can't explain the colors - it was
like many bright rainbows cascading down.
Some people kneeled and started chanting
"Jesus, sweet Jesus, You have come back for us."
Others were prostrate, begging Jesus to take them.
Now, they promised only Him would they trust!
The Book of Life was opened and the names of
the saved went to Jesus in the twinkling of an eye.
But some names were not found and those
people could not go - their spirits would not fly.
They said they were just too
busy all their lives to talk to God and accept His saving grace.
Those people had to go to the Lake of Fire
and suffer eternity in Satan's place!!
George Edward Noe
Above printed with permission from Fellowship of Christian Poets
LORD, WITH GLOWING HEART I’D PRAISE THEE
Francis Scott Key
Lord, with glowing heart I’d praise Thee
For the bliss Thy love bestows,
For the pard’ning grace that saves me,
And the peace that from it flows:
Help, O God, my weak endeavor;
This dull soul to rapture raise;
Thou must light the flame, or never
Can my love be warmed to praise.
Praise, my soul, the God that sought thee,
Wretched wand’rer, far astray;
Found thee lost, and kindly brought thee
From the paths of death away:
Praise with love’s devoutest feeling,
Him who saw thy guilt-born fear,
And, the light of hope revealing,
Bade the blood-stained cross appear.
Praise thy Saviour God that drew thee
To that cross, new life to give,
Held a blood-sealed pardon to thee,
Bade thee look to Him and live:
Praise the grace whose threats alarmed thee,
Roused thee from thy fatal ease,
Praise the grace whose promise warmed thee,
Praise the grace that whispered peace.
Lord, this bosom’s ardent feeling
Vainly would my lips express:
Low before Thy footstool kneeling,
Deign thy suppliant’s pray’r to bless:
Let Thy love, my soul’s chief treasure,
Love’s pure flame within me raise;
And, since words can never measure,
Let my life show forth Thy praise. Amen.
(To the tune "Faben," composed by John H. Wilcox in 1849)
The Presbyterian Hymnal (Richmond Presbyterian Committee of Publication, 1949), #315. The meter is 18.104.22.168. doubled.
For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
- The Second Coming
Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.
- Surely some revelation is at hand;
- Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
- The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
- When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
- Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
- A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
William Butler Yeats
Faint falls the gentle voice of prayer,
In the wild sounds that fill the air,
Yet, Lord, we know that voice is heard,
Not less than if Thy throne it stirred.
Thine ear, Thou tender One, is caught,
If we but bend the knee in thought;
No choral song that shakes the sky
Floats farther than the Christian’s sigh.
all the darkness of the land
Can hide the lifted eye and hand;
Nor need the clanging conflict cease,
To make Thee hear our cries for peace.
DANIEL. Fol. 36. Is (with Isaiah) the only exception to the observation, that no express distinction is made between the first and second coming of the Saviour -- The second advent pointed out with precision -- Revealed to him as being a type of the Jews, -- but to Nebuchadnezzar who was a type for the Gentiles, both revealed to him -- Daniel's vision interpreted to him -- Jews' mistakes on this subject -- Probable causes of them -- These events the firm objects of Abraham's faith -- Greatly influenced the pious Jews -- The first authors of the materiality of the soul, silenced by Origen -- Resurrection of the saints at the second advent, confirmed by the practice of Judas Maccabeus -- The Jews under a difficulty arising from the double views contained in the prophecies -- Instances -- Daniel's prophesy leaves no doubt of the meaning -- Daniel's weeks and their calculation -- Events that will introduce these great objects of Hope -- The king or government of a fierce countenance -- Sir Isaac Newton's opinion -- The angel repeats his instructions to Daniel -- Great trouble and distress will precede the glorious kingdom of Christ. From Elias Boudinot (1740-1821), The Second Advent...(1st ed., Trenton, NJ, 1815
Elias Boudinot Jr, American lawyer and statesman from New Jersey, a delegate to the Continental Congress, and a U.S. Congressman for New Jersey. He served as President of the Continental Congress in 1782-1783.
http://www.christianpoetry.org/selentry-3.php?aid=2397 Christian Poetry by K.L.Kraemer
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http://31tenmagazine.com/page6.aspx = "Sweet Devotions"
Glorious World Restored
Beyond are the mountains
all covered with snow
Sun's artistry aglow.
Designed by a Master with efforts of care,
Nurtured in harmony, a worldly affair.
Complex in detail, vast beyond mortal mind
Planets placed and aligned.
Through an iris or a monarch or a snowflakes' parade,
God's glory and wonder and mystery displayed.
Clouds with their raindrops, the promise of a bow
As the rivers doth flow.
Fruit trees and grapevines flourish on land
To nourish us hardily, approved by His hand.
A system once marred and
His Son sent to heal,
An earnest appeal.
Witness to creation and witness for you,
Jesus avails an invitation toward a world born anew.
Kara L. Kraemer, 2008
Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.
I Chronicles 29:11
My only hope of salvation is in the infinite, transcendent love of God manifested to the world by the death of His Son upon the cross. Nothing but His blood will wash away my sins. I rely exclusively upon it. Come, Lord Jesus! Come quickly! Benjamin Rush
The Autobiography of Benjamin Rush, George Corner, editor (Princeton: Princeton University Press for the American Philosophical Society, 1948), p. 166, Travels Through Life, An Account of Sundry Incidents & Events in the Life of Benjamin Rush.
I John Hancock, . . . being advanced in years and being of perfect mind and memory-thanks be given to God-therefore calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing it is appointed for all men once to die [Hebrews 9:27], do make and ordain this my last will and testament…Principally and first of all, I give and recommend my soul into the hands of God that gave it: and my body I recommend to the earth . . . nothing doubting but at the general resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mercy and power of God . . .
Will of John Hancock
Principally and first of all, I
bequeath my soul to God the Creator and Giver thereof, and body to the Earth . .
. nothing doubting but that I shall receive the same again at the
General Resurrection thro the power of Almighty God; believing and hoping for
eternal life thro the merits of my dear, exalted Redeemer Jesus Christ.
Will of Jonathan Trumbull Sr., Governor of Connecticut